The struggle between corporate ‘reform’ groups taking public schools hostage vs. educators & parents who know what kids need to thrive is at its zenith. Teachers and school staff have systematically been left out of MOST policy changes occurring at every level. We are inching our way each year to a caste system of schools; private schools, charters, and affluent communities supplementing basic education of their own kids….. Meanwhile all public school kids (especially in poor communities) are suffering from standardization of curriculum, new teachers certified only if they've married CCSS and of course hundreds of hours of tests that DO NOT improve authentic learning outcomes. Often our best teachers are punished for choosing to work with students of color, at-risk kids, English language learners, and every other young person who wasn’t born into an affluent family in a high income zip code.
WA has the 47th worst class sizes in the nation, a supreme court who has ruled TWICE that our legislature is in violation of our state constitution for NOT funding education, and hundreds of hugely (privatizing & profitable) 'reforms' that are hurting kids.
Teachers work too long and too hard to be the type of advocates they need to be in this struggle. Our unions are strong (compared to other states) but we are up against the endlessly deep pockets of ALEC, the Koch Bros., AFP, WPC, Freedom Foundation, the Walton Foundation, charter school corporations, Stand for Children, Michelle Rhee, Arne Duncan and many others who seek to make our kids’ school experience reduced to test scores. PARENTS and TEACHERS HAVE FINALLY HAD ENOUGH.
The time is now to take action.
However you are willing to join with us as we fight this tragic iteration of corporate takeover, please do so.
The intent of this BATS protest is to shine a very big light on what is happening in schools. The Gates Foundation is our backdrop (I'm more than happy to expound on WHY we've chosen GF, just ask).
June 26th, starting around 5:00 PM we will be marching from West Lake Park to the corner of Mercer and 5th for speakers to energize the crowd.
Redirect monies spent on corporate style reforms to empower citizens and promote whole child education. Further, we demand that philanthropists and the rest of the 1% pay their fair share for a socially just society.
High stakes tests that are opposed by educators
CCSS, standardizing students & narrowing of curriculum
Corporate takeover of our schools
Treating kids like widgets
Closing schools based on test scores
Ignoring teacher and parent voice on school issues
Profit driven reforms that take money away from classrooms
We are FOR:
Assessment that is fair and supported by teachers
Progressive taxation that benefits learning and teaching
Giving teachers the tools to help every child succeed such as small class sizes, adequate pay, relevant training
Well supported learning support staff
Restoring music, arts, PE, recesses, libraries, counseling, and civics in our schools
Increased parental involvement & shared decision-making in schools
Transparent, democratic school boards
Culturally responsive curriculum
There will be a handful of speakers of national fame-including Anthony Cody & Morna McDermott, a flash mob, an amazing chorus and an opportunity to vocally demand that public education be revitalized as the foundation to a free society that it should be.
Please join us!