BATs Continue into Week 6 of our Campaign to End Gun Violence in our Communities and Schools

BATs Continue into Week 6 of our Campaign to End Gun Violence in our Communities and Schools. This week we focus on the fact that a better future starts now!
BATs Calls to Action this week:
1. Take one idea from the Teachers Take Action curriculum resources
2. Make sure that you visit the National Day of Action to Stop Gun Violence in Our Schools coalition website and plan your April 20th action/event and populate it on the map. Go here for ideas and the map

Detroit is Fighting Back!

Our urban areas are under attack!!!

Detroit has been pushing hard against the Emergency Manager that seems intent on shutting out the voices of the citizen to follow an agenda that does not help the citizens of Detroit!

Read more at…/…/detroit_school_board_alleges_g.html…/-So-we-did-this-thing-where-we-fi…

To learn more about the Title VI complaints that have been filed
click here >>>>

Three things everyone can do.
1. Comment on media, write letters to the editor
Detroit Free Press >>>

Detroit News >>> send emails to

2. If you were harmed or are a witness, fill out a complaint form at

Send the link to a friend that may have suffered harm.

3. Donate to support them in the work they are doing for these complaints. 30 complaints were filed on Aug 2nd. 80 more complaints need to be filed. People are working hard to document the real stories of the people of Detroit. Click here >>>

Detroit school close

Listen to the Voices of Educators!

TFA koolaid


To send this letter to your legislator, please click here

We are a coalition of over 55,000 public school educators, parents and advocates who support public education as the foundation of a free and democratic society. We oppose legislation that promotes or enables the privatization of our public schools. It has always been our concern that corporate interests have had too much representation and influence on Capitol Hill, overshadowing the voice of the public school educator.
In recent months, we have met with your offices to share our concerns about public education policy and to get a better understanding of the positions held by our representatives in Washington D.C. During the week of July 25, we initiated over 60 separate meetings with senators and congressional representatives. In meeting with your legislative aides, we were shocked to learn of the large number of Teach for America (TFA) alumni in your offices, presumably assisting you with shaping education policy. It is alarming that TFA has managed to infiltrate the halls of power in our government and to influence public policy behind closed doors because Teach for America advocates many policies that directly conflict with serving the public interest.
TFA operates with the specific purpose of providing temporary workers to schools that are responsible for educating our country’s children, and specifically, children who are living in impoverished areas. Their five week training period and two years of service do not insure that best practices are being used in the classroom and undermine the ideology that schools need the stability to best serve students. Additionally, the overall agenda of Teach for America includes relationships with the charter school industry and advocacy for high stakes testing. These are two reform items that have and are continuing to have a devastating effect on our public school foundation.
Teach for America uses its teaching program as a direct line into legislative assistant positions through the Capital Hill Fellows Program. We are taking a strong stance against the practice of hiring former Teach for America employees for any position that allows them to influence educational policy. Doing such ignores the voices of true educators with a background in education and experience in the classroom. At this point in time, as the agenda of private parties is showing direct attempts at using the school system for personal gain it is necessary to examine what policies TFA supports and whether these policies are truly what we want for our nation’s schoolchildren – rich, middle-class or poor.

To our Senators and Representatives we have two proposals:
1.Cut off government funding for Teach for America, allowing it to operate through donations and private support until we can determine that Teach for America truly represents the ideals of public education for all.

2. Establish a public school teacher liaison team in every state to facilitate better communication with our legislative offices and include these necessary voices in the decision making processes. The already established channels have proved to be exclusionary and the reality of our schools is not yet being represented as needed.

We urge you to contact a true grassroots movement of teachers that care about our schools and work on developing a plan where a truly democratic process in decision making can be achieved. We can be reached at

Helpful Sources

True Cost of TFA Impact on Urban Schools

Teach for America: Review of the Evidence

TFA Supported Adding NCLB Punishments to ESEA Bill

Teach for America Seeks Help Promoting Itself on Capitol Hill

Why I did TFA and Why you Shouldn’t

Thank you NEA!

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The Leadership team of the Badass Teachers Association released a statement 2 weeks ago regarding Reauthorization of ESEA  In our letter to Senator Alexander we stated that as practitioners in the classroom, we see daily the detrimental effects that testing and accountability have on our children, families, and communities. We remain concerned that many choose to ignore the prevalent research that shows how poverty and inequality play defining roles in the achievement of our children in school. We made it clear that no matter what tools used in a school – such as grade span testing, accountability, technology, or merit pay, children still walk through the door poor, marginalized, and in need of resources that are becoming increasingly scarce in our schools (specifically our children of color). We strongly stated that neither Option 1 nor Option 2 are solutions to us because they continue to rely on “testing” as a measure in which to gauge the health of a school. Although we support grade span testing, we want to see it used in random sampling which provides statistically valid results with less time, and money, spent on testing. We must move away from the model of Federal control of education and expensive false measures of accountability that in any way ties annual testing to the support a schools need to succeed. We firmly believe that funds needed for children are diverted to profits for testing companies and their products.
In a recent release the National Education Association stated regarding ESEA Reauthorization, “We must reduce the emphasis on standardized tests that have corrupted the quality of the education received by children, especially those in high poverty areas. Parents and educators know that the one-size-fits-all annual federal testing structure has not worked.”
We would like to publicly thank the NEA for standing up against annual testing and against the one-size-fits-all model. We appreciate that they understand that annual testing does not gauge the health of a school and that the money we are wasting on annual testing is taking money away from our children, being used to close schools, and has created an atmosphere of punish and blame that has been thrust upon our schools, children, and teachers. We hope the NEA will continue to fight to ensure every child has the proper resources to succeed, and that every teacher is given the respect and professional autonomy to meet the needs of all children. We hope the NEA will always believe – as we do – that children deserve well-supported schools, teachers, and not standardized tests.

We are asking all BATs to please email messages of support to the NEA Exec Board and NEA Leadership!

NEA Exec Board

NEA Leadership


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BAT Admins Statement on Violence



The Badass Teachers Administration team would like to share our philosophy and mission towards combating racism and inequality in our country as well as in public education.  We are a team that believes this cannot be done with violence. We believe violence is counterproductive to social justice. We don’t subscribe to that method nor will we ever. As educators, we strive daily to teach children to reach solutions without resorting to violence. We all live by these ideals in our personal lives and in our work. BATs do not subscribe to the use of violence as a strategy to combat racism and inequality, and we emphatically disavow any statements or actions that endorse that strategy.  We would like to add that police racial profiling and the many incidents of unchecked police brutality are violent forms of injustice. Non-violent protests of every kind must continue until justice is done. We want our students of color, and their families, to have justice and equality!  We will advocate for this until that happens. 

PA BAT and Leadership Team member Steven Singer, “Social justice is inimical to violence. You cannot seek justice for some while denying it to others.” Furthermore, AZ BAT and Leadership Team member Kathie Wing Larsyn states, “I have been an activist involved with non-violent protests since the 70s. I have spent hours training with organizations how to be a peace keeper, how to act when confronted with authority figures, and I want to state, as an admin in BATs, I do not condone violence. I support protesting against issues and firmly believe that the power of the people is still ours to use.” North Carolina BAT and Leadership Team member Maria Glass holds to the words of Ghandi, “Non co-operators will make a serious mistake if they seek to convert people to their creed by violence”. NY BAT and Leadership Team member Terry Kalb, “BATs admins believe that non-violent civil disobedience has an honored place in the history of social justice movements.” Finally, CT BAT and Leadership Team member Dr. Yohuru Williams, “Those who advocate violence for whatever purpose miss the essential call to respect the dignity and worth of human life that is the foundation of social justice movements. The antidote to a disease can not be more of the disease. It must come in the form of a reimagined vision of justice that privileges life, along with liberty, and equality, before anything else.”

In closing, we would like to repeat, BATs do not subscribe to the use of violence as a strategy to combat racism and inequality, and we emphatically disavow any statements or actions that endorse the use of violence. No justice, no peace. 


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