FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“A Rally to Educate Gates” Seattle – Washington Badass Teachers Association (WA-BATS) a grassroots group of career educators defending our public education system from private interest groups is holding a public rally on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at Westlake Park, 401 Pine St, Seattle. The rally begins at 5:00 p.m. The public is encouraged and welcome to attend. The average citizen is unaware of who is controlling the direction of our future. This event is a first step to draw attention to the issues at play and to galvanize a coalition of supporters for a NEXT direct action to reposition teacher experts, not business leaders, as the voice of education transformation.
The first 45 minutes of the rally will feature speakers including Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and UW Associate Professor Wayne Au. The rally’s attendees will then march to the corner of 5th Avenue North and Mercer where additional speakers, Anthony Cody and Morna McDermott, will speak on how the Gates Foundation is influencing public policy in undemocratic ways, ignoring and suppressing teacher and parent voices as they push forward their corporate style agenda. A flash mob is expected to perform during the event as well as a chorus that will lead songs with positive education themes. The 5th Ave N street closure will end at 7:00 p.m.
WA-BATS refuse to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality and refuse to accept tests and evaluations imposed by those who have contempt for authentic teaching and learning.
WA BATS demand that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation divest from their education agenda which includes: Over Testing, Race To The Top, Teach For America, Ignoring Poverty, Class Size Increases, Charter Schools, Big Data-Piracy or Sharing, Union Busting, Narrowing Curriculum, Ignoring Parent Voice, Value Added Measures, Appointed School Boards, Privatizing Public Schools, Replacing Teachers With Screens, For-profit Business Model Policy, Tying Funding to Test Scores, Outsourcing to Private Vendors, Treating Kids Like Widgets, High Stakes Testing & Common Core State Standards.
Rally Attendees Say YES TO: Parent & Educator Voice! Creativity! Small Class Sizes! Civics! Science! Music! Art! Drama! Physical Education! Parent Involvement! Libraries! Counselors! Experienced Teachers! Learning Through Play! Project Based Learning! Learning Support Staff! Adequate Compensation! Democratic Governance of Schools! Relevant Educator Training! Less Testing and More Learning! Transparent Decision Making! Equitable Funding For Every Child! Recognizing Each Student’s Potential! Culturally & Developmentally Responsive Curriculum! “
In 2014 political power resides in monetary wealth and public policy is being determined by the mega-rich not the expert practicioner-in many professions. No one is asking teachers what schools need. Teachers are told that they don’t have high enough expectations for kids. This is ludicrous. Our governing system is becoming undemocratic but worse it IS harming children who need a wholistic classroom experience beyond test scores. The Gates Foundation must accept that teachers are more than software; that learning is individualized; and that education is a public endeavor. Excellent public schools are the cornerstone of a free society: big money is buying the education agenda. People must stand up to this oligarchical shift and reclaim public schools with the whole child at the center. Business reformers need to spread their expertise in places where they know what they are talking about. Teachers are experts when it comes to student learning. Ask us what kids need to thrive and learn. We are happy to tell you.”
– Julianna Dauble, Renton teacher and Rally Organizer
For more information about WA-BATS, visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1378337475716232/ Contact: Julianna Dauble, (206) 856-1357, email firstname.lastname@example.org