Diane Ravitch: This is a historic day

Diane Ravith's terrific speech to the SOS March was excerpted on the Parents Across America website. The video of her speech is also posted at the Parents Across America website.

Diane Ravitch speaks to SOS marchers, July 30, 2011.This is a historic day. I am a historian. There has never before been a spontaneous grassroots org of teachers, parents and students all coming together to say save our schools…Promise yourself you will never forget this day!

Today we join to protest the status quo. The status quo of high stakes testing, the status quo of attacks on the teaching profession, the status quo of privatization. The status quo is wrong; don’t let them say you’re defending the status quo; the status quo stinks!

Today, we’re here to protest NCLB and RTTT which are the same thing. Today we protest the mindless closing of schools… punishing schools simply because they enroll high numbers of high needs students.

We protest of wholesale firing of teachers and principals. We’re here to insist that the public schools are a public trust; they are not shoe stores. We insist when children have low test scores, they need help, they need attention, they don’t need to have their schools closed.

We protest the billions spent on tests, on test prep, on test security. We protest the imposition of business values on education; we protest the idea that principals and teachers will work harder if they are offered bonuses, and live in fear of being fired. Carrots and sticks are for donkeys, not professionals!

We protest the idea of turning education into a race; education is a right not a race. Races have one or two winners and everyone else is a loser. Our goal is for all children to be winners of their own lives. No losers! …Education policy should be designed by educators and not by politicians….

We are many, they are few. …Let us strive for excellence and insist on equity….We shall persist and we shall prevail.


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