Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation @ 500 5th Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
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Thursday, June 26, 2014 from 5-7pm
The struggle between corporate ‘reform’ groups taking public schools hostage vs. educators & parents who know what kids need to thrive is at its zenith. Teachers and school staff have systematically been left out of MOST policy changes occurring at every level. We are inching our way each year to a caste system of schools; private schools, charters, and affluent communities supplementing basic education of their own kids….. Meanwhile all public school kids (especially in poor communities) are suffering from standardization of curriculum, new teachers certified only if they’ve married CCSS and of course hundreds of hours of tests that DO NOT inspire authentic learning. Often our best teachers are punished for choosing to work with students of color, at-risk kids, English language learners, and those not born into an affluent family in a high income zip code. WA has the 47th worst class sizes in the nation, a supreme court who has ruled TWICE that our legislature is in violation of our state constitution for NOT funding education, and hundreds of hugely (privatizing & profitable) ‘reforms’ that are hurting kids. Teachers work too long and too hard to be the type of advocates they need to be in this struggle. Our unions are strong (compared to other states) but we are up against the endlessly deep pockets of ALEC, the Koch Bros., AFP, WPC, Freedom Foundation, the Walton Foundation, charter school corporations, Stand for Children, Michelle Rhee, Arne Duncan and many others who seek to make our kids’ school experience reduced to test scores. PARENTS and TEACHERS HAVE FINALLY HAD ENOUGH. The time is now to take action. However you are willing to join with us as we fight this tragic iteration of corporate takeover, please do so. The intent of this BATS protest is to shine a very big light on what is happening in schools. June 26th, Westlake Park, starting at 5:00 PM we will hear some amazing speakers then march to the corner of Mercer and 5th for a few more speakers to energize the crowd & state our demands of the Gates Foundation. Come at 4:30 to make signs, materials will be provided. Our Demands: Redirect monies spent on corporate style reforms to empower citizens and promote whole child education. Further, we demand that philanthropists and the rest of the 1% pay their fair share for a socially just society. We OPPOSE: High stakes tests that are opposed by educators CCSS, standardizing students & narrowing of curriculum Corporate takeover of our schools Value-Added Measures RTTT TFA Charter Schools One-size-fits-all reforms Treating kids like widgets Closing schools based on test scores Ignoring teacher and parent voice on school issues Profit driven reforms that take money away from classrooms We are FOR: Assessment that is fair and supported by teachers Progressive taxation that benefits learning and teaching Giving teachers the tools to help every child succeed such as small class sizes, adequate pay, relevant training Well supported learning support staff Restoring music, arts, PE, recesses, libraries, counseling, and civics in our schools Increased parental involvement & shared decision-making in schools Transparent, democratic school boards Culturally responsive curriculum Speakers include Anthony Cody, Kshama Sawant, Wayne Au & Morna McDermott. We would love you to join our flash mob and sing with our amazing chorus. You will also have an opportunity to vocally demand that public education be revitalized as the foundation to a free society that it should be.