Friday, November 4, 2016

The Badass Teachers Association
MARLA KILFOYLE, Executive Director BATs
MELISSA TOMLINSON, Asst. Executive Director BATs

BATs - The Next Secretary of Education

The Badass Teachers Association, a network of over 80,000 teachers and education activists throughout the United States, demand the next Secretary of Education be someone who has a clear vision of support for public education, understands clearly the importance of equity, and will set the education of our children back on the right track.

For over ten years this country, our schools, and our children have had to endure education secretaries who have had only one agenda - the attempt to privatize public education in this country.  Arne Duncan, and now John King, will have as their legacy the initiation of some of the most disastrous education policies in education history.  Our children, our communities, and our schools will not be able to withstand another Secretary of Education who is blind to the impact that privatization has had on communities, children, and families.

“The next Secretary of Education must be an experienced classroom teacher with 5 or more years and must have an earned at least two degrees in teacher education. We cannot allow those who have never played the sport to lead the field. Improving public education begins with utilizing the experience of actual teachers to develop policy and programs that address the real issues.” ~Dr. Denisha Jones, BAT Board of Director Member

“Our next Secretary of Education must recognize that a teacher's work environment is a student's learning environment. When teachers are marginalized, so are their students, and those marginalized children are the future of our nation.” ~Jamy Brice-Hyde, Director BATs Quality of Worklife Team

“We need a Secretary of Education who 1) Respects the Constitutional limits of the job, 2) pushes for more federal funding for public schools, 3) encourages states to enact accountability measures that have nothing to do with standardized tests, 4) stops federal funding to charter schools, Teach for America and Common Core and 5) increases teacher autonomy, respect, pay and training.” ~ Steven Singer, Director of BATs Blogging/Research

The BATs Board of Directors has a few names for this important position.  Here they are in alphabetical order:
➤Dr. Julian Vasquez-Heilig - Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Director, Doctorate in Educational Leadership, California State University, Sacramento, California.
➤Michael Matsuda - Superintendent Anaheim Union Free School District, California
➤Dr. Barbara Nevergold - Board of Education Trustee,  Buffalo, New York.
➤Dr. Diane Ravitch - Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education.  Assistant Secretary of Education 1991-1993.  New York.
➤Dr. Betty Rosa - Chancellor of the Board of Regents, New York.
➤Dr. Lauren Wells - Former chief education officer for Ras Baraka, New Jersey
➤Dr. Yohuru Williams - Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University and former chief historian of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Connecticut

From October 1st  through October 13th members of the BAT Board of Directors surveyed our network.  Here were the most popular choices: Diane Ravitch, Carol Burris, Linda Darling-Hammond, Stephen Krashen, Karen Lewis, Bernie Sanders, Jonathan Kozol, and Pedro Noguera.

As BAT Co-Director of State Administrators stated about the qualities that the next Secretary should have:  “Respect teachers as professionals and students as individuals. Stop pretending that inequity in resources can produce equity in outcomes. Eliminate racist institutional structures in our schools.”

Our children, our communities, our schools, and our teachers need a strong advocate for equity and equality in public education.  We do not need, and will not accept, an Education Secretary who supports corporate education monopolies or billionaires who have financed the attack on our public schools.  In a time when we have ESSA calling for authentic stakeholder involvement, we will not accept an Education Secretary that supports the Pearson monopoly, or caters to Bill Gates and others with a continuing education agenda that is tested upon other people's children.  The next Secretary of Education must make his or her top priority equitable resourcing of our schools and supporting public education, not privatization.


After you read our press release please send a letter to Senator Alexander and Senator Murray telling them to STOP JOHN KING from implementing ESSA! Let's wait for the next Sec. of Education to do this!

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