Saturday, February 14, 2015

Thank you NEA!

The Leadership team of the Badass Teachers Association released a statement 2 weeks ago regarding Reauthorization of ESEA (http://badassteachers.blogspot.com/…/dear-senator-alexander…). In our letter to Senator Alexander we stated that as practitioners in the classroom, we see daily the detrimental effects that testing and accountability have on our children, families, and communities. We remain concerned that many choose to ignore the prevalent research that shows how poverty and inequality play defining roles in the achievement of our children in school. We made it clear that no matter what tools used in a school - such as grade span testing, accountability, technology, or merit pay, children still walk through the door poor, marginalized, and in need of resources that are becoming increasingly scarce in our schools (specifically our children of color). We strongly stated that neither Option 1 nor Option 2 are solutions to us because they continue to rely on "testing" as a measure in which to gauge the health of a school. Although we support grade span testing, we want to see it used in random sampling which provides statistically valid results with less time, and money, spent on testing. We must move away from the model of Federal control of education and expensive false measures of accountability that in any way ties annual testing to the support a schools need to succeed. We firmly believe that funds needed for children are diverted to profits for testing companies and their products.
In a recent release the National Education Association stated regarding ESEA Reauthorization, “We must reduce the emphasis on standardized tests that have corrupted the quality of the education received by children, especially those in high poverty areas. Parents and educators know that the one-size-fits-all annual federal testing structure has not worked.”
We would like to publicly thank the NEA for standing up against annual testing and against the one-size-fits-all model. We appreciate that they understand that annual testing does not gauge the health of a school and that the money we are wasting on annual testing is taking money away from our children, being used to close schools, and has created an atmosphere of punish and blame that has been thrust upon our schools, children, and teachers. We hope the NEA will continue to fight to ensure every child has the proper resources to succeed, and that every teacher is given the respect and professional autonomy to meet the needs of all children. We hope the NEA will always believe - as we do - that children deserve well-supported schools, teachers, and not standardized tests.


We are asking all BATs to please email messages of support to the NEA Exec Board and NEA Leadership!

NEA Exec Board
Kgilbert@nea.org
gjohnson@nea.org
mkoffman@nea.org
jpowell@nea.org
gsheridan@nea.org
ewiman@nea.org

NEA Leadership
leskelsen@nea.org
bpringle@nea.org
pmoss@nea.org
jstocks@nea.org

1 comment:

  1. I support teachers unions as I do all labor unions because I realize that it is these organizations that have brought us to a point of fair pay and equitable employment. Where unionism is weak the working class suffers. It is the NEA, UFT, AFT and my own union NYSUT that have brought every public school teacher middle class working conditions and a safe environment for our children. We are our communities in so many ways and our unions support and defend these communities and their children. They have my back and more importantly they have the backs of our children with books and so many other ways they support our diverse student bodies. They have made our profession respected and powerful enough for politicians to give us a say until now. Our struggle to keep our profession controlled by the community and responsive to the needs of our children is one that the NEA has joined. Since the start of NCLB policy has brow beaten educators, dumbing down test first so all children can pass and now holding us accountable for college and career ready students with RTTT. It is the mighty NEA that will stand up for your community schools. The will defy wrongheaded political policies that seek to privatize local districts. It is our middle class pay that supports our community services and funds our local economies. I stand with them. I am them.

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