|I know, I look tired and hungry.|
I fasted during testing in 2003 to protest the high stakes testing and punitive measures of No Child Left Behind. I blamed Bush for NCLB, but as congress revamps the bill this week, most democrats, even the most progressive, continue to support the "accountability measures" that corporate education reformers use to foster distrust in our public schools, shut down campuses like Dyett, and privatize our public education system.
With deep pockets in The Gates Foundation and Walmart's Walton family, the reform movement's attack on teachers and students can feel too big to fight, but we are fighting back. We will not surrender our classrooms. Communities like Dyett are fighting back. Representatives like Mark Takano, a former teacher and public education advocate, are fighting back. Our unions who represent our teachers are fighting back. Our parents who send their students to us and trust their public schools are fighting back. We will continue to fight against the failing school narrative and show that our teachers are teaching, our students are learning and despite what they throw at us this is happening at schools everywhere.
Today I fast, but I also teach. Then, I go home and get my little ones to bed. With an empty belly, I write this hoping that when my kids are ready to attend our neighborhood school, it is still there. I hope the attacks will cease, that our schools will be fully funded and filled with joy and music and play and sport alongside the academics. I hope our schools have all they need, in my neighborhood, in South Los Angeles, in Chicago, and New Orleans. That is what our families and communities deserve. That is what I fight for it.
For more about my fight for public education, explore these posts:
To Test Prep or Not to Test Prep?
Fighting for Democracy: Some Lessons From Egypt
Testing Season Is Upon Us! But It Doesn't Have to Be...
My Take on Waiting for Superman
Testing Fast Anniversary
Thank You Patriots, Our Public School Parents
The Schools Our Communities Deserve