Sunday, October 5, 2014

By:  Cheryl Gibbs Binkley

An open post to newer members of BATs: I have been seeing a lot of questioning of the "rules of the road" and the stated purposes of BATs lately. So, I wanted to share a little about the path many of us who've been around a while went down to arrive where we are today.
First let me say that BATs is not just any education discussion group or page-- We came into being out of a monumental crisis in education due to some very well endowed profiteers and privatizers who want to dismantle public education as we have known it for the the last 100 years-- those who are more casually known as "education reformers."
Second, by the time we realized the extent and depth of destructiveness reformers intended, how embedded they were in the halls of power, and far they were into their plans, it was almost too late. 15 months ago when we formed, it looked unlikely that we would be able to rescue our schools, our communities, or our jobs.
In those 15 months, through this group and our networking with others, we have changed public opinion among many people about the effectiveness and worthiness of our public schools, and about the wisdom (or lack of) of the reform movement. However, our job is not done, and it has not been easy.
Many of us, just like you, have worked every day in our jobs and in our non-existent spare time educated ourselves about educational policy and behind the scenes politics, worked for our unions and associations, posted, tweeted, lobbied, campaigned, rallied, and shouted from the rooftops the truths about our schools and what they do for our children, our neighborhoods and our nation.
We have done this through exposing those who would destroy us, researching and finding the facts that show our real worth, and binding ourselves to one another and allies who will support us.
Each of us has traveled the road you are on-- from disillusionment about what is going on in our world, to finding the fortitude to challenge the negative things happening in our education system.
If we seem dogmatic, we are. If we seem unyielding, we are. If we seem militant, we are.
If we were not, we would not call ourselves Badass. We hope you are here because you are ready to be Badass too. We welcome you, we support you, and we advocate for you. But be clear we are not willing to compromise on our mission to save our schools. That goal is non-negotiable.

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