“Remember that fear is natural, but there is greater fear in knowing what will happen if we don’t take a stand.”
– Jia Lee
Special Education teacher Jia Lee took some time out of her busy schedule last Saturday to talk to War Report about her experience testifying in front of the Senate Education Committee in DC on January 21, 2015. During her testimony, Lee called for her fellow teachers to be “teachers of conscience” and join her in refusing to administer detrimental high stakes tests to students. Lee’s bravery and dedication to her students is inspiring.
“As people start to awaken and see that we can no longer keep our heads down, I believe that people will force democratic decision making through a variety of means: opting out/refusal, legislatively and changing how we engage around issues of public education. Even if the federal government reauthorizes ESEA with the same or similar testing mandates, teachers, parents, students and concerned community members are learning that this can’t work. While we opt out and refuse compliance to the standardization of our communities, we will start to see people engaged in highlighting our vision for public education.”
What do you think of the stand taken by Jia Lee and other teachers of conscience?
“Last night, the communications subcommittee of the MNPS school board discussed a policy that would give school board representatives the ability to use the district’s communication infrastructure (e.g., robocalls, etc.) to communicate directly and effectively with constituents. Three school board members–Elissa Kim, Tyese Hunter, & Sharon Gentry–inexplicably voiced opposition to this policy. (See below for a copy of the policy.) The only reasons I can see for them opposing this is they, 1) don’t believe elected officials should communicate with their constituents, and/or 2) don’t like the board member proposing the policy, so they are objecting for personal reasons. Whatever their reason/s for objecting, I find an elected official’s desire to limit communication with constituents very disturbing. I urge you to email these school board members and tell them you want your school board member to have access to every possible communication method so he/she can effectively communicate with her/his constituents. Their email addresses are as follows: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Their twitter handles are @hunter4schools and @kimfornashville. Please share this post on your page too. Thank you! (This policy will likely come up for a vote at the next board meeting.)”
Filmmaker Michael Elliot documents Special Education Teacher, Jia Lee from the Earth School in NYC, who was invited to give testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, to discuss the re-authorization of No Child Left Behind.
Will you raise your voice and Speak Truth to Power? Will you join Mark Naison and commit the acts of civil disobedience that MUST take place in order for change to occur? I will join him in solidarity. Who else will heed his call??
Revolution is right around the corner.
“Everything is such a nightmare – teacher prep programs being taken over by the feds; school counseling being privatized; GED being made impossible to pass; and it is just one thing after another – definitely DISRUPTION and DESTRUCTION at its peek—- and while it is all happening, the children are crying and tearing out their hair, and succombing to docility.” – Jo Lieb
“I have little confidence in those who are using their power to reshape the teaching profession, whatever point in the political spectrum they come from. And I am not too confident that parents, students and teachers have the power to overturn the apple cart and create and support public schools that place student needs and aptitudes above data gathering, social engineering, and meeting the needs of future employers. But what I can do, as one person, and I am doing, is trying to teach better than ever. To wake up in the middle of the night thinking– what can I do to inspire my students and get them to identify with the material, make it their own, and speak and write about it in THEIR voice? It’s not much. But it is something. And it is better than giving up.”- Mark Naison 1/17/15
Fresh Takes on Who Should be the Voices for Public Education:
I wonder what percentage of the 19 Civil Rights groups who signed on to the National Testing Statement
A. Received grants from the Gates Foundation.
B. Are headed by lawyers.
I am willing to bet a large amount that none of them are led by a public school teacher.