Indiana’s love affair with so-called school reform is cooling. Serious cracks are showing in the relationship between lawmakers and anti-labor, pro-privatization forces that have fueled the so-called reform with millions in campaign contributions.... Fort Wayne Journal-GazetteFor the last decade we have been attacked as status quoers by the deformers, which was so funny given that some of us have been fighting the status quo since the early 70s. Joel Klein couldn't get a sentence out with resorting to the mentioning the old SQ while establishing the new SQ. But given that ed deform has been actively been pushed since Chicago, 1994, the deformers are now the SQ and real reformers have been on the counter attack, with new organizations springing up all over the place.
The signs of reform pushback come as no surprise to Phyllis Bush, who retired from South Side High School as an English teacher and department chair in 1999. She became a vocal critic of the school reform movement about two years ago after attending a town hall meeting by an area legislator who seemed to know little about the bills being pushed on schools and instead deferred to one of Bennett’s assistant superintendents to respond.We (our GEM group - Julie, Brian, Lisa D, Lisa N, Gloria, Khem, Alev) met Phyllis Bush when she attended the workshop we presented at that SOS event in DC in July 2011 where they showed our movie. Phyllis went home to help organize the Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education --- and told us she was using our movie as an education and organizing tool -- and has accomplished a hell of a lot in less than 2 years. Defeating the slimy Tony Bennett as state ed commissioner with Glenda Ritz, a candidate opposed to ed deform -- in Indiana, yet, is a MAJOR victory for all of us.
“A roomful of teachers asked some pretty good questions about charters and vouchers,” Bush said. “I was completely appalled by his smugness.”
After attending a Washington rally for public schools, she mobilized a group of Fort Wayne residents to establish the Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education. Energized by education historian Diane Ravitch’s appearances in Bloomington and at IPFW’s Omnibus Lecture, the group jumped in to help elect a new state superintendent. Since Ritz’s election night upset, they have continued to monitor so-called reform measures and kept up a relentless letter-writing campaign.
Yes, it takes individuals to act -- educate, organize, mobilize -- and retired teachers who stood up to ed deform have the knowledge and time to take on these roles.
Hey, how about calling for an election for NY State Ed Comm so we can get rid of John King? I know people worry about the money that comes into an election but Indiana of all places proves we can defeat the deformers even with all their money. Bennett was one of the deform stars that Phyllis and crew helped shoot down.
I wrote a post on worm turning back in Dec. '12:
Anthony Cody is in the forefront of the NPE. Note the ref to New Zealand, which I visited in Dec. 2011 and had some social media contact with an educator who wanted to see our film (we got a nice donation from the NZ teachers assoc to support the film.)
By the way -- if you haven't watched our film or shared it with your colleagues, help break the UFT boycott just click the tab at the top of this blog.