After meeting with three representative of the US Department of Education on Wednesday (a meeting that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan attended for 10 minutes), leaders of the four-day Washington convergence of teachers (Save Our Schools march and Call to Action) -- a grass-roots movement that received late and small support from the major teachers unions -- have rejected a further invitation to meet with Administration officials before tomorrow's march.
Reporting in the Washington Post's blog, "The Answer Sheet," Valerie Strauss writes:
Organizers of Saturday’s Save Our Schools March in Washington, D.C., have declined an invitation to meet today at the White House with education advisers to President Obama, saying they would instead be available after the march.
The march, to protest the Obama administration’s corporate-driven education-reform policies, has been in the planning stages for about a year. Some of its organizers have tried for months to get the attention of the White House through letters and blogposts. Suddenly, a few days before the march itself, an invitation was issued for a meeting today.
The executive committee of the march met late Thursday and decided that march organizers would not go to the White House today (some of them are already committed to a conference at American University) but would talk with any administration officials at the protest march if any attend, and would be available for a meeting after the event is over.
The SOS march is part of a four-day event involving teachers from around the country who are in Washington to protest test-based accountability.