When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the bonds that are being forced upon them by another group of individuals, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all students are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are a quality education, proper funding for their schools, and the pursuit of their dreams. Whenever any group becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Public Educators to stand up and voice their opinions, and to stand up and fight for such principles that shall seem most likely to affect their students and their profession in a positive manner.
When a long train of abuses and accusations, reduces professional educators to servants who must perform under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to unite and rise up against such tyranny. Such has been the patient sufferance of professional educators across this nation; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand participation in any type of reform that might occur. Recent history is a history of repeated injuries and accusations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over America’s public education system. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
The recent manifesto titled “How to Fix Our Schools” did not include the input of one single teacher, parent, or anyone other than those who are already holding the power to make decisions regarding the public education system.
The broadcast media has uniformly excluded teachers from any publicly televised discussions regarding how to “fix” the public education system except as in a token format.
The print media has consistently criticized, blamed, and singled out teachers as the number one cause of all that is wrong with the public education system.
The evaluation systems being proposed do not fairly judge a teacher’s performance, yet they are being touted as the savior for our nation’s public education system.
The teachers’ unions have been unfairly and falsely accused of damaging the public education system by making it impossible to terminate poorly performing teachers. This is a blatant lie.
The Race to the Top initiative has forced school districts in one state to compete against school districts in other states instead of all districts in all states being properly funded. Apparently all men are created equal, but all states are not.
The arguments against many of the proposals made by those who have the power to make decisions regarding the public education system have been swept under the rug, trampled upon, and–in most cases–discredited and ignored. Any research presented by public school teachers is viewed as defensive, self-serving, and union propaganda.
The message has been sent loud and clear: teachers’ opinions do not matter when it comes to what is best for America’s public education system.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A system, whose aim is thus marked by every act which may define Tyranny, is unfit to be the system that America’s school children must rely upon to decide their futures.
We, therefore, the public school teachers of America, solemnly publish and declare that NOW is the time to speak out. NOW is the time to act. NOW is the time to educate America as we educate our students, with passion, honesty, and perseverance. NOW is the time that we must share the truth about public education. NOW is the time that we must let America hear OUR ideas concerning how to fix our schools, fix our society, fix the American Dream that has been broken and stolen by those whose motives are not sincere.
All this we must pledge so that America’s children, their Lives, their Fortune, and their and their ancestors’ sacred Honor remains secure for the eternity of these United States of America
Declaration Of Education
From Chris Janotta: