An open letter from a BAT
I’m proud to support a group called the BadAss Teachers Association, known affectionately as BATs. This is a group of educators banding together from state-to-state to work on issues related to our public education system. The vast majority of people in this growing group all have one thing in common – they teach because they love sharing knowledge and want all kids to have free and equal access to a good education. I’ve heard stories about what led them to teach, most were influenced by a great teacher, some just truly want to make a difference and prepare the next generation for success.
One of the BATs – Deb Escobar is a retired teacher of 23 years from New York. Deb is active in her community, and even though she’s retired she’s still trying to make a difference in education. She wrote an open letter to our President following an email she’d received asking about why she became a grassroots activist. To a Whitehouse that has generally become, thanks to the heavy-handed lobbying efforts of the for-profit education movement, out-of-touch with the realities in our schools, this short and sweet letter represents a real educator’s frustrations around what’s happening to a profession she used to enjoy. It doesn’t need to be a long drawn-out letter, because the truth can be summed up eloquently in just a few words. Thank you Deb for sharing this with us.
“I spent 23 years teaching gifted students, until budget cuts and testing mandates forced my school and many others to cut back on enrichment opportunities and many other programs. I was forced into retirement, but I have not gone peacefully into the night. I fight every day Mr. President to educate the public, politicians, and the media about what NCLB, RTTT, Common Core, and testing have done to our students and to our public schools. I fight against privatization and charters with no accountability. I know you probably won’t want to hear this because you are not on my side of this fight. But it’s time to tell you, I voted for you in both elections – and am so deeply disappointed in my president’s leadership on education. The reformists are bankrolled by dark money – ALEC, Koch Brothers, Gates, and many other hedge fund entrepreneurs who see our children as a profit market. I hope and dream every day that you will come to understand our plight.
Until then, this grassroots education activist is one busy girl.”
– Deb Escobar