GATESOL Advocacy Days 2021: Inspiring and Equipping Our Community
Purpose: To provide inspiration, tools, and best practices to equip GATESOL members and like-minded community partners to work individually and in collaboration to advocate for rules, policies, procedures, and funding aligned with research-based best practices for supporting the well-being and long-term success of individuals learning English in the state of Georgia.
Format: Zoom Presentations Breakout Discussions focused on specific topic determined through the work of GATESOL Interest Sections and Regional Liaison meetings and events, followed by a Closing Session focused on next steps.
Schedule of Events
Friday, June 11, 2021
3:00 – 5:30 pm
Opening Roundtable Discussion: Issues Affecting English Learners in Georgia
Confirmed Panelists: Dr. Paula J. Mellom, Mr. Germán Suarez, Dr. Joel Floyd, Dr. Elizabeth Webb, Ms. Ana Soler
Moderator: Dr. Claudia Martinez
Themes: What changes are needed to ensure that all students, regardless of immigration status, have an equitable opportunity to learn English and succeed academically in Georgia public schools, colleges, university, and adult education programs? What current policies, procedures, and funding levels are in place and how are they affecting the success of English Learners at all levels, PK-12, Post-Secondary, and Adult Ed? What challenges or inequities have been intensified by COVID-19? What changes are needed to align funding and policies to research and established best practices?
Format: Each panelist will provide an overview of the issues for 5-7 minutes, followed by 5 minutes for questions and answers. Questions will be submitted in the chat and read by the moderator.
Social Responsibility Social--Participants meet up for networking and follow-up conversation on specific topics in small groups, with the opportunity to share ideas for inclusion in the 2021-22 GATESOL Advocacy Plan.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
9 – 11:30 am
Keynote Presentation by David Cutler Director of Advocacy & Outreach, TESOL International Association, Virginia, USA
David Cutler is the director of advocacy and outreach at TESOL International Association. His work at TESOL includes monitoring and responding to policies and legislation impacting English language teachers and learners, working with members of the U.S. Congress to draft legislation in support of English learners and teachers, organizing the annual TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit, and directing the association’s communications strategies. David received his bachelor’s in social studies education from Ithaca College and his master’s degree in public administration from Cornell University. His previous work experiences include the District of Columbia Public Schools, American Federation of Teachers, and New York State Assembly. Follow David on Twitter @TESOLpolicyguy.
Breakout Sessions: Taking Action to Dismantle Systemic Racism in ESOL Policy and Funding
Each breakout session will be a discussion of the issues led by experts on each topic and moderated by GATESOL Leaders. Participants will have the opportunity to join a discussion on three different topics.
What’s Next? Building Relationships and Telling our Story
Our closing session will focus on how we come together and begin reaching out to our elected and appointed officials so that we can start reaching out as individual community members to share the stories of the students, families, and teachers we work with.