Why Some of Us Need to Be “Crazy” In Fighting for Public Education

As I spend another sleepless night contemplating the results of the recent election, where with rare exceptions enemies of teachers and public education in both parties were swept into office all over the nation, I think of what Diane Ravitch told me at a party last July when BATS was just beginning its meteoric growth. ” Mark, I think BATS should be the “Act Up” of the Education Activist movement.( referring to a super militant wing of the Gay Rights movement). And that means, Mark you have to be crazy.” ” I can do that”, I told Diane with a smile, as my wife Liz grimaced in dismay!
More than a year has passed since that conversation and a lot has changed. The group has nearly 53,000 members and a large number of talented leaders, some of whom are now far more important in steering the group’s direction than I am
But one thing has not changed. The enemies of public education are still arrogant, ruthless, and cannot be stopped by conventional tactics alone. And if someone has to be crazy enough to confront them call them what they are, get in their face and disrupt their activities without fear,or hesitation, it might as well be me.
So don’t worry Diane. I am still on the case. Still crazy. Maybe crazier than ever. And not alone.