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February 17, 2018

A Time for Action Against Gun Violence in Schools! by Diane Ravitch & Carol Burris

By dianeravitch

Students! Parents! Grandparents! Teachers! Principals! School board members! Staff! Friends! Citizens! Organize now for a national action against gun violence on April 20! Take the pledge to participate in the action! Join the National Day for Action to Protect Students and Schools from Gun Violence! No more murders in schools! Students, teachers, parents, families, members"

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Students!

Parents! Grandparents!

Teachers! Principals! School board members! Staff!

Friends!

Citizens!

Organize now for a national action against gun violence on April 20!

Take the pledge to participate in the action!

Join the National Day for Action to Protect Students and Schools from Gun Violence!

No more murders in schools!

Students, teachers, parents, families, members of the community--join together, and you decide what works best in your community. Walk out, sit-in, teach-in, protest, demonstrate, encircle the school with linked arms, March to your legislators' offices. Be creative. Let your legislators and other elected officials know: It is time to act now to protect students, staff and schools.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. But they change nothing. What's needed now is legislation to stop the carnage. Weapons of war belong in the hands of trained military and police, not civilians, not children.

This action is sponsored by the Network for Public Education, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, the BATS, and many more organizations that care about the safety of our children and our educators.

Please take the pledge to join this national action on April 20.

If your organization wants to sign on as a sponsor of the National Day of Action to Protect Our Students and Schools, please contact Carol Burris of the Network for Public Education.

Cburris|AT|networkforpubliceducation.orgEmail address

David Berliner shook everyone out of their lethargy and state of shock by proposing a national teachers' strike. Many people loved the idea, but more than a few teachers pointed out that they would be fired if they went out on strike. Lots of people came up with alternatives. Some wanted to exclude elementary schools, but they too have suffered. Some wanted actions that took place when school was not in session, but that was like a strike on weekends. It quickly became clear that we would get nowhere if we tried to settle on one plan that was acceptable to everyone. In the end, those of us who wanted action realized that communities should crowdsource their protests and coordinate locally. There was no good reason to impose a one-size-fits-all plan on everyone.

And so we turn to you to do what is most effective for your schoool and your community. But make it loud and bold!

What matters most is to organize, plan, raise your voices, and make sure your legislators hear you.

Don't settle for thoughts and prayers. Don't settle for bland promises about mental health services (that are being cut). We need real change. We need to learn from nations that don't tolerate gun violence. In the five years since the massacre of first graders and staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, there have been "at least 239 school shootings nationwide. In those episodes, 438 people were shot, 138 of whom were killed." (New York Times) This slaughter of children must stop!



Submitter: Susan Lee Schwartz

Submitters Website: http://www.speakingasateacher.com

Submitters Bio:

I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side Middle School, which opened in 1990. My students placed amongst the highest reading and (eventually, when the ELA tests were instituted) writing scores in NYC. This attracted Harvard, looking for teachers who could be matched to "The Eight Principles of Learning", the thesis by Harvard's Lauren Resnick, that powered the Standards project, funded by Pew.


In 1998, based on the assessment of my teacher-practice by the Learning & Research Development Center, at the University of Pittsburgh, which studied my teacher-practice after I was chosen to participate in THE Standards project , I was awarded the NYSEC (New York State English Council)) "Educator of Excellence of Award," a much coveted and PRESTIGIOUS award. I have been included five times, in "Who's Who Among American Educators". Now that I am "googleable" as former students tell me, I get scores of letters from former students describing the enormous impact that I had on their life.


Currently I am a freelance travel writer and photographer, but I also write widely, about real education reform in order to change the national conversation to where it needs to be -- ABOUT LEARNING, and what makes genuine learning possible, or impossible, rather on the bogus subject of poor teachers and teacher standards. Learning how to learn--critical thinking--not rote memorization-- is the object of the PRACTICE OF PEDAGORY for which teacher who wish to PRACTICE THIS PROFESSION get a degree and a license.

I write because people with loud voices and personal agendas have destroyed the practice of pedagogy, and silenced the voice of the only ones who can set the record straight, the grunt on the line -- the teacher-practitioner--a genuine professional trained to know exactly what is needed to facilitate learning in each particular classroom.

I speak as a teacher and write because:


* those who have the national stage, are pushing tests, and pointing to bad teaching, as the reasons schools fail, but that is pointing in the wrong direction and thus a genuine solution and real reform eludes the people of this country..


* the national conversation has been usurped by businessmen and pundits with no understanding of the emergent learner, or the actual classroom practices that enable creative and critical thought. (Everyone who went to school believes they know what is needed "to teach".)


* What is REALLY NECESSARY for children to LEARN in school, is pre-school literacy, parent involvement in shaping attitudes and monitoring home activities, and classrooms where the teacher-practitioner sets the agenda based on curriculum objectives and the knowledge of pedagogy, rather than AN AGENDA SET BY some administrator who never taught, and who promotes the scripts and tests that enrich privateers who thrive on failing schools.


I speak as a teacher and write because:

* corrupt administrators, use a process that targets senior teacher-practitioners, despite exceptional dedication and huge success in their career, for harassment and egregious, criminal deprivation of due process.


* there is a hidden and scandalous deprivation of due process -- allowed and empowered by unions which do not fulfill their obligation and contract for immediate investigation and fair, promt, grievance procedures, thus permitting a "waiting game" which prevents due process.


* the national assumption expressed in the media is that the unions protect teachers BUT the truth is the unions have looked away from the breaking of tenure, and THUS, as they are the legal arm that protects teachers, teachers have lost their civil rights, and have no genuine access to the courts.

I speak as a teacher and write because:


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