Teachers plan protest outside conservative education conference this afternoon

Teachers and parents are planning a protest this afternoon outside a conference in San Francisco where former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch will be speaking about education reform.

The conference, “Education Everywhere: National Summit on Education Reform 2011,” is organized by the Foundation for Excellence in Education, whose chairman is Bush, the governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007 and brother of former President George W. Bush.

According to the conference’s agenda, topics will include changes to the teaching profession, education funding formulas, and new technology in classrooms.

But organizers with the California Teachers Association and United Educators of San Francisco, who are protesting the conference, say it is about making money from proposed education reforms, not about improving education.

“Profiteering — that’s it in a nutshell,” CTA spokesman Mike Myslinski said. “This is not a serious look at education reform that really matters, it’s more of a look at how to profit from our public education system.”

The protesters will be picketing at 4 p.m. today on the sidewalk outside the Palace Hotel at 2 New Montgomery St., where the conference is being held.

Bush was scheduled to make opening remarks at the conference this morning, and Murdoch is scheduled to give the keynote address on Friday morning.

Philanthropist Melinda Gates and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are among the other dignitaries scheduled to speak at the two-day conference.

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