When a country has suffered a Coup D'Etat, as Chile did in the 1970's, or a foreign invasion, as France did during the start of World War II, it takes a while for the population to figure out how to resist. Some collaborate, some passively conform, some pretend compliance and grimly go about their business, some move into active resistance, even at the risk of their lives
While it would be foolish to pretend that what has happened to education in the US in the last ten years has had the same life threatening consequences, it does have many of the elements of a Coup D'Etat. A well financed and highly motivated elite with little or no background in teaching or school administration has seized control of Education Policy in the US, excluding teachers and parents voices, and has imposed a grim test regimen on the nation's public schools that has driven joy and creativity out of our classrooms and made teachers hate their jobs The Common Core Standards, imposed with lightning speed across the country through bribery and intimidation is but the latest example of how School Reformers borrow the ethos and strategy of dictators to impose their policies. Teachers, parents, and students who have had not chance to discuss the standards, much less see them in operation before deciding whether to support them, are presented with a fate d'accompli and told they are undermining national progress if they dare to ask questions, and if they are teachers or principals, told that opposition can cost them their jobs
Well, despite the intimidation, a resistance has emerged, composed of parent opt out groups, anti- testing and anti-Common Core Coalitions, and this group, the Badass Teachers Association. With Common Core now part of professional development for teachers in most school districts, it is time to help the resistance spread. Just letting teachers know there is a group like BATS which thinks current policies are crazy is and important step. We now have a one page document in the files above that you can print out and distribute to colleagues-
BACK TO SCHOOL FOR BATS (2).doc Version History
Please discreetly hand this out to your colleagues and friends. Most will probably not want to join, but knowing there is a resistance of this size and militancy will give them courage and make them feel empowered to resist covertly, in their own classrooms. And who knows, over time, they may join us
But the important thing is to spread the word. Let people know that 26,000 teachers across the country have said "enough is enough" to top down Education Reform and are determined to fight back.
It's not only our jobs that are at stake, it is our students and our children's education, and the future of democracy in this country that are on the line