Putting Education Reform To The Test

Teachers Join Wall Street Protests Online

Occupy Education / http://occupyedu.tumblr.com/

A protestor holds up a sign at a Boston rally encouraging others to submit testimonials.

Teachers are joining the anti-corporate Occupy Wall Street movement that has been spreading across the country since mid-September.

The Occupy Education blog features photos of teachers holding up messages outlining how they work on behalf of their students. Many of the messages imply that administrators or bureaucrats undermine their efforts.

“I see my students as individuals, not data points. We aren’t perfect, we’re people. Learning is messy—sometimes you need to get your hands dirty,” one note says.

The site explains its purpose this way:

“This is a collection of adults and children’s messages that challenge public school to become something more than it is – messages that dare public school to serve students’ passions instead of politicians and vendors’ coffers.”

The protestors’ goals are evolving, according to this explainer, but one of the underpinnings is that middle- and working-class Americans are earning less while the wealthiest Americans earn more. The protests are reminiscent of those that swept state capitals in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere that governors and legislatures debated stripping collective bargaining or public worker benefits earlier this year.

Protestors argue they are the 99 percent of the population opposing the wealthiest one percent.

The protests have also spawned a counter-movement that refers to the 53 percent of workers who pay income taxes.

What do you make of the Occupy Wall Street protests? How do you feel about the tie between education and corporations that supply materials, services or other items? Are the protests connected?


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