Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Melissa Tomlinson's "Rosa Parks" Moment

This is an amazing moment in the history of Public Education discourse. Our own Melissa Tomlinson, a long time public school teacher from New Jersey known to all BATS as "Love Light" has engineered a media breakthrough of unimaginable proportions. Not only has her story of being bullied by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie been on numerous national media outlets, not only did she present her side of the conflict with great eloquence on the Ed Show, but her letter to Governor Christie has, of this moment, registered 115,500 views on my blog and is being posted on a growing number of education websites.

Think about what just happened. A public school teacher, with no name recognition and no official position has, through courage and force of intellect, made herself a major figure in public discourse about education policy. This is something which, to my knowledge, has almost never taken place in recent years. A representative of the one group who has been excluded from policy discussions about education has crashed the policy makers party. And done so with grace, dignity and  eloquence. What she has done reminds me of what the great Rosa Parks did in Montgomery Alabama nearly sixty years ago. Though she was not arrested for her actions,  she demonstrated her clear moral superiority to the powerful official  who tried to silence her and became a symbol of resistance to thousands, perhaps millions, of others in her position.

I feel proud to have known and worked with Melissa Tomlinson. And so proud of everyone who has made the group she is part of such a force on the national scene

This is a huge breakthrough for  every teacher in the country whose voice has been silenced and  whose competence and right to speak on the issues of the day has been mocked

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