News Release

With Children Heading Back to School, Educators Say Politicians Should Too

As children across the country return to school, much is on the docket in both Congress and at the U.S. Department of Education that many educators say threatens public education.

Protesting the rhetoric and actions coming out of Washington, and pressing instead for research-based policies and democratic ideals, over 200 education deans last Wednesday released “Our Children Deserve Better: A Call to Resist Washington’s Dangerous Vision for U.S. Education.” Endorsed by 17 national education organizations, the statement reminds us that, “A half-century ago, in one of the most significant periods of education reform in the United States, the Civil Rights Movement and the War on Poverty envisioned the federal government as a protector of civil rights and an advocate of funding equity. Tragically, since the 1980s both Democratic and Republican administrations, with bipartisan support in Congress, have increasingly betrayed this legacy and focused instead on deregulation, privatization, and the rapid expansion of school choice.” The deans call for three things:

– Protect and nurture our children, do not abandon them
– Empower our educators, do not undermine them
– Invest in our public schools, do not privatize them

KATHY SCHULTZ, Katherine.schultz at colorado.edu, @kathyschultz22
Schultz is dean of the School of Education at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is currently completing a book on distrust and educational change. She said today: “It is imperative that we change the direction our country is going in terms of supporting schools and school systems that serve our children well. As a country, we have lost sight of the role of public schools as a democratizing force in this country. We continue to move toward privatizing K-12 education and teacher education at our peril.”

TIMOTHY D. SLEKAR, TSlekar at edgewood.edu, @slekar
Slekar is dean of the School of Education at Edgewood College in Madison, WI, who recently blogged, “No Student Teaching? No Problem: Wisconsin Wants You”[http://bustedpencils.com/2017/09/no-student-teaching-no-problem-wisconsin-wants/]. He said today: “Let’s be honest: There is a war being waged on public education and the profession of teaching. Strong leadership is needed at this time in history. Education Deans for Justice and Equity have stepped up to provide that leadership, and this document simply elaborates the convictions of those determined to not only protect public education but also challenge all of us to envision a system of public education that is committed to justice and equity.”

KEVIN KUMASHIRO, [in D.C.] kevin at kevinkumashiro.com, @kevinkumashiro
Kumashiro is former dean of the School of Education at the University of San Francisco, and author of the book, Bad Teacher!: How Blaming Teachers Distorts the Bigger Picture. He is also founder and chair of Education Deans for Justice and Equity, which organized the statement.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 421-6858, David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

September 12, 2017