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Save Our Schools March Activist Spotlight

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pictures by Alain Jehlen

The Save our Schools March, recently held in Washington, DC was a huge success and we have public education activists like you to thank. Check out video and pictures of the event and activists below.

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Regina Richardson, Special Education Instructional Assistant, Arlington Education Association Board, VA

“I’m here because I want to be included with teachers, I want to be part of this. NCLB is leading kids to drop out of school, if they can’t pass the test. Not all kids are on the same level.”

“I wish members of Congress would switch jobs with us for a day. Would they succeed?”

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Vickie Johnson, High School Physics and Science, Lake Winnipesauke, NH

“We need to move away from the culture of fear. Teachers are afraid of being fired because of the testing. So they shut their door. We need to collaborate, we need to say, ‘Yes, we’ve got problems, and we can solve them together.’ We don’t need to be rewarded and threatened. You can’t learn when you’re afraid.”

Tanya Dunbar, Special Education Resource Assistant, Arlington, VA

“I’ve been doing this job for 15 years and NCLB has left children behind. Teachers can’t spend time going over the basic materials.”

“If your school can’t pass, they cut your funding instead of giving you more help. That’s backwards. How many of the children of members of Congress even attend public schools?”

Reader Comments

  1. j

    Though your efforts are commedable, I fear it is not enough. This is not just happening to teachers but police officers, fire fighters, public workers, and others all over the country. Talk to air traffic controllers and they will tell you about what happened to them in1981. If we r to win then we the People must Unite. But, in order to unit, we need one selfless and honest leader. Who will lead the middle, working class? We must unite to fight for the same benefits Congress enjoys: great pension, best and least cost effective life time health insurance, 6 weeks paid vacations in the summer plus December holiday 2 week break and spring break week, a and then say, we the People demand that all campaign and private corporate/wealthy people contributions or gifts or whatever they call it must go back the People in the form if paying our national bedt. That corporations and wealthy making over 500,000/yr will pay their fair share of taxes without any loopholes and so on. This is just not happening to Americans, it is world wide and it seems Luke other countries are doing their state but we continue to work in small fragmented groups. We r one! Who will lead us?

    Reply
  2. Chris

    It is great to see this in order to get hyped before school starts. Thanks to all you teachers and teacher advocates.

    Reply
  3. Shawn Beightol

    On Testing and Evaluating Teachers and Schools

    Public Education is Mortally Sick with Compound and Interacting Conditions.

    Part of the reason Public Education is sick is because the PUBLIC is sick with a cancerous growth and spread of the “entitlement” worldview (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/education/18college.html) and an ever growing addiction to a-muse-ment (etymology “non-thinking”).

    Part of the reason it is sick is because a radical pursuit of capitalistic profiteering which sees EVERY need as a fair killing ground to bloodlet every drop of available capital without ethical concern for the victims, including the public education field.

    Profiteers sacrifice quality and experience of educators for the cheapest labor available and every curricular tool – from book, to software, and accoutrements to buildings/construction and tests (now statewide standardized tests) to the school institutions themselves (being supplanted by for-profit Charter Schools).

    If we were doctors and the education process were the patient, I’d say we’ve stumbled upon a patient with, say, Hantavirus, who has just been in a auto accident suffering massive internal injuries: Without a full and proper diagnosis that addresses all aspects of his condition, he will die. So we set his broken leg? He’s hemorrhaging internally. He’s full of Hantavirus pathogens. Unseen and unaddressed, lost in the gore of broken bones, he dies if full prescription and treatment aren’t rendered.

    So too, Public Schools will die if we continue to mis- or under-diagnose the problems.

    We must address the compound problems afflicting education I describe above to achieve stabilization of our “patient,” Public Education.

    For those who have seen the Guggenheim movie “Waiting for Superman,” it raises important questions regarding some of the symptoms. But beyond this agenda driven movie, I highly recommend that you view the revealing rebuttle movie: “The Inconvenient Truth behind Waiting for Superman” (a play on both movies of Guggenheim) by some New York teachers that is a well needed set of counterpoints and illuminations: http://www.waitingforsupermantruth.org/

    Now, as to the question “how do you measure teacher effectiveness?”, I think several factors must be considered. But before I do, perhaps I can save you some reading time by asking you 2 of my own questions:

    1) How do parents choose a (music, ballet, tennis, etc) teacher for their child for these extra-curricular activities? What measures do they perform?
    2) Why don’t schools and institutions qualify teachers similarly?

    I think the answers to these questions can streamline the pursuit of meaningful teacher evaluation. If you would like to see more on this, go to my blog at http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/2011/08/02/on-testing-and-evaluating-teachers-and-schools/

    Reply

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