Category Archives: General Article
I have had a great interest in learning about other countries since I was in high school. I remember my parents having one of those really big, coffee table books with a lot of photos from around the world. This was in the 1980s, and we just did not have a lot of access to learn about other countries, so seeing photos was really helpful to me. I really like learning about England and Russia. So, I’m both an Anglophile and a Russophile. Recently, I spent some time learning about Baroness Joanna Shields from England. I find these sorts of things fascinating.
My interest in all things British came about from my early naivety that the country of Britain is really no different from my own country. In fact, I thought visiting there would probably be boring because of it.
South District School Board member Carl Paladino is on the record talking about his plan to “disassemble” the Buffalo Public School District. Speaking before the Erie County Legislature’s Community Enrichment Committee, chaired by Legislator Kevin R. Hardwick, Paladino explained how he would dismantle the public schools: “We’re going to open charter schools; we’re going to hopefully help the privates and the Catholics to become better and be able to take more kids. We’re supporting the closing of a number of Buffalo Public Schools and turning them into charters….” He concluded by describing his (their) plan further as “…the game that we’re playing.”
How does it
To have a target
on your back
To have people
in every walk of life
Tell you how to do your
To be hated
All because you
and want to
see their minds
soar and their bodies
move in time
to a music all
BATs is not the same group as it was a year ago. It is far more urban and multiracial and has changed its focus. It is now as concerned with school closings and school privatization as it is with testing and common core and with fending off attacks on teacher tenure and due process. It is also much more explicitly concerned with issues of poverty, racism and social inequality than it was when the group first began. This has been a gradual evolution and many people have left because they are uncomfortable with the change. But history does’t stand still and neither did BATs . Some people may disagree with my analysis. But that is what I think has happened. The group is also far more collective in its leadership and I do NOT call the shots.
1. End all federal support for Common Core Standards.
2. End all federal grants that require teacher and school ratings based on student scores; end high stakes testing.
3. End federal incentives to close and privatize community schools and stop preferring charter schools over public schools.
4. Insist on high quality teacher-developed curriculum based upon knowledge of child development, rather than narrow, top down, test-based standards.
5. Replace Arne Duncan with a lifetime public educator, and require that veteran public educators have majority representation on Education Committees.
6. Promote equity and adequate funding of all public schools for all students; with appropriate class size for all students.
7. Ban all data sharing without parental and school district permission, with full disclosure about collection and sharing for informed consent.
8. Enact legislation that calls for all schools with public funds to operate with transparency and protect the free speech rights of teachers, principals, students and parents.
9. End ties to Teach for America, and support mentoring for new teachers as career professionals.
10. Restore the federal rights of children with special needs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and protect the needs of English language learners.