The first week of March, 2012 was huge for education activism all across the country. From California to New York, from Philly to Texas, activists went to action with demands for affordable, equal and high-quality publc education.
Here’s what Occupy Austin/Occupy AISD has done:
- Friday, March 2nd: Occupy Austin along with allies from Occupy UT, Education Austin, Texas Parents Opt-Out of State Tests, PRIDE of the Eastside, Coalition to Strengthen Austin Urban Schools and other education organizations rallied at the capitol for the More Teaching, Fewer Tests, Education at its Best rally and march. The focus of this event was to bring awareness and protest standardized testing and the ways in which it is not only dilluting and ruining public education, but is also providing profits for large corporations such as Pearson, Inc. Protesters gathered at the capitol then marched up Congress to the Travis Building which hosts the Texas Education Agency. A series of speakers from multiple education organizations spoke about standardized testing, why we need to change it, and how we can push for change.
–Read about it here.
–See photos here.
–Watch video here.
“Education is the love of discovery, of asking questions and uncovering solutions. Education targets all areas of development; cognition, physical development and the expansion of social emotional skills. We believe all students have the right to a free and appropriate public education that is inspiring and challenging. We refuse the continued push by the 1% to infiltrate our public schools with demands for “accountability” testing. Education is not the ability to pecil in the 150 bubbles in an allotted amount of time. Education is not rote memorization and skill drilling, nor the ability to answer a question at the snap of a finger. We refuse to allow the continuation of people and corporations to make profit off of standardized testing that in turn closes schools, fires teachers and steals from students the right to a free, exciting education.”
- Wednesday, March 7th: Occupiers and other education activists picketed outside the Austin Convention Center as the SXSWEdu hosted a keynote speech by the CEO of Pearson, Inc. Texas currently holds a $500,000,000 contract with Pearson for standardized testing. Imagine how that money could be used otherwise!
–Read & Watch about it here
- Thursday, March 8th: US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan was holding a town hall meeting at Austin Community College. A small group of occupiers mic checked Duncan during his speech. After the mic check many people applauded and occupiers were approached by the Director of Special Projects from the Department of Education, Tim Tuten, and received his contact information. He told us to contact him with our grievances.
–Washington Post article here
–Read & watch here
“MIC CHECK! MIC CHECK! This message comes from teachers, parents, & education activists. We are aware of your attempts to privatize public education.We are aware of your agenda to corporatize public education.Our schools are not for sale! As Secretary of Education your job is to discover a way to provide schools & teachers PUBLIC resources & funding
NOT from private charters & corporations. We refuse to allow the continued push by the 1% to infiltrate our public education systems! OUR SCHOOLS ARE NOT FOR SALE! OUR STUDENTS ARE NOT FOR SALE! OUR TEACHERS ARE NOT FOR SALE! OCCUPY! AUSTIN!
Saturday, March 24th – Save Texas Schools rally & march!
For more information, for media interviews, or to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org