Apparently the Protest against the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation held on Thursday was only a stepping stone. Yesterday Friday June 27th Anthony Cody and Badass Teachers (BATs) came together at the University of Washington. Anthony Cody is a well known educator and writer who has worked in Oakland schools for 24 years. He is dedicated to teacher leadership and support, as well as bettering the school system to support children. BATs is an association is for teachers “who refuse to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality, and refuses to accept assessments, tests and evaluations imposed by those who have contempt for real teaching and learning.” (Badass Teacher Association)
The purpose of this meeting was to plan next steps in reclaiming the schools and build a coalition. Anthony Cody spoke about the education ‘reform’ movement at this event. He mentioned issues with the Gates Foundation and the deep problems with policies that they advance. Cody also made recognition of the Gates’ being a difficult target to organize around because of their superficial support of education and teachers.
Following Cody’s speech, there were three breakout sessions for supporters to choose from. Organizers and supporters got into three groups to discuss the following:
Opt Out planning in your locale: Why & How?
Creating 21st Century Schools-what is our vision?
Coalition Building with other organizers who see Gates as a threat to social justice
There were conversations about may issues. These issues included standardized testing and how it effects a student’s desire to be at school. A parent’s right to decline the option of their child taking certain tests was also mentioned during the group discussion period. This event was streamed live and is available to watch at School House Live .