#StopESEA @NEAToday @AFTunion @BadassTeachersA Do Not Endorse This Reauthorization, Very Bad For Teachers

To the members of the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teacher, and the Badass Teachers Association:

I know many of you are torn over the latest edition of the Elementary/Secondary Education Act reauthorization.  It looks great on the surface.  But embedded within are numerous “easter eggs” designed to steal your jobs right out from under you.  It won’t happen tomorrow.  It won’t happen a month from now.  This is the long con.  This bill will eventually replace the jobs you rightfully deserve, and will put data facilitators in your place.  Students will be plugged into their personalized learning modules, striving to pass their current unit standardized assessment.  K-12 will become a thing of the past.  The need for teacher instruction will be gone.  I’m going to take a wild guess that most of you don’t see this as a great leap forward in your profession.  So I have to ask, why are the leaders of the NEA and AFT urging members to endorse this reauthorization?  Why are they considering this the great change that will bring back the respect and standing you have lost over the years?  Start at your local level and bring it all the way up the food chain straight to NEA President Lily Eskelen Garcia and AFT President Randi Weingarten.  Let your locals know you are not happy with this.  The devil is in the details, and while many of you are glad teacher evaluations are being looked at in different lights, do not think for one second that the entire profession of teaching as you know it is not in serious jeopardy.  And I would urge Garcia and Weingarten to look out for their members and not play politics with so much at stake.  Our children’s teachers deserve better than this bill, and I think you both know this.

To the Badass Teachers: you are all awesome and I love your dedication to education!  Don’t change a thing about what you do, but do not endorse this horrible legislation!

An Interview With The Magnificent Melissa Katz! “The Start Of An Educational Revolution”

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Every once in a while, someone pops up on the blogosphere and makes a deep impression with people.  For the New Jersey blogs, that person is Melissa Katz.  I wrote about Melissa last month when I saw one of her articles re-tweeted all over the place.  I read it and I was amazed!  For someone so young to have so much insight into the reality of education today is something special.  I had the opportunity to interview Melissa recently, and I welcome you to get to know an amazing young woman who has impressed not only many of her fellow citizens in New Jersey, but also America.  Melissa is the voice of the future, in my opinion, for what education should be.  In between her studies, activism and friends, Melissa also writes a blog called The Educational Activist: From Student To Teacher.

Exceptional Delaware: What made you decide to become a teacher?

Melissa: I always loved school. But more than that, I always loved learning, which in many cases is lost in school due to the current test-and-punish tactics. I would spend my free time playing teacher and Continue reading