Many of the panelists and speakers were from organizations funded by the program's sponsors, which included the Gates and Broad Foundations, and echoed their pro-testing and pro-privatization views. There was much talk about how we need "great principals" and "great teachers" and "great schools" with little realistic discussion of how we get there. One panelist, Ralph Smith of the Annie Casey Foundation, offered a contrary thought: that perhaps instead of relying on "greatness" we should build a system that enables ordinary people to be successful.
Mona Davids of NYC Parents Union on Ben Austin's divisive tactics and her version of the "Parent Trigger":
Ocynthia Williams of the Coalition for Educational Justice on the failure of Bloomberg administration and Chancellor Walcott to collaborate with parents: