June 08, 2013

Nichols: Every teacher is a hero

Author: Betsy Sandberg
Source:  NYSUT Communications
john nichols

Every teacher in New York state and across this nation deserves heaps of praise, John Nichols tells thousands at the “One Voice United” rally.

After specifically noting the heroism of educators in Sandy Hook, Conn., and in Moore, Okla. he shouts to the crowd: “Every teacher is a hero and we salute you!”

Nichols’ comments brought facts front and center:
  • Corporations are not people
  • Money is not speech
  • Cuts don’t make kids smarter
  • Standardized testing is not education.

Reflecting on the fight of public workers in Wisconsin over one year ago, Nichols says that fight was to protect democracy in America, and it’s the same fight in New York now. 

“If we are to be a democracy … the republic that was intended by our forefathers … then we must have a strong public education system,” Nichols says.

Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters, joins the chorus of those saying “enough is enough” from the stage.

“We come together to say, enough of this arrogant dismissal of the rights of parents, children and teachers; enough of the damage being wreaked on our schools.”

Tying together the testing obsession and the rampant sharing of private data to budget cuts, class size increases it all adds up to a formula where “the needs of our students and the priorities of parents are ignored, and the trust in government is eroding every day.”