The Badass Teachers Association (aka the BATs) is proud to honor the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “ I Have a Dream Speech.”
That great movement offered a vision of a nation that would provide freedom and opportunity to all its citizens, and of people of all backgrounds coming together to achieve that goal.
Yet despite great progress and great sacrifice, that dream remains unfulfilled.
It is unfulfilled when more than 25 percent of the children in this country live in
It is unfulfilled when we have over 2 million people in prison in the US, most of them poor, many incarcerated for non-violent crimes.
It is unfulfilled when we have a two tier education system- one filled with art, and music and creative thinking for the children of the rich, and one filled with tests, for everyone else.
It is unfulfilled when hundreds of schools in the nation’s poor communities are closed, and those communities destabilized, over the protests of students, teachers and neighborhood residents.
It is unfulfilled when a handful of billionaires shape education policy, completely excluding teacher voices.
It is unfulfilled when the interests of a few profit making corporations take precedence over the needs of children, resulting in testing policies which put students and families under intolerable stress.
We cannot remain silent or complacent in the face of these injustices.
We, the 25,000 plus BATs, pledge to work tirelessly to improve conditions in the nation’s schools and communities, and to make Dr King’s vision a reality in our time.