Sunday, February 1, 2015

National School Boards Association Advocacy Institute Opening Session

So this very quickly became a giant waste of time that I stopped blogging. We spent two hours, and by the end, we'd met several people, and then listened to four lobbyists congratulate each other on how clever their reorganization was. Wow. Awful.

NSBA President Anne Byrne:
"Of course, we can't do this alone; we do it all together"
introduces NSBA Board of Directors, staff
commitment and service of school board members "makes such a difference...for all of American's schoolchildren"
all of us together advocating for public schools and public schoolchildren
"up to us to make sure that we are the best, most effective advocates we can be"
"how public education is making a difference in the livers of our children"
  • Public advocacy
  • Legal advocacy
  • Legislative advocacy
We are also elected "some of us by more people than elect them"
"to do what is right for the future of America which is in our classrooms right now"
continuing to advocate in the court for federal policy that may increase federal reach in the classroom
Justice Kenney cites NSBA in his legal briefs

"365 day challenge...we are not here for only one day"
"a lot of talk about reauthorization of ESEA...about time, I say"
"we all must lead children to excellence"

Executive Director Thomas Gentzel: "Why are you here?'
"we need to stand and speak together to do what's right for the kids in this country"
"not a special interest group"; elected officials lobbying for public schools
"comprehensive advocacy program"
"this is our mission; we're your Washington office"
"what difference will that make? What will we do about it?"
"our work leaving here is make sure that that advocacy happens throughout the year"

John Tuttle, president-elect
"always great to come, advocate for our children, our schools"

introduces Alex Nock (works for Penn Hill Group, a lobbying firm)
Lisa Bushey, Associate Executive Director, Public Advocacy, NSBA (she came up with "Stand Up for Public Schools")
Francisco Negron, General Counsel and Associate Executive Director, Legal Advocacy, NSBA
Michael Zolo, Associate Executive Director, Federal Advocacy, NSBA

how NSBA goes about public/legal/legislative advocacy
Zolo: NSBA has to be visible, such that people not only take it seriously, so that people ask us to help them do their jobs
"an incredibly valuable resource"
Bushey: "show you how to get involved, how to be the best" you can as being an advocacy
Gentzel's HuffPo article on school choice
opponents of public education are using trained "agency counsel"
"share some of the science with you about effective communication"
Negron: "file very frequently employment cases...we, collectively, are the biggest employer in the country"
"we're going to be there to talk about the impact on public schools"
"work with our state associations" on legal advocacy
Bushey just did a whole thing on "optimizing" and "leveraging" and "operationalize"
Zolo: "what do we want to communicate, what words do we want to use"
There's really not much here to take notes on: this is NSBA congratulating itself on its reorganization and four lobbyists talking to each other. 

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