A READER WEIGHS IN
Here’s a great comment a reader posted on a piece from last November titled, “A Climate of Fear in Education Threatens the Liberty of All Americans.”
I was impressed by his viewpoint, and I felt like his view warranted a page of its own. I have simply copy/pasted it onto this page. Every word is his.
I am a New Yorker, so circumstances are much different when it comes to teacher activism … BUT even those states with intact unions have seen their unions leaders act in self-serving ways … and increasingly ignore the rank and file.
It’s easy to force compliance in many southern states because there are no unions of significance. But the reformers have found more than enough tactics to impact teachers in heavily unionized states.
Secretary King … like the previous education czar … rules with impunity … meting out punishments as he see fit … all part of the coercion to stuff Common Core and the attending poisons down the throats of a schools across the nation.
I see that the opt out movement has had some successes down south … but even here … in the north … where the movement was born … the effort has not curbed Mr. King or the reform zealots. He is now hell-bent on a punishment regime designed to exact compliance from the least complying schools. I proposed this … just yesterday.
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
~ Winston Churchill ~
We are not winning. Admit it.
If we let this political season escape us and allow this reform to become a back-seat issue … we become the fools. And we deserve that tattoo.
The Opt-Out movement has served us very well. It’s the first effort that stitched resisting states together in united opposition against Common Core’s high stakes’ testing. We owe those leaders great gratitude.
But now we need to add to our resistance repertoire … and we need to seize a special circumstance that will not last long.
We’re being smiled and nodded to death. Painted in nonsense words and soaped in foggy promises by political operatives who think us unserious and even peevish. And we are … because we seem easily soothed.
Common Core cannot be conquered by a three-week skirmish each spring. This resistance needs to remain nimble and opportunistic.
This is the current reality.
John King smirks us and treats as an after-thought while he retools our schools, experiments on our children, and ignores us. He’s loathe to even mention the Opt-Out effort save for when he speaks of punishing schools for resisting his edicts.
We must become more aggressive. And we had better do it quickly because the federal government is casting a larger shadow every day.
Teachers have been declawed, parents dismissed, school leaders deceived … and the public is largely disengaged. Warriors in this effort are painted as amusing renegades, wayward anti-reformists … progress-blockers who are more a nuisance than anything else.
And now King has proposed the coup de grace … the death blow … for the Opt-Out effort. Many schools will buckle under his threats … and our resistance may become crippled.
If I were King, I’d do the same. He doesn’t fear us … he mocks us.
King’s death-star for public education is nearly complete. If this issue becomes a back-bench concern for the major political players during this exciting election season … well, our time is up. And we will have lost.
We need drama. BIG drama! Right now.
Something that rises above the usual headline noise. And we need it in the next 8 weeks … NOT NEXT SPRING.
We need to empty the schools … nation-wide … this fall. For a day or two or three.
We need to capture the candidates … and the media … and make them want to inspect our issues. The optics of a school walk-out will demand attention … it’s serious attention we lack.
Now we can talk ourselves out of this bold action … and reason away the best opportunity we’re likely to ever have … or … or we can spine-up and do what warriors do and make mayhem. Make people listen. And worry. And respond. To us.
Or we can pretend a bit longer that we are who we are not … and search for words to explain an ugly future to our children.
Now is the moment. We can be bold … or we can go home.
Well put, Mr. Ian. Thank you.
Anyone else have anything to say? Anonymity is always assured when requested.