Naperville teachers rally. « Fred Klonsky

20 May

From the speech by Roger Sanders at the Naperville pension rally Thursday.

What needs to be done:

First, the Governor needs to get off the corporate welfare wagon, and stop giving millions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations.

Second, the General Assembly needs to take a critical look at the state’s tax structure.

Third. the General Assembly and the Governor need to get real about spending priorities.

Fourth, the General Assembly and Governor need to be serious about reforming the culture of corruption and collusion that exists in Illinois.

And fifth, the people of Illinois need to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We need to initiate a populist movement to establish term limits for those elected to the General Assembly. The Illinois Constitution allows the people to change the structure of the legislature. Well, it’s time we did that.

As educators we have been driven to a subservient level where our professional opinion is neither sought nor valued.

The insane emphasis on standardized testing to evaluate schools must stop. That’s nearly 30 million dollars in Illinois for next year. After two decades of a failed policy and millions of wasted dollars, we need to stop.

Demeaning the position of teachers must stop.

After all, our own Illinois State Superintendent of Schools describes the biggest problem facing our schools as, and I quote, “we’re recruiting teachers from the bottom 50% of college graduates, and so what we’ve done is implement some things to try and improve that.” Well, what he’s doing to try to improve that is to hire Pearson Corporation to give more tests to those who want to be college graduates and future teachers and then have 20 minutes of student teaching video taped and evaluated by someone hired by Pearson to decide whether you should be come a teacher or not. Really? Is that the best leadership we can muster for our schools. Maybe Superintendent Koch should stop taking world wide junkets on Pearson’s dime and resign. That’s not the type of leadership the teachers and students of Illinois deserve.

Is it part of our spending priority to allocate millions of dollars to develop a state-wide data tracking system to evaluate teachers. DATA HAS BECOME A FOUR LETTER WORD FOR ME.

The time is now for classroom teachers to rise up, make their voices heard, demand that they be treated as professionals, and bring a sense of humanity back to our state’s education system.

After all, that’s why we became teachers. We want to make a difference in the lives of the students that we serve. We don’t want to see them as data points. We see them as human beings with their own unique value.

And that’s the problem we have with our pensions and benefits. The Governor and the General Assembly has lost sight of the fact that we aren’t just data points and dollar signs. We are human beings with our own aspirations who desperately want to make a contribution to the betterment of our communities.

Well, we need to make our presence known. We need to make our voices heard. We need hold the Governor and General Assembly to a standard that at the very least expects them to keep their promises.


via Naperville teachers rally. « Fred Klonsky.


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