HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Many passionately believe education can be compared in many ways to the civil rights movement of our generation. Americans are fighting each day to ensure the focus of education is our children and not blanket, forced, profit-driven bureaucracy; and it is an embattled mission.
Thousands have now banded together in the belief it is going to take a few good ‘badasses’ to really stand up to the machine.
There is a cheeky but passionate group of educators who have started a closed Facebook group dedicated to fighting back against those they say have a contempt for real teaching and learning. In just eight days the group has accepted more than 15,000 members globally who say they, as teachers, continue to be blamed for the failures of society.
The goal of the rebel educators’ group who call themselves The Badass Teacher’s Association is to stand up for education, the kids they say are in crisis, and to make ‘a lot of noise.’
“The common thread with everyone in this organization is their concern about the direction that our educational system is going as far as corporate reform and the privatization of public schools,” says local education advocate Terri Michal.
Michal, who has been active with ensuring the publicity of the recently published notebook full of Butler High School complaints, was chosen as one of 32 global page administrators for the Badass Teacher’s Association group page.
“Teachers are sick of being blamed for the poverty and the failures of society,” she says.
Michal and her like-minded badasses say the focus of education is swiftly shifting from learning to profit right under our noses. Many agree standardized tests like STAR and programs like Common Core are being rammed down teachers’ throats without any of their input at the policy level.
“You can’t run a school system like a business,” insists Michal. “You have to be business-minded, you’ve got to have your money right, but learning needs to come first.”
These teachers say they are mad and ready to fight. That fight is certainly getting off to a bold start evidenced by the group’s first point of business carried out Monday.
“We asked every one to please call the White House and ask for the removal of Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education. So in eight days we’ve been able to put this together and I can tell you,” says Michal, “tons of people are calling and hopefully the national news media will pick up on it and report on it.”
Are you an educator who wants to join the fight? Check out the Facebook page here. Michal says while the Badass Teacher’s Association wants power in numbers, the group is closed and there is a small screening process to make sure people who want to join live up to the group’s nervy name.