Activism

Teachers carry placards as they walk a picket line outside South High School early Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Denver. The strike on Monday is the first for teachers in Colorado in 25 years after failed negotiations with the school district over base pay. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) After 15 fruitless, frustrating months at the bargaining
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(photo: Kristopher Radder-Brattleboro Reformer) Jesse Hagopian is a teacher at Garfield High School in Seattle and a member of the Seattle Education Association (SEA)/Washington Education Association (WEA). As co-editor of Teaching for Black Lives, he helped organize Black Lives Matter at School (BLM at School), a national coalition of educators organizing for racial justice in education. Coalition
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2018 was by most measures a pretty great year for public education. It seemed that finally – finally – the conversation about the future of public education was headed in the right direction. The country was actually listening to educators. There were many other successes for public schools in 2018, but also enough disappointments and
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Jones Middle School students march in their town’s Christmas Parade with donated instruments. From east coast to west coast, the U.S. has endured several devastating natural disasters in 2018. It’s been a hard year for many people, and if the seemingly endless negative news cycle has you feeling grinchy this holiday season, read on. Though
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Wearing red jackets and waving signs that demand state officials #ReturnOurRaise, more than 600 Alabama educators traveled to the state capital on Wednesday for the largest-ever rally in support of public education at the Alabama Supreme Court. The rally coincided with state Supreme Court testimony in the Alabama Education Association (AEA)’s lawsuit against the state’s
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John Ross says of Oakwood Windsor Elementary School, “a school that will always have a piece of my heart.”   It almost reads like an old joke: an organizer and a policy wonk walk into a school, but instead of a slapstick punchline at the end, a genuine conversation occurred, a relationship was formed, and a
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In the summer of 2017, Charleena Lyles, a pregnant 30-year-old black woman was fatally shot by two white Seattle police officers in her home as her three young children looked on. Lyles, who had called the police to report a burglary, reportedly suffered from mental illness. She pulled a knife out of her pocket when
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The #RedforEd movement reached Washington state with such fervor that it drew onto the picket line nearly 6,000 Washington Education Association (WEA) members in the western part of the state. All strikes are over now, with Tumwater reaching a tentative agreement late Sunday night. Overall, 15 locals were on strike in western Washington. In recent weeks, thousands of other educators throughout the
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Whether you’re a classroom teacher, school counselor, paraeducator, bus driver, cafeteria worker or school secretary, everyone who works in a public school faces a new school year ready to do the job they love. But they are also prepared to confront undeniable challenges. These challenges may differ district to district, school to school, but one
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(Photo Maryland State Education Association) From West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky to Colorado and Arizona, educators took to the streets last spring to rally for adequate K–12 funding, properly equipped classrooms, better wages, and stronger public schools. And in all sorts of other places, they’re winning victories that serve students, create stronger public schools, and
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(Craig Hudson/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP) As state election officials counted votes in West Virginia’s primary races last week and the results were broadcast on local TV stations, West Virginia’s teachers felt something unfamiliar but wonderful. It was an electric surge of their own power. “It was a great feeling watching the returns come in!” said
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There are more than 1.5 million reasons behind Wednesday’s “March for Students and Rally for Respect” in North Carolina, where more than 20,000 educators from 40 or school districts  traveled to Raleigh to demand the attention of state lawmakers. Those reasons include the 1.5 million public school students who often are learning in crowded classrooms
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An estimated 75,000 Arizona educators rallied at the state Capitol this week, demanding state lawmakers invest in public schools. Class sizes are increasing, classrooms are stocked with obsolete resources, and school conditions have deteriorated. Photographs shared by educators on social media provide the evidence of legislative neglect—the ancient textbooks, the rodent-infested classrooms, the broken-down technology,
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Teachers from Highland Arts Elementary School stage a final walk-in Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Mesa, Ariz. Communities and school districts are preparing for a historic statewide teacher walkout on Thursday. (AP Photo/Matt York) Today, the Arizona teacher with 48 students in one class period—and 43 English-language learners in another—will aim to speak with every
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By now it’s a familiar scene: tens of thousands of red-shirted teachers and education support professionals, rallying outside their state Capitol, demanding that legislators provide the money they need to educate their state’s public school children. On Friday, the location was the Capitol steps in Frankfort, Ky., where Kentucky Education Association (KEA) members from the
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The crowd cheers during a rally at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 2, 2018. Educators were holding separate protests in Oklahoma and Kentucky on Monday to voice dissatisfaction with issues like pay and pensions. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) More than 30,000 angry and frustrated educators from across Oklahoma walked out of schools and
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A long list of Americans will lose in the GOP tax law—homeowners, retirees, people with chronic illnesses, people who don’t run hedge funds or own private jets…and many fought hard to protect themselves from a plan that puts the richest Americans first. Most were ignored by Congress. But one often overlooked group, with the support
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Terry Jess is a social studies teacher at Bellevue High School in Washington State. He’s also an equity leader within his school and district, and a founder and board member of Educators for Justice, a non-profit organization that works with teachers and education support professionals to create safe and supportive educational experiences for all students.
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