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January 24, 2016 - COUNTERACT [false] ACCOUNTABILITY: 1 Day to Launch

The launch of COUNTERACT [false] ACCOUNTABILITY is now less than 24 hours away.

We've covered a lot of ground over the last several days, revealing judges and some important tidbits about how the initiative will work. We've also been sharing a series of accountability-related memes to get everyone thinking about different angles of the term and providing some visual tools you can share to educate and capture the interest of others.

A quick summary of what's unfolded so far:

We've covered a lot of ground over the past couple of weeks. In case you missed anything, here's a list of some of the key posts we've made along the way:

We're down to just a single judge whose identity needs to be revealed and one accountability meme left to share. (Well, we might have one more up our sleeve for tomorrow's launch...)

Let's get to it, then!

The final judge is none other than...our own Kirsten Lombard!

Kirsten Lombard

From the moment she founded Resounding Books in February 2013, Kirsten had specific goals in mind for the organization. Uninterested in "just" a publishing company, she aimed to foster cross-political and cross-ideological dialogue and partnership. Publishing issues-based books on significant issues of broad concern struck her as an intriguing path to understanding and bridge-building for people who'd been told, often quite wrongly, that they didn't have a lot in common. She was also determined to seek avenues for Resounding Books to engage on such issues. 

Resounding Books' first publication, Common Ground on Common Core (November 2014), was a bold step in realizing the first of Kirsten's aims. Within the covers of a single book, it brought together expert and activist voices from across education's political and ideological spectrums, all united in their rejection of the false education reforms engendered by the Common Core "State" Standards. The volume of 18 essays has continued to garner exceptional reviews from state senators, policy analysts, investigative reporters, education experts and activists. Most recently, Common Ground on Common Core was cited in a conference paper as one of three top resources on the issue. Kirsten currently has several more projects in the works--including a single-author work, also related to education and likely be released in the second half of 2016.

After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009, Kirsten threw herself into grassroots activism. For more than three years, now, she has been exclusively educating on--and fighting against--the false education reforms unfolding in her home state and across the nation, including Common Core, high-stakes standardized assessment, and the shift to a workforce development model of education. Kirsten has been an invited speaker and radio guest nationally, and was recently asked to sit on a panel on Common Core, held at a national convention in New Hampshire. She's also taken her concerns on education directly to state and federal candidates. See, for example, this exchange with Mike Huckabee.

Kirsten is articulate, informed, politely fierce, and utterly uncompromising in her opposition to false education reform.

Like her colleagues on this judging panel, Kirsten has a deep concern for the ways in which education reform will ultimately affect public-, private-, and homeschoolers. So, when the Fordham Institute announced its competition for state "accountability plans," she couldn't let it pass. The COUNTERACT [false] ACCOUNTABILITY initiative was born. To her delight, it affords a remarkable opportunity to achieve her second goal for Resounding Books. It is wholly designed to encourage and foster local, grassroots activism on a key, common-ground issue. Education is everything, and Kirsten is determined to give as many people as possible an opportunity to jam a stick in the gears of a machine that is damaging children, marginalizing parents, silencing teachers, and robbing taxpayers for the sake of agendas that benefit a small handful of people at the expense of the many.

Kirsten is thrilled that the other judges have joined her in this quest. She looks forward to working with the team and to reading your submissions. Most of all, she is excited about the work we'll all be able to do together to stop false reformers from using language to fool people and undermine true education.

That brings us to our last matter of business before launch.

Our last special countdown meme...

...featuring none other than the nation's biggest financial supporter of false education reform, Bill Gates.

No need for a lot of explanation. We think this one--coming from the man who has documentably spent more than any other private donor to fund and advance false education reform over the past several years--speaks largely for itself.

Well, then...That wraps it up for the countdown. Tomorrow we BLAST OFF!

Keep a close eye on the site. We'll post the guidelines and a brief invitation video from Kirsten tomorrow, as soon as everything's polished up and ready to go. 

Get ready. It's almost time to unleash your creativity and put false reformers on the defensive...

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