Search results for: "stephanie Rivera"

Stephanie Rivera is a junior at Rutgers University preparing to become a teacher.

Stephanie was one of the leading forces in creating Students United for Public Education, a new organization in which students are joining to stand up against the privatizers, profiteers and naysayers now besieging our public schools.

She has her own blog, where she regularly debates other students who support corporate reform policies.

Stephanie is an activist on behalf of the teaching profession and on behalf of social and educational equity.

She joins our honor roll as a hero of public education because she has bravely taken on powerful forces and dared to ask hard questions.

She understands that teaching is hard work, and that it is a profession, not a pastime.

I admire her spunk, her willingness to debate, her energy, and her courage.

The future belongs to you, Stephanie, and to all the other students who understand that public education belongs to them as a democratic right to build their future.

It must not become a plaything for Wall Street and billionaires, nor a stepping stone for politicians, nor a profit center for entrepreneurs.

It belongs to you and your generation. Preserve and strengthen it for future generations, doors open to all by right.

Stephanie Rivera is preparing to be a teacher at Rutgers University, where she is a junior. Stephanie has her own blog. But what’s special about Stephanie is that she has strong values, she has guts, and she is articulate. As an activist devoted to educational equity, she rightly is suspicious of faux reforms sponsored by billionaires and corporations.

Stephanie attended Education Nation. This is her report on te various panels and town halls. It is well worth reading because Stephanie brings a fresh perspective to the issues and personalities.

Stephanie Rivera is a junior at Rutgers in New Jersey who plans to teach. She has tangled with Students For Education Reform about education issues, both on Twitter and her blog. Here is her review.

I must say, the more I read about the movie, the less I want to see it. I can’t stand the idea that film makers manipulate your emotions to sell political propaganda. This sort of emotional manipulation can persuade people to go to war or to vote against their self-interest. In this case, it is being cynically used to undermine a vital democratic institution. No thanks.

I discovered Stephanie Rivera on Twitter. Ah, the power of social media. Stephanie took issue with Students for Education Reform, which is a mini-version of the Wall Street hedge fund managers group called Democrats for Education Reform. DFER thinks that charter schools will close the achievement gap, but sadly there is no evidence==other than an anecdote about a handful of charters–that this remotely possible on any scale. It hasn’t happened in Washington, D.C., which is awash in TFA and charters, nor in New Orleans, nor in New York City. Where is the evidence that they can close the achievement gap other than by skimming top students and kicking out low-performing students?

Stephanie met with the leaders of SFER in her part of New Jersey, and they tried to convince her she was wrong to be devoted to the public schools. Stephanie can’t understand why they would turn their backs on the schools where 90% of American students are. I think this is called “lifeboat” strategy, where you pluck a few kids and pat yourself on the back instead of trying to save the ship.

Well, as it happens, the ship is under attack from the likes of DFER and SFER and SFC and a long list of well-funded alphabet groups, but it is definitely not going down.

And the charters, we now know, are extremely varied. Some are excellent, some are dreadful, most are no different from public schools. And some are run by profiteers, who use tax dollars to pay off investors.

Lurking between the lines are class issues; the SFERs are at Princeton, Stephanie is at Rutgers. ‘Nuff said.

Be strong, Stephanie!

Many experienced and expert teachers are waiting to give you a hand when you join them.

A reader sent the following notice. I often correspond with Nikhil Goyal, whom I met on Twitter.

If these young people raise their voices and rally their peers, they can drive the conversation and stop the obsession with testing and the monetizing of schooling.

Please join the Webinar to talk to them and give them encouragement.

I am glad to see students participation in the education process because after all, it is THEIR future.  I believe the students in America’s schools deserve a much stronger voice in their own education.

Today, teacher moderators will host the Save Our Schools Student Voice Webinar entitled:

Elevating Student Voices: Sparking the Movement for OUR Future.

The SOS Webinar takes place this evening at 9:00 pm EDT | 6 pm PT.  Folks can register for the webinar and read more about it here:

During the webinar three students will share their roles as activists, authors, and speakers about how they are elevating student voices to spark a movement.  The three students include:

Nikhil Goyal • Lobbyist for the Students!

“At age 17, Nikhil Goyal is the author of All Hands on Deck: Why America Needs a Learning Revolution to be published September 6, 2012 by Alternative Education Resource Organization. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, NBC, Huffington Post, and Edutopia. Nikhil has spoken to thousands at conferences and TEDx events around the world from Qatar to Spain.”

Zak Malamed • An Education Reform Leader!

“Zak Malamed is an 18 year old advocate for the student voice in education policy. He considers himself to be both a political and social activist who is passion driven. Recently, he founded the #stuvoice Twitter chat to promote the students’ perspective in education. Zak was president of his high school’s Student Government in and has held many other leadership roles as both a student advocate and a student leader. He looks forward to pursuing a career in public service and hopes to see that track begin as we collaborate to re-imagine the way we learn.”

Stephanie Rivera • A Future Classroom Teacher, Current Cyberspace Teacher

“Stephanie Rivera is a 20 year old student studying English and Education at Rutgers University. She is a high school mentor, teacher assistant, future teacher, and runs her own blog at Teacher Under Construction. Her work includes elevating student voices, working towards recreating a nation where the term “at-risk” is no longer a term associated with the term “school,” and ultimately empowering future world changers.”

In addition, two adults who have activist goals related directly to students will join us.

Robert Applebaum • Founder of Forgive Student Loan Debt

“Robert Applebaum is an attorney from Staten Island, NY and the founder of Rob is a 1998 graduate of Fordham University School of Law and, thereafter, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y. between 1999 and 2004. After 5 years of service as an ADA, because of his exponentially increasing student loan debt, Applebaum made the unfortunate decision to leave a public service job he loved for the private sector, where he remained for the next 5 years.

In late January, 2009, frustrated with countless bailouts of the very institutions responsible for the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, news of lavish vacations, exorbitant bonuses and office redecorations, Robert Applebaum authored an essay entitled which he posted to Facebook Group by the same name. Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Facebook group, Mr. Applebaum founded so as to advocate for both current and former students struggling under massive amounts of student loan debt.

Applebaum’s petition on the White House’s “We the People” site, which garnered over 32,000 signatures, resulted in a direct response from the Obama Administration when they unveiled the “Pay As You Earn” initiative in October, 2011.

Rob’s most recent petition on, in favor of H.R. 4170, The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, has over 950,000 signatures and is on track to reach a million signatures.

Robert Applebaum has written on the topic of student loan debt for The New York Times,, The Guardian and The Hill. He has been featured in BusinessWeek, The Economist, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, and The Washington Post, Now on PBS, Nightly Business Report, RT America, PBS NewsHour and Default: The Student Loan Documentary.”

Rick Roach •  Orange County School Board Member

“Judge Rick Roach was elected to the Orange County, Florida School Board in November 1998 and was re-elected to a fourth term in 2010. He has been a resident of Orange County for thirty years. He holds a bachelor of science degree in education and master of arts degree in education and educational psychology. Recently, Roach became known for his prowess; he assessed the standardized assessment test, commonly known as the FCAT. Rick’s study led him to ask Are low FCAT Scores the Tests Fault? Roach was a teacher, counselor and coach in Orange County for 14 years. For the last 25 years he has trained over 18,000 educators in classroom management and course delivery skills in six eastern states. Roach serves on the board of the Orange County Foundation.”

These panelists will discuss several topics that impact students in America’s school due to education reform.

Here is what is happening across America: [ co-authored by Susan DuFresne and Stephanie Rivera ]

“Across the globe, students are engaging in activist movements against corporate education reforms: Chile, Spain, Greece, Canada, UK, and now… America.

Students of all ages in America are feeling the pressures of these reforms. With their futures in the hands of corporate reformers, students are realizing they have the power to take it back. Students are waking up and demanding that their voices are heard. It is their education, their lives, their futures, and they are making sure they have a say in it. Thus far in 2012, over 150 student protests have taken place in the United States. Students have protested against standardized testing, loss of teachers, lack of resources, student loan debt—and these are just to name a few.

As America’s students begin their own movement, students are realizing how critical it is to not delay on taking action. They are realizing how imperative it is to come together as one unifying voice. With this awakening, students are on their way to organizing a national movement for their education.

Under the current system, students’ creativity and love for learning is being drowned by the corporate reformer’s demands. Months of their lives are spent either in test-prep or testing in a system designed for failure. Students are losing interest in school, interest in learning, and being discouraged about their future as corporate reformers demand results, looking at students as if they were machines rather than humans.

These demands create disparity among students and future generations, at all levels of education. Students are at loss in determining the value of school. We as humans have an innate drive for knowledge and discovery, if students can’t find these in their classrooms, then where can they? The lowering value of school leads to increase of dropouts, which inevitably leads to minimum-wage jobs, or victims of school-to-prison pipeline. Yet, regardless of the equation that led them there, it is still considered the students’ fault.

Students are labeled failures through high-stakes testing, leaving them with a narrowed curriculum — absent of the arts, sports, electives, or vocational courses. The narrowed curriculum and time spent teaching to the test often leave many students in the dust. Without social studies, civics, and history being taught at every grade level, the very fabric of our democracy is at stake.

In addition, Corporate Education Reformers are pushing for Charter schools, claiming they are the ultimate solution to saving our students. Yet, these schools frequently marginalize students by using a lottery system and selecting out students by race, class, ability, gender, and language creating a two-tiered system of injustice. As a result, our current schools are now more segregated than prior to the 1950′s.

Students are realizing the cause and responsibility of these issues lies squarely on the doorstep of Corporate Education Reformers.

The panel will tell you how you can join us to create a movement that will stop this corporate take-over of public education and lift the burden of student loan debt, all via student activism and partnerships with all stakeholders.

Again, we invite you to join us in our Save Our Schools Webinar: Elevating Student Voices: Sparking the Movement for OUR Future. Never before, have America’s students asked so much of one another. Clearly, now is the time for America’s student to take a part in creating the future of their own educations.

These dynamic guests — in our Save Our Schools Webinar: Elevating Student Voices: Sparking the Movement for OUR Future — ask you to join them to empower and elevate student voices, to spark a movement built by students — for students, and for the future of democracy in America.

Join us for our webinar and join these students in building America’s student movement giving students a voice.”