Wednesday, February 18, 2015

If Not Us, Then Who?

Phyllis Bush spoke at the Rally for Ritz in the Indiana Statehouse, Indianapolis, Indiana, on February 16, 2015.

If Not Us, Then Who?
How many of you have found yourself repeating this famous phrase from the movie Network?

I’m mad as hell and I am not going to take this any more.

If I were to print out all of the emails and letters that I have written and all of the robo-replies I have received, I am sure that I could paper a path between the State House and Fort Wayne.

While the politicians and reformers have framed the narrative that it is all about Glenda Ritz—who is, after all, just a librarian, this is much, much larger than that.

Why are these people so threatened by one woman that they are pulling out all of the stops to marginalize her and to eviscerate her authority?

What, may we ask, is this really about?

Is this about further crushing teachers’ unions and getting rid of career teachers, or is this simply a way of setting up public education for failure so that there is a good excuse for turning public schools into private or charter money making machines?

Are you sick and tired of all of this? Well, I am!

I am sick and tired of being marginalized and disenfranchised. When they disrespect Superintendent Ritz , they disrespect us!

I am sick and tired of trying to find common ground with people who continue to obstruct and ignore.
I am sick and tired of non-educators deciding education policy and of education committees being chaired by a florist and an auctioneer.
I am sick and tired of seeing what all of these wrong-headed policies are doing to our kids, to our grandkids, to our teachers, and to our communities.

I am sick and tired of the harm being wrought upon the children of Indiana by the House, by the Senate, and by our governor.

Let’s take a look at the more odious bills being considered now:
  • SB1 –removing Ritz as chair of the SBOE
  • SB500- more deregulation
  • HB1009 -Freedom to Teach is aTrojan horse without oversight
  • SB470 – lets choice schools replace ISTEP with an assessment of their own choice—like choosing your own adventure.
Why should school choice parents have choices while public school parents have none?

In both houses of the General Assembly there are multiple bills whose apparent intent is to destroy public education.

There are bills which strip Glenda Ritz of her elected authority, bills which continue to perpetuate the myth of failing schools by assigning grades, bills which attach a teacher's evaluation and pay to student test scores, bills which expand vouchers and charter schools and make the playing field more unlevel.

How many of you are tired of this?

Are you mad as hell?

We are witnessing the dismantling and privatization of public education.

We are witnessing the dismantling of democracy. 

Will you stand by and watch this runaway train, or will you speak out and do something?

In the words of civil rights leader, Rep.John Lewis:
If not us, then who? If not now, then when?


1 comment:

kjoe said...

Should I be madder than hell at Hillary Clinton, or should I hold out some hope that she might be hearing some of this?