Saving Public Education and Democracy—teachers, parents and children, you are not alone

03 May

Do not let Corporate Education Reformers like Michelle Rhee, David Coleman, Bill Gates, the Walton family and Arne Duncan eat our children for a profit. The resistance to save the transparent, nonprofit, democratic public schools in the United States survives, thrives and grows daily. And regardless of what you might hear in the media, the teachers’ unions did not start this movement or fund it.

1: The movement started in earnest with Diane Ravitch (find her blog here). She was appointed to public office by Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She served as Assistant Secretary of Education under Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander from 1991 to 1993 and his successor Richard Riley appointed her to serve as a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which supervises the National Assessment of Educational Progress; she was a member of NAGB from 1997 to 2004. From 1995 to 2005 she held the Brown Chair in Education Studies at the Brookings Institute.

2: The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial.

3: United Opt Out: The Movement to End Corporate Education Reform—The central mission of United Opt Out is to eliminate the threat of high-stakes testing in public K-12 education. We believe that high-stakes testing is destructive to children, educators, communities, the quality of instruction in classrooms, equity in schooling, and the fundamental democratic principles on which this country is based.

4Badass Teachers Association: We are a community of teachers, professors, and educators running from Kindergarten all the way to University. We are also parents, your neighbors, and your friends. We are members of your community, and we care deeply about that community. We have come together to push back against so-called corporate education reform, or the Educational-Industrial Complex and the damage it has done to students, schools, teachers, and communities.

5: The first national conference of the Network for Public Education (NPE) was held at The University of Texas at Austin on March 1 and 2 in 2014, and about 400 people attended. About 600 people attended the second annual conference of the NPE held in Chicago on April 25 and 26, 2015.

6: Momma Bears: Someone jokingly called one of us a “Momma Bear” for having the courage to stand up against politicians to defend our children’s public schools. We realized that’s what we were!  Since then, we’ve met many other people who didn’t realize they were Momma Bears, but they are.

Momma Bears defend and support children and public schools.  Momma Bears realize that quality public education is a right for every child.  There are greedy corporations and politicians eager to destroy and profit from our American public school system and vulnerable children.  Momma Bears are united in defending and protecting our young and their future from these threats.

7. USAS: Public education is under attack.Corporate-backed behemoths like the Walton (Walmart) and Fisher (Gap Inc) foundations are pouring millions into manufacturing a new pro-corporate education reform consensus on our campuses, propping up groups like Teach for AmericaStudents for Education Reform, and countless sponsored academic research programs. Their goal? To privatize our public education system, turning over a major public good into private hands, in the process smashing the only organized force that has dared to stand up to them: teachers’ unions.

United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) is a grassroots organization run entirely by youth and students. We develop youth leadership and run strategic student-labor solidarity campaigns with the goal of building sustainable power for working people. We define “sweatshop” broadly and consider all struggles against the daily abuses of the global economic system to be a struggle against sweatshops.

8: EduBloggers: The Education Bloggers Network is an informal confederation of more than 200 education reporters, advocacy journalists, investigative bloggers, and commentators.  Members of the Education Bloggers Network are dedicated to providing parents, teachers, public education advocates and the public with the truth about public education in the United States and the efforts of the corporate education reform industry.

9: Students Against Testing: Students Against Testing was created to be a strong force against the score-obsessed education machine known as standardized testing. At the same time, SAT also exists as an advocate for bringing positive, creative and real-life learning activities into the schools. SAT believes that for the reasons stated below urgent action from the student body itself is the most direct way to counteract the boredom and petty competition that currently plagues the schools.

10. Parents Across America (PAA): Parents Across America is committed to bringing the voice of public school parents – and common sense – to local, state and national debates.

PAA was founded by a group of parents active in their communities who recognized the need to collaborate for positive change rather than remain isolated in local battles. Since the top-down forces that are imposing their will on our schools have become national in scope, we need to be as well.


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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9 responses to “Saving Public Education and Democracy—teachers, parents and children, you are not alone

  1. drext727

    May 3, 2015 at 18:47

  2. educationunderattack

    May 4, 2015 at 04:27

    Thanks for the list of those all working together toward a similar cause.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      May 4, 2015 at 08:37

      You’re welcome. Any suggestions that might be worth adding to the list? In this list, I don’t want to focus on individual Blogs but on grassroots groups.

  3. VanessaVaile

    May 4, 2015 at 07:19

    Reblogged this on Vanessa's Blogueria.

  4. VanessaVaile

    May 4, 2015 at 07:25

    Good list Lloyd ~ I shared it to my local and personal network instead of the adjunct / academic labor since that is where more parents are — plus we need to reach beyond the educator networks whenever possible. Besides, I’ll share it to HE network from another WP account.

    Did you see this piece about Twitter and CCSS in Conversation?

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      May 4, 2015 at 08:47

      “On a deeper analysis of the language of the tweets themselves, we noticed two dominant rhetorical approaches. One used more rational, analytical language, which we dubbed “policyspeak”. The other approach we called “politicalspeak” as it employed more emotional language. We found that supporters of the CCSS were more likely to use the policyspeak language, while opponents were more likely to use politicalspeak. These approaches most likely were meant to appeal to different audiences.”

      I think if we could identify the sources of policyspeak language that employes emotional language, we will eventually follow the money back to the oligarchs. Emotional language is mostly paid for be extremists or the military industrial complex beating the drums of war.

      Emotional language is the language used in public relations and advertising to promote fear and fool people to act out of fear—it is most often used during elections by unscrupulous, immoral extremists who can’t win elections with rational thought because they have no evidence to support that method. Rational thought requires valid evidence from reputable sources. Emotional language preys on fear to fool people to act against their own best interest. By the time these fools wake up, it is usually too late if emotion wins over rational thought.

      • VanessaVaile

        May 4, 2015 at 08:53

        unfortunately, even the highly educated presumably capable of careful, analytical reading drink the marketing kool-aid and drop the ball more often than not when it comes to figuring this out.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse

        May 4, 2015 at 09:08

        Sad to say, I agree with you. A few years ago, I read the results of a study that concluded 80% of all decisions are based on emotion and not rational thought, and I have recently been accused, by a far right extremist blogger who totally relies on emotion for all of his thinking, of being too rational. This fool even went so far as the claim that all of the evidence I linked to for support wasn’t worth reading becasue it was all liberal crap. Since when is data from the Census or statistical reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics liberal crap?

  5. John J. Viall

    May 4, 2015 at 16:23

    Very useful list, Lloyd. I will post this where I can.


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