National Radio town hall on Reopening Schools to held Aug. 15

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[“Getting It Right: Reopening Our Nation’s Schools”]
“Getting It Right: Reopening Our Nation’s Schools” will be aired live on WPFW 89.3 FM in Washington, D.C., and audio streamed on; aired live on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City and audio streamed on
Photo: Event Flyer

The Washington Teachers’ Union, WPFW-FM and WBAI-FM are co-sponsoring a national town hall on Aug. 15 to discuss the chaos, complexities and most effective ways to reopen our nation’s schools; it will feature national education, health and civil rights leaders, teachers and social workers.

“Getting It Right: Reopening Our Nation’s Schools” will be aired live on WPFW 89.3 FM in Washington, D.C., and audio streamed on; aired live on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City and audio streamed on; and can be seen live on the Washington Teachers’ Union Facebook page.

The four-panel, four-hour town hall will be on Aug. 15, from noon to 4 p.m. EDT:

Noon - 1 p.m. EDT:

The opening panel, moderated by Wake Forest University’s Maya Angelou Presidential Endowed Chair Melissa Harris-Perry, will focus on the state of reopening schools, the chaos and politics involved and the inequities for disadvantaged children that COVID-19 has exposed. Panelists include:

  • American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten
  • Washington Teachers’ Union President Elizabeth Davis
  • Florida Education Association President Fedrick Ingram
  • Dr. Reed Tuckson, co-founder, Black Coalition Against COVID-19
  • April Goggans, core organizer, Black Lives Matter DC

1 p.m. - 2 p.m. EDT:

Moderated by WPFW’s Askia Muhammad and D.C. teacher Michelle Bollinger, this panel will focus on what’s happening on the ground across the country and lessons learned from the spring months of remote learning. Panelists include:

  • Texas AFT President Zeph Capo
  • Dallas-area teacher Misty Griffin, who resigned rather than be forced to teach remotely from her school
  • Detroit Federation of Teachers President Terrence Martin
  • Providence, R.I., first-grade teacher Ashley Davis
  • Western Washington University professor Joheen Neem will address concerns about the future of public education as well as how the COVID-19 situation could encourage more privatization

2 p.m. - 3 p.m. EDT

Moderated by WPFW’s Askia Muhammad and WBAI’s Leonie Haimson, the panel will focus on technology for remote learning: how effective it has been; how to do it well; problems providing disadvantaged children access to devices and Wi-Fi; advice for parents; and lessons learned from the spring.

  • WTU President Elizabeth Davis
  • United Teachers of Dade President Karla Hernandez-Mats
  • Washington, D.C., teacher Ashley Kearney
  • Lyndsie Galizio, Fairfax County, Va., school-based tech specialist. The county had a very difficult remote rollout in the spring.
  • Grace Hu, Washington, D.C., parent/community activist will address tech issues and lack of investment for disadvantaged children.

3 p.m. - 4 p.m. EDT

Moderated by Askia Muhammad and Leonie Haimson, this panel will focus on the physical and mental health issues that families, educators and others are dealing with.

  • Dr. Melissa Clarke, health educator and member of the Black Coalition Against COVID-19
  • Dr. Jennifer Lighter, NYU Langone Health pediatric infectious disease specialist
  • Mary Balla, Washington, D.C., teacher on task force about moving a portion of law enforcement funds to social and emotional learning programs
  • Maureen Eigenfeld, New York City school social worker, works in a high-needs Bronx middle school.

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