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February 1, 2016 - Resounding Books Founder Speaks on Deceptive Language in Ed Reform at EPC 2016

In a brief presentation to attendees of the 2016 Education Policy Conference in St. Louis, MO, this past weekend, Resounding Books Founder Kirsten Lombard shared a message that has become a central theme of her organization. Her presentation before the well-attended annual conference--now in its twenty-seventh year--was entitled: "Bridging the Communication Gap in the Fight for True Education." 

Lombard noted that education reformers have leveraged language against the public first by quietly redefining it. Familiar words and phrases cease to match up to common definitions or assumptions. However, they have the effect of reassuring the public--or, in some cases--usefully dividing it. In either case, the lack of awareness and understanding surrounding new definitions allows education reformers more easily to advance agendas that would, otherwise, likely be widely rejected. Lombard stressed the need to stop making assumptions about the meaning of any language used in relationship to education matters. She also proposed finding and suggested a handful of alternative terms capable of bringing greater clarity. Such clarity is particularly important, Lombard noted, in building bridges that span political and ideological divides, where tremendous damage has already been done. "We're going to need each other," she asserted, "That means talking not just to people with whom we're comfortable speaking, but also people with whom we're not entirely comfortable having a dialogue--people who identify differently than we do politically and ideologically, people we've wrongly been told are our enemies on education matters."

As an independent publisher and political action committee, Resounding Books publishes on common ground issues that span the political and ideological spectrum. The organization also aims to advance meaningful local activism on those issues. Lombard notes that it was an honor and a privilege to carry the spirt on which Resounding Books is established to a nationally recognized policy conference.

Resounding Books has, in fact, recently rolled out a nationwide, project-based initiative to combat the manipulative use of language in education reform, COUNTERACT [false] ACCOUNTABILITY. The inititiave is free and open to any interested individuals, informal groups, or local grassroot organizations who wish to make an impact within their communities on this crucial front. Interested citizens are invited to view the launch announcement and video, read the official press release, read the initiative guidelines, and submit their project ideas. Submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m., February 15, 2016.

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