Saturday, May 2, 2015

More on Teacher Advocacy and Activism

"Education Is Political. Can Teachers Afford Not to Be?

Congress is at work on the reauthorization of the nation’s top education law. State governments are constantly weighing policies on testing, standards, and curriculum. Districts must enact rules in response to these policies, as well as to address local concerns.
Yet as political as education issues can be, teachers, charged with ultimate execution of new policies, often refrain from viewing themselves as political. Even as some members of the profession rage against tests, or certain teacher-evaluation proposals, or any number of other policies, many don’t want the “political” label.
“[Teachers] want to tell legislators what’s going on, they want legislators to visit their classrooms, they want people to help them have the tools and conditions they need to do their job,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers. “They don’t see that as political, they just see that as part of, ‘Help me do my job.’”
But: Curriculum is political. Standards are political. Testing is political. Funding is political.
Education is political. Can teachers not be?

Teacher Meets Legislature

Every year, Washington plays host to several “legislative advocacy” conferences. They serve as occasions for members of an organizing group to come to the nation’s capital and get training in political advocacy, as well as a chance to talk to lawmakers themselves..."

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