Wally Walstrom and I have been editing videos today, that we hope to put up on the internet. The union asked teachers to send photographs of what they would like to “take back” in education, and they spotted subs for Wally and I.
I look at all of the hundreds of photographs of teachers who sent something in, people who have some fight left in them. People who will not quietly pass the torch of public education to corporations. Why not? Because when the bottom line is money rather than education, you get these CEO’s and politicians that are looking for tickets. But when you finally discover that you want people who will throw their whole selves at educating the public because they choose the intrinsic value of human life, and the potential of others, over what they themselves could have pocketed, then at last you will understand what a teacher is. These are the faces I look at now.
I have a great sense of humility about this. I have no illusions that this slapped together work on my part today will live up to your work, but I hope the general public, in just seeing your faces, will remember with their vote at the next gubernatorial election. Would that our leaders could have half the dedication and even a small amount of understanding or experience in education, that any of you do.
Hang in there. Keep your gloves on. Tonight at the APS board meeting the procedure for opting out of the test is on the agenda. This will hit people in their pocketbooks. Not just the publishers, the governor, but also all of the people in education whose schools will be downgraded. Merit pay will be attached to those tests not taken, because when I say “merit” I mean “test score”. Our true merits come in the lives lived out by the people we have taught, rather than the bubbles they have filled in.
Brace. Now is the winter of our discontent.