A big thank you to everyone who organized the Enough Already conference.I appreciated the shape of the conference;  round tables where we got to engage in listening and sharing…good opportunity for the arising of new thoughts. I think it is important to name the failures in the current system so they will eventually be stopped; so appreciated the various voices who did so.I think about ‘good education’ constantly when I work with my students and look forward to joining in future conferences to discuss models of “how” this should look.
Beth

I am honored to have attended this conference for the 2nd year and am continually amazed at the diversity of attendees.  There were people from the public and private school sector, teachers, administrators, journalists and even concerned parents.  The panelist are experts in their fields and I gained much knowledge about the state of education as it currently exists.  The presentations were smart, thought provoking and humorous.  We even broke out into a song! My table mates and I shared our perspectives and I loved hearing everyone’s stories.  During out brainstorming sessions we imagined what the culture surrounding education and school life could be.  I felt inspired by the camaraderie and shared vision of my group despite our different backgrounds. The conference was extremely well organized in a beautiful setting and I left with renewed confidence that we can empower each other to make a difference!
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Diana P. Cohen; Founder & Director, Primrose Hill School

Thank you for the great conference! I feel very grateful for the opportunity to attend, and I appreciate your working for educational renewal in such a determined and servant way. Your facilitation of the conference was done in a socially conscious, artful, and sensitive manner. Everything worked together well: a diverse mix of the people holding varying perspectives; the content of knowledgeable and engaging presenters; the respectful, yet earnest group conversations; and the whole group singing sessions. It was remarkable how the three of Avalon Initiative facilitators were able to provide content, guide us through the day, and hold the space in a sensitive way. I met great people at the conference and gained profound insights, including how much the industrial mental model is THE governing model of all areas of life, whether it be agriculture, economics, health care, or education. This one paradigm is holding our consciousness hostage. May we see that the first step to freedom is freeing our minds from such a limited consciousness.
Ursula Versteegen, Ph.D.; Co-Founder and Research Fellow, Presencing Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Those who organized the Avalon Initiative’s “Enough Already” conference about saving the soul of education deserve tremendous thanks for all the incisive and exciting presentations, as well as for the new alliances forged and the convivial conversations had among the various and interesting participants and attendees. The organizers’ creative and intelligent concern for children and education clearly runs deep
~ Ed Udell

I am so thrilled to have attended the Enough Already: Reclaiming the Soul of Education Conference. It was so refreshing to participate in an event with teachers from both the public and private realm coming together to talk about our common passion, which is the education of our children. We are currently living in an educational climate that has been seeking to reduce children to numbers and to make teachers obsolete through a misguided belief that technology is the panacea for education. In this environment, many educators, including myself, have been left questioning if our voice really has any power. However, my participation in this conference helped to reinvigorate my heart and fuel my fervor. In this conference room we seemed to have found our network of grace, one in which we can use the joy of our connection and shared love for our vocation to help us sense our way through these dark times, so we may re-imagine and create the educational model of our desires.
~ Dina, Public School Teacher

The conference was so inspiring! I’ve been telling everyone about Avalon Initiative and how proud I am to see it growing. The fact that this important discussion included all voices across education tells me that things will begin to change as we go forward in guiding our children. Very encouraging!
~ Jenn Cantwell, Homeschooler

The Avalon Institute plays a vital role in American education debates. When utilitarian concerns dominate the conversation, we need the Avalon Institute to advocate love, kindness, concern, wisdom, and common sense. Through its blogs, activism, conferences, and initiatives, the Avalon Institute keeps lit the flame of sensible education in the darkness of the education reform era. In the Spring of 2015, the Avalon Institute hosted a conference that brought together leading figures from Waldorf and public education to discuss authentic assessment. I met many great educators and am inspired to help change the conversation in New York and the rest of the country.
Nicolas Tampio

I wanted to take this time to describe the gratitude that I feel for having had the opportunity to attend the symposium on assessment and accountability held by the Avalon Initiative.  Being that I have been an educator for almost a decade in different types of institutes, I was very happy to see a group of educators that mirrored my own very eclectic experiences.  And so, as each individual spoke about their own experiences and educational backgrounds, I felt that the dialogue that I experienced was quite diverse and varied not just on the intellectual level, but on the heart level as well.  I enjoyed the fact that the experience in itself, revolving around the theme of assessment and accountability,  was organized in such a way that was also multi-faceted.  We listened  to engaging and cerebral presentations.  We heard stories that touched our hearts.  Our souls were stirred by student written poetry, and all of my senses were happy to be in dialogue during lunch, in the afternoon, and in the in-betweens, with a small group of individuals who came together for the simple need to want to improve the ways in which we gauge how we are doing with our teaching through the on-going and varied types of assessments that are in our current society.  I especially loved the “what now?” conversations that seemed to bridge what we heard during the day with what we can actually do to improve on the topic at hand.  Thank you again for this experience and I look forward to more to come.  Please let me know if I can ever do anything to help the Avalon Institute with their on-going endeavor to bring equal opportunity for all children and creative freedom for teachers.
~ Asela Zamorano, 4th Grade Teacher

I am a foreign language teacher in a public school.  I attended the Authentic Assessments and Accountability in Education conference in April at the Omega Institute.  I found this conference refreshing and inspiring in terms of renewing my faith in the universal mission of education.  As a public school teacher, we have been mired in negativity and the outside pressures of society’s infatuation with testing.  Dr. Katie Zahedi’s remarks rekindled my passion for public education’s mission and helped me remember how powerful and unique the relationship between a teacher and student is.  Dr. Heinz-Dieter Meyer shared sound logical arguments regarding the impossibility of quantifying the unquantifiable, the true measure of a teacher’s impact on students.  Hearing from private school educators opened a window for me into the possibilities a classroom can hold when we are not held hostage by outside forces.  May this important work continue to spread by all who have been touched by Avalon’s message.
Michelle Kayden