The Badass Teacher Association is going to march on the Department of Education tomorrow. Who are the BATs, you say? Well, Politico has described us as a "militant splinter group" of the unions, which considering the source, is rather a compliment.
But take two minutes and find out who we are:
In short, we're pissed off about always being blamed for everything. Blaming a teacher isn't going to fill a kid's belly. Blaming a teacher isn't going to fix the leaky roof, or get required textbooks.
So, we march. But what are we marching FOR? What are our demands?
1. End all Federal support for the Common Core State StandardsYes, it's ambitious. But it's the RIGHT thing to do.
2. End all Federal grants that require teacher and school ratings based on student test scores. END HIGH STAKES TESTING.
3. End Federal incentives to close and privatize public schools; HALT expansion of corporate charters.
4. INSIST on high quality TEACHER-DEVELOPED curriculum based upon knowledge of child development RATHER than narrow, top-down, test-based standards
5. Replace Arne Duncan with a lifetime public educator and require that veteran public educators have majority representation on education committees.
6. Promote EQUITY and adequate funding of ALL public schools for ALL students; With appropriate class size for ALL students.
7. BAN ALL DATA SHARING *without parental consent, and school district permission, with FULL DISCLOSURE about collection and sharing for informed consent.
8. Require ALL publicly funded schools to operate with ACCOUNTABILITY and TRANSPARENCY; Protect the Free Speech Rights of Teachers, Principals, Students, and Parents.
9. End ties to Teach For America and support mentoring for new teachers as CAREER professionals.
10. Restore the rights of children with special needs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and protect the needs of English Language Learners.
Below is a schedule of what will be happening. Add the Newark Student Union to the list of speakers tomorrow.
Even the words to DESCRIBE education have changed. They used to be words like "cultivate", "nurture", "grow" and organic words. Now they're "invest", "product", and corporate and business words. Our children are not products or assets. They are CHILDREN.
Join us tomorrow. Follow the livestream link in the top picture.
Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM PT: Today at the rally, we had a meeting with Arne Duncan himself! Stay tuned for a diary on this.