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Here’s What You Missed at the 73rd National Seminar

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Missed some of the sessions this week — or just want to relive some of the great moments? We’ve gathered some outstanding quotes from our speakers in this post.

Conference attendees can also watch video replays of most sessions on the conference site, and everyone can follow along on Twitter at #EWA20.

“We are in the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime story. Our communities and these children are depending on us to ensure they’re being treated equitably and fairly and not being robbed of their right to an education.” — Nikole Hannah-Jones

“There are stories the U.S. has been uncomfortable telling. Some countries know they have to understand their deepest wounds to be able to move forward. … Loving your country doesn’t mean lying about it.” — Wes Moore, Robin Hood CEO

“We always knew that we were covering a beat that was so much larger than what was taking place in the classroom. … We see and we know that when unrest unfolds, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s usually a reflection of years of pent-up frustrations and energy and injustice.” — Erica L. Green

“Typically, 5-10 private nonprofit colleges close each year. (This year,) I’m hoping the number is below 25 in the next month or so. It’s going to be brutal, but 25 is still well below 5% of private colleges.” — Robert Kelchen, Seton Hall University

“I understand that there’s a lot of fear out there. But for the majority of our students here in San Antonio, remote instruction is ineffective. … I grew up in a two-bedroom apartment, the oldest of 12 children, and I know I couldn’t have done well in the remote learning plan. Even if the district gave me a device and a hot spot. — Pedro Martinez, superintendent of San Antonio Independent School District

“We need to not have a deficit mindset on coming back. I really worry about that. We need to ask, ‘What is it we can do well with the resources we have and push through this period of time?’” — Rose Prejean-Harris, Atlanta Public Schools director of social-emotional learning

“Pull your school district’s zoning maps. You’ll see they are just as gerrymandered as the congressional maps. … We know black people suffer everything disproportionately. You have to get to the ‘how.’” — Nikole Hannah-Jones

“When you go to a restaurant to pick up food, guess who’s working there? It’s my students and it’s my parents. They don’t have the luxury of working from home.” — Pedro Martinez, San Antonio Independent School District superintendent

“Institutions believe, because they have achieved a certain percentage of enrollment and they have a very pretty postcard of participation by underserved groups, that they’ve done their job. They walk away and say ‘You should be grateful you’re here. Now go and leave us alone.’ That attitude creates a tremendous resentment on the part of students, as well it should.” — Ruth Simmons, president of Prairie View A&M University

“Kids are never going to forget this period of time. What they’re going to remember is how we all coped with it.” — Elizabeth Englander, Bridgewater State University

“When we first went on quarantine and our schools went online, it felt like a lot of our teachers had kind of given up. … So one big thing for me is having the teachers remain focused, having Zoom classes where all the students can kind of still have that kind of interaction with their teachers and their friends, even if it’s on Zoom.” — Eric Luo, high school senior and co-founder of Six Feet Supplies

“Even as we try to stand in the gap in this moment, with creative solutions, we must lift our heads up. We’ve got to think about long-term solutions. The folks who are going to education are watching right now.” — Becky Pringle, NEA vice president