Why You Should Join the BATS

The comments here point to larger issues. Most unions are not democratic, not run by the rank and file, not accountable to their members, and on and on…

Teachers now find themselves at the nexus of a class war that has been raging for almost forty years. It has been a corporate led war that has weakened and corrupted unions and channeled their wealth to a political system that breaks unions and doesn’t care if their membership lives or dies.

As the war increased in intensity, corporations began to commodify and corporatize education using neoliberal tactics. It is time to realize this, learn about the forces at work, and organize against them. Make common cause with other people and organize under the banner of pro-human, anti-neoliberal. Take over unions and make them democratic – or leave en masse and start your own. None of this will happen without understanding that you are not alone. This is happening world-wide – and not just to public schools. Utilities, food, water – everything is being privatized.

When we finally see we are not alone and that what is happening to us is happening to everyone else, we can reach out and join forces. So activists organizing against the destruction of the planet by corporate forces can join with activists who are organizing against the destruction of public education (and teaching itself). They can join with activists organizing against the corporate takeover of our governments through “lobbying” and campaign “contributions.”

The allies are out there – and we are all fighting the same thing. When we join forces, maybe we will have a chance against the corporate elite and the politicians and lackeys they buy.

In the face of this epic struggle, people who have enough money to sit back and talk about having had their sensibilities offended need to educate themselves about the war we are in. Your pensions are not safe. Maybe when corporate high finance engineers the next crisis and through neoliberal politicians steals even more of your pension than they’re stealing now, you will wake up and understand what is really happening. By then, it will probably be too late.

The battle is to get corporations (and corporate culture) out of education, the war is to stop corporations from owning everything and controlling every aspect of our lives.

Diane Ravitch's blog

From Mark NAISON, co-founder of the Badass Teachers Association:

” “This is Crazy”

When policy makers are morally bankrupt, they are forced to rely on bribery and intimidation and the assertion of raw power. This is what we face in Education. Teachers are assailed from multiple directions by public officials who who project a “My Way or the Highway Mentality” while bombarding them with curricula, assessments, evaluations, and new methods of instruction. It takes the joy and creativity out of the work, ratchets up levels of stress, and steals time from the activities students enjoy the most. Many teachers feel what is happening is crazy, but are afraid to say this publicly. That is why we have this group. BATS not only say what most teachers are thinking, we shout if from the Rooftops and say it to policy makers faces.”Your policies are Crazy, you are Crazy, and we are…

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