Monday, January 16, 2012

NYC Public School Parents: Martin Luther King Jr. and education reform

NYC Public School Parents: Martin Luther King Jr. and education reform:

Martin Luther King Jr. and education reform

On Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, too many of our elected leaders are using this day as an opportunity to attack teachers and their unions, and put in a system which would lead to 50 percent of NYC teachers to be fired at struggling schools, if the UFT does not succumb to the DOE’s demand to impose an evaluation system with no safeguards against unfair or abusive principals and no appeals.
Let us remember that MLK Jr. was highly supportive of unions and the right of their members to collectively bargain and have the right to due process. Let us all remember that many of these same oligarchs who are now scapegoating teachers actually favor increasing class size at a time when NYC schools still have the largest class sizes in the nation – despite the fact that smaller classes is of the few reforms proven to work tonarrow the achievement gap. I wrote more about this last year on MLK Jr. birthday here.
There is little doubt that Martin Luther King Jr. would support a far different agenda: one that was supportive of teachers, integration, and equitable resources and conditions in inner city schools, including smaller classes.
Bayard Rustin was another brilliant civil rights leader, who promoted non-violent resistance and acted as a mentor for MLK Jr.