Tuesday, April 5, 2016

#WhatMOREdoes: Supports Opt-Out Which Defends Teachers Against Ed Deform Onslaught

MORE was far ahead of the curve in linking the battle over high stakes, connecting opt-out to the assault on teachers while Unity Caucus plays footsie with Farina, Elia and a host of ed deformers.

One MORE reason to VOTE MORE:

One of the keys to building a powerful union is building strong alliances. Even pre-MORE, some founders, as members of ICE and GEM, helped start the opt-out movement through organizing with other teachers about the impact of testing and that began to attract parents who quickly took over the testing information program that then morphed into the opt-out movement through Change the Stakes, an offshoot of GEM. MORE teachers who are also parents played a dual role by opting their own children out of tests.

The film we made through GEM, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman,  is considered one of the first shots fired back against the ed deform movement.

Thus MORE which emerged out of GEM has its basic roots in the battle against high stakes testing and the formation of the opt-out movement.

MORE teachers realized was that high stakes testing was the major weapon of ed deform to attack teachers and close down their schools in favor of charters which leads to loss of jobs and the creation of the ATR crisis.

If you don't believe it just see the reactions of the ed deform supporting press and the astro-turf organizations like Students First which actually got an appearance yesterday on the Brian Lehrer show posing as a grassroots group of parents supporting the tests. Brian barely challenged her claims.

The link of test scores to teacher performance was a big wake-up call to the rank and file - and Unity Caucus is still selling that link as a better way to fight unfettered principal power which causes everyone to scratch their heads since Unity Caucus played a big role in handing over this power to principals in the first place.

Thus, the reality is that MORE was far ahead of the curve in linking the battle over high stakes, supporting opt-out to the assault on teachers while Unity Caucus plays footsie with Farina, Elia and a host of ed deformers.

Below is the MORE statement released this morning - and when asked "what does MORE do?" this is just one item in a list of many to come.
MORE Supports Opt-Out

The members of the Movement and Rank and File Educators (MORE-UFT) stand in solidarity with and support the students, parents and fellow educators who are taking a stand against the tools being used to destroy public education.

By standing together against the interests of corporate driven education reforms, whose sole purpose is for profit, we are creating a vision for the kinds of schools our students deserve. The opt out movement is speaking loud and clear against the systematic ranking and sorting of our students, teachers and schools.

By denying the data, communities are standing up for educators to be able to teach to the whole child, to respect and attend to the rich diversity of student interests and ways of learning and to teach in culturally relevant and developmentally appropriate ways.
We are grateful to the principled actions of so many who are organizing and working to protect the professional autonomy of educators so that our students can thrive.

“To educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn. That learning process comes easiest to those of us who teach who also believe that there is an aspect of our vocation that is sacred; who believe that our work is not merely to share information but to share in the intellectual and spiritual growth of our students. To teach in a manner that respects and cares for the souls of our students is essential if we are to provide the necessary conditions where learning can most deeply and intimately begin” (Bell Hooks 1994)

We are keenly aware of how our teaching conditions are inextricably linked to our students’ learning conditions. We will continue to work alongside our school communities to fight for the schools our children deserve.

On May 5th ballots for UFT officers will be sent to your house. MORE has supported educators who speak out against testing, refuse to administer these tests, and those that opt-out their own children. We have opposed Common Core from the moment it was forced upon teachers without our consent. UFT President Michael Mulgrew and his Unity caucus have not offered any support to educators and parents opting out of testing, refused to endorse resolutions calling for an end to high stakes testing, and have been staunch defenders of Common Core.

Our Presidential candidate Jia Lee, Chapter Leader of The Earth School was quoted in this article in the NY Post
‘Opt out:’ Teachers email parents to boycott Common Core tests

1 comment:

  1. YES. When teachers and unions truly grasp the fact that any and all aspects of our nation's obsession with standardized testing are simply tools now being used to eliminate teaching jobs, they will surely fight back. It is a wonderful thing to see those who organize this movement getting more traction!

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