“Education Summits” Without Teachers

Whether our leaders are Republican or Democratic, they seem to think Education Policy is too important a subject to allow mere teachers to have a voice in shaping it. These days, the only stakeholders that matter to elected officials are billionaires, large corporations and foundations and education policy groups funded by both. When Barack Obama held an education summit several years ago, no teachers were invited so it is not surprising that Florida Governor Rick Scott is taking the same approach in his state by organizing his summit during school hours. The result is the nightmare we are all living with- K-12 testing and teacher evaluation based on those tests, with added pressures imposed by the full court press for the imposition of Common Core Standards. The Education Coup D’Etat we are facing is the result of people crossing party lines at the top, so we must cross party lines at the grass roots in organizing resistance. The people we are fighting look at teachers, parents and students with paternalistic contempt. We must respond to their contempt with Solidarity and a vision of education rooted in love and respect for teaching, and for the students we teach, in all their variety.