Students and teachers are about to head back into the schoolhouses and will be met with the reality that the witch-hunt in public education is well underway. The Governor and Chancellor have released their plans to fire 10% of teachers in NY. Their strategy is to undermine local control to manipulate the teacher evaluation system and carry out the demands of billionaire hedge fund traders. These same fund traders financed Cuomo’s run for Governor with 4 million dollars. In return, they want to take over our schools.
So what are parents, teachers, and students to do? Do we feed into this system of fear and allow it to dominate our classrooms, faculty rooms, playgrounds and dining rooms? Do we allow our children to be reduced to data points on the machine set to destroy their education? Do we put our faith in the hands of the same corporations that bankrupted our entire nation and set us spinning into a recession that we still have not recovered from? Do we remain passive hoping for someone else to save public education?
Instead of cowering in fear and isolation we must stand united and empower each other. Classrooms must not be ruled by fear, but be guided by compassion. Where the corporate reforms and their Governor see failure, we must see an unwavering belief in the promise of our students, teachers, and parents. While the threats the reformers make are very much real, they are promoting a blind faith education policy that is crumbling by the second. It is time we knock it down. Do not be passive. Voice your thoughts and concerns, because the concerns are real and the impact of firing 10% of our teachers is too monstrous and punitive to ignore.
We did not put green laces in our shoes, green looms on our wrists, and green lanyards around our necks because we hoped we would win. We put them on as a bold and impossible to ignore reminder of why we will win. We will win for our children, our schools, our teachers, and our communities. As one…