Demonstrating – literally – that they care far more about teacher union politics than helping students learn, an activist group operating under the name of Badass Teachers Association will disrupt rush-hour traffic in downtown Seattle to show how loud they are—and how much they don’t really care about improving public education for the kids in their classrooms.
The Seattle Times points out the group’s motivations in a piece today, but their socialist-tinged rhetoric—yes, of course, Kshama Sawant will be there – has been helpful in recruiting literally dozens of teachers to their cause over the past year.
And that cause – attacking Bill Gates and his foundation for investing millions to improve public education in the United States.
So, after the state Supreme Court has ruled that politicians in Olympia have under-funded public education in Washington State for a generation – and in a history lesson for these union activists, remember that a Democrat Governor supported by their union has signed every state budget for 30 consecutive years, with Democrats supported by their union in control of at least one legislative body for 28 of those 30 years- these protestors think the biggest problem in education today is a
foundation that invests in student learning.
The Times identifies the “local organizer” for this protest as Julianna Dauble, who identifies herself as teachers union official in Renton. In her bio, she suggests that her role is to “Create positive relationships through interactions between district, building, union, and state government.”
Apparently in Ms. Dauble’s world nothing says “create positive relationships” like a traffic-snarling protest aimed at a local success story and the world’s largest philanthropy, complete with class warfare and profane rhetoric to make your point! What a positive “interaction” for this union official to be “organizing.”
Consider that the slogan for this group says that “WA-BATS refuse to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality and refuse to accept tests and evaluations.” Evidently the problem for these specific protestors is that the Gates Foundation doesn’t just do what the state government does, like give the money to their teachers union and then not ask about results – you know, like “evaluations.”
One has to wonder though, if these protesters really cared about recruiting students to the cause of improving public education, why did they chose a profane name for themselves that might get one of their students in trouble in their class for repeating it?
Another example of the voters in this state getting what they voted for. Some day voters will wake up and start identifying and voting for candidates that prove they stand for a compatible value system. Not candidates who in campaigning profess a set of values and upon election change. Nice going voters of Seattle and King County
Because the loony left hell-hole of Seattle and King County controls state elections, voters (in the sane majority of the state) are not getting what they voted for.
Robin Hood says
They’re protesting Gates blaming teachers & discounting poverty.
Seems to me, their slogan is self explanatory.
This association is for every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the
failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality, and refuses to
accept assessments, tests and evaluations imposed by those who have
contempt for real teaching and learning…
Maybe Thomas Sowell can talk some sense into you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-HaYtu1ZTM&feature=player_detailpage
Robin Hood says
Maybe, your video was old & a joke….
Robin Hood says
Maybe, I’m too smart to care about senile U-tube “scholars”.
Maybe, your video was old & a joke….
Thomas Sowell is no more an expert on public education than Bill Gates. And I’m not listening to a prep school-educated college drop-out for advice on public school policy.
Kathie AmericanCitizen says
Bill Gates is behind Common Core. His foundation is also sending vaccines to 3rd world countries to destroy their ability to reproduce. He wants to reduce the population by 80%. He is another evil pos.
Bill Gates has been a nightmare for public education . . . He has pushed for “student achievement” to be required for teacher evaluations (VAM models are as accurate as flipping a coin) and funded the CC$$ which is nothing but a cash cow for corporations but doesn’t do much for students’ education.
Michelle Murphy Ramey says
I am one of the almost 49K BATs (bad ass teachers) and one of the many WA BATs that was helping to lead the rally and was at the rally. Gates has zero business in my career and telling me what is best for kids. He’s spent zero time in a classroom as an educator.
I am also 100% union proud and I sit on my executive board. I am doing what I do for my students. I am an activist because my students deserve the best education they can get. Your article is 100% biased and not factual at all.
I suggest you read some information regarding Bill Gates on Diane Ravitch’s blog to really understand what as educators we are up against.
Bill Gates knows nothing about education and his intentions involve nothing more than what is called these days “venture philanthropy” meaning that he will donate money to get exactly what he wants and he’ll make sure he profits off it it. He is not by any means an expert in education yet he insists on pouring his money into “reforms” that are unproven and end up profiting the tech companies and the testing companies. His own former company has already abandoned his evaluation methods for employees yet he is being allowed to dictate policy for public education. It makes no sense and it needs to stop. Maybe a “profane” name and a big protest is needed to wake people up to the destruction of Mr. Gates. We just want him to go away and focus on things he does know about and quit it with the vendetta against teachers and the desire to shape all schools into his image.
books for all says
Get the facts. Gates will make millions on Common Core products; millions that should be going to public schools. These brave teachers are trying to save public education from corporate reform and privatization.
One has to wonder why the author did zero research into the efficacy of anything proposed by Gates. It’s the old canard from Victor Hugo, “Prosperity supposes capacity.” Turn the channel Uncle Grumpy.
Angela Melvin says
It seems like you should do more research on BATS before you try and smear their name. There are over 48,000 BAT members (teachers, parents and concerned people). They care more about educating our children than billionaires with money to spend. They are fighting to keep students engaged in school and to actually help them learn. That does NOT include filling out multiple standardized all year long so testing companies can make billions off of students and then collect their data. These teachers are being vilified as the enemy by people like you because you have no idea what is really happening in our schools.
Gail DeBonis Richmond says
I’m not sure if the author is simply ignorant or if they are attempting to delude the readers. Anyone who has done the smallest bit of research understands the damage Bill Gates has done to public schools and public school children. Not one fact is evident in the article. The BadAss Teachers’ Association ( or BATS) is a group comprised of teachers who have, quite simply, had it. Since teachers are being punished everywhere for speaking truth, it is an act of bravery to belong to such a group. Hence the name. I wonder if you have the same problem with recent television shows touting ” BadAss Monster Trucks” and cooking channels which feature “badass” foods.
Instead of deflecting the message these folks were rightly sharing, why not explain to the readers the damage that Bill Gates has caused? Thank you for giving those teachers in BATS a chance to explain to the readers exactly what is happening in public education and why they are fighting with everything they have for the profession they love and the children they serve.
“I’m not sure if the author is simply ignorant or if they are attempting to delude the readers.”
Like they said in that Taco Bell commercial, Why Not Both?
Joan C. Grim says
We are attacking Bill Gates because his bad ideas on education hurts OUR children. These are OUR children. Teachers, principals, and parents do not like Gate’s outsized influence over OUR children’s schools. This is not how a democratic institution works.
Gabriel Ross says
Oh NO! The word ASS is in the name. Well obviously anyone that would use such a profanity could never care about children and must be part of a communist cabal to destroy the USA by ruining the educational system of the nation which only Bill Gates could save. I’m sure whoever wrote this little OPINION piece (without having the guts to put his or her name on it) would have made the same comments about the awful profanity if BAT’s was anti-union. I know this person must have delicate ears and deeply care about the children.
So the word ass is commie. Ignorance must be bliss
Jamie Stahl Bowsher says
Please ask your hero Bill Gates why his children are not subjected to CCSS in their private school? If it is good enough for public school students, it should be good enough for Bill’s kids, right? CCSS are developmentally inappropriate, especially for children with disabilities. One man should not have this much power over our children’s education just because he can afford to pay for the privilege. ^0^
This article is so very full of misinformation it is not worth the energy to power up the computer!
This publication is nothing more than a right-wing propaganda machine. There’s not even a bi-line so obviously whomever wrote this doesn’t want to be identified. Obviously whomever wrote this does not teach. The article is misinforming readers in order to turn them against teachers and make them more sympathetic to the corporate regime that has taken over our public education with funding from Bill Gates.
Mitchell Robinson says
If you think a group of teachers are more problematic than a billionaire intent on privatizing America’s public schools for profit, then you have already drunk the Koolaid. The BATs are hardly profane, but they are activists, and they are trying to protect our schools and our kids from the attacks being waged by Mr. Gates and his friends on public education.
Paul C Voas says
Just because one puts a lot of money into something doesn’t mean they are doing well by society or that they should not be scrutinized and protested. One of the things Gates and other education deformers promoted were similar evaluations to the ones used at Microsoft that they later realized were toxic and hurt the company and its profits. Well in 2011 Gates said he knew what was good for micro soft was good for education: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/08/26/microsofts-lesson-on-what-not-to-do-with-teachers/ and yet Micro soft abolished it in 2013. Hmmmm http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/microsoft-abolishes-employee-evaluation-system/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
Thank you for your treatise. Time for all of us to bow down to the “divine right of kings” of a thousand years ago. Suggesting that a school contractor quit doing what used to called bribing public officials to get a monopoly of his systems is what? You think – profane? : to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt : desecrate One wonders how we the parents and we the children are being treated. Dollar signs to fund the hungry Privatization monsters of our world? Or are they as you suggest divine? I’ll take the divinity of any random 7 year old over your idea of your G-d.
Clyde Gaw says
There are two kinds of education in this World. The first is to nurture children’s innate capacities, providing them with learning pathways that result in the natural unfolding of their intellects, gifts, passions and leave their curiosity for new learning intact. This is the kind of education afforded Bill Gates and he took advantage of it where he was able to develop his talent for coding in middle and secondary school at Lakeside (no high stakes testing there). The second kind of education can be seen in authoritarian nations where the (corporate) state, utilizing methods such as compulsory high stakes testing, imprints upon the minds of children what the state values.
Bev Iris says
I have to wonder what research has gone into positing that Bill Gates and his foundation know anything about education. Gates, Bloomberg, the Waltons, Margaret Rhee know nothing about being in the trenches. In the trenches is referring to educating all children, regardless of socio-economic station. They’ve never been there.
The Common Core State Standards are poorly written and conceived. The insane testing associated with these standards, are not age appropriate, especially at the elementary level. The actual tests contain errors in language and syntax.
This is merely a niche market that billionaires have discovered and plan on exploiting.
Attacking a group of 48,000 educators, administrators, parents and respected education leaders? Methinks the band is on the run. And is going to keep on running. But teachers aren’t gong anywhere.
Tom James says
awwwww……..let’s have a pity party for Nerd Bill. He thinks because he invented software he knows about how to run schools. This is the same guy who dropped out of Harvard and has ZERO experience in any education capacity. He’s like the Hollywood celebrity idiots who think because they have a few bucks in their bank account it makes them qualified to be an advocate for some cause. Gates himself said: we don’t know if any of this stuff is gonna work. I guess we’ll find out in about ten years”! The corporate takeover of American schools is in full swing but we’re not going to let them get away with it. And we’re gonna make sure when they crash and burn this time they don’t get bailed out!
For the Kids says
Why are they protesting?
They are protesting to protect their students. They are protecting their students from vulture corporations hiding behind the guise of philanthropy. Make no mistake, Bill Gates is doing this to make money. Everyone behind this so called reform of education is in it to make money. Pushing public schools to fail so charters can move in and take over with their grand and insincere promises. They are pushing out the veteran teachers to make room for the TFA temps to take over for two years and then move on to their real careers.
You obviously did not research this story very well if you missed the most obvious facts. How much are these reformers making for themselves? How much money does Michelle Rhee make or Wendy Kopp? They are not in the reform game to help children. They are in it to fill their pockets and allow he corporations in to make more money off of our children. Our teachers demonstrated to bring this to the public’s attention. Obviously the writer has trouble researching the background of this issue and would rather join in on the teacher bashing so popular in this country today. Congratulations, you fell for the reformers’ game! Arne will thank you.
The teachers in Washington were protesting on behalf of 48,000+ ‘badass teachers’ who do understand the damage that Bill and Melinda Gates have done to public education with their ideas that have no research to support them. The rally was all about what is best for students! I thank them from Florida for taking this stand! ^0^ Donna Mace
Tom O. says
Profane? I was there and heard no profanity at all. Whoever gave your information is a liar. As I always tell my teenaged students: Check your sources for reliability and knowledge of their fields. Don’t just go with your emotions. That makes for a really lousy paper.
The basic disagreement here has to do with “who knows best.” In most school districts, 50% of the teaching staff hold MA or higher degrees in either a subject area (English, biology, etc.) or education. The currently in vogue “reformers” are basically saying that they know better how to teach, say, a child with Asperger”s or ADD or a child who is a kinesthetic or visual learner. They are saying that a new college grad with 6 weeks of training can teacher better than a teacher with 15 years experience and an advanced degree. The problems experienced teachers see with Common Core standards is at least five fold: 1) they were not written by teachers, 2) they are in some cases developmentally inappropriate, 3) they were “sold” to the states, sight unseen, with the promise of money for the states trying to recover from the Recession of 2008 (strong-armed), 4) the testing regime that comes along with CCSS is disruptive to learning consuming up to 12% of the school year and 5) the tests tend to create negative stress for students who quickly feel that they are failures as students, some as early as Kindergarten. I will concede that Gates knows more about operating systems than I do, but he needs to make the same concession to me about how to teach. The teachers marching on the Gates Foundation want Gates and the public know that he does not have the backing of professional teachers as he goes about “improving” education. If I had his money, I would not make the mistake of assuming that my money means that I know more about operating systems than he does. He should be able to make the same statement. With a straight face. Union affiliation has nothing to do with “what’s best for kids.”
Like it or not, teachers advocate for their students every day of their professional careers. The BAT group has helped teachers across the country to unite and advocate for students as one. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation may pour millions of dollars into education, but that money has been used to support math and LA standards that are developmentally inappropriate and were admittedly crafted by individuals without an educational background, which have striped states and communities of their ability to craft curriculum to fit the needs of their students, which mandates ineffective, harmful testing that places undue financial burdens on schools, and also vilifies some of the hardest working teachers who serve underprivileged students. This is not about self interest. Stop manipulating readers with your biased, fact less articles, and purposeful revision of the BAT slogan. I recommend you actually educate yourself on the history and controversies of the adoption of the Common Core Curriculum.
How is “shift happens” any less profane/offensive than “badass?”
Bill Gates would better serve the country by seeking ways to reduce poverty, or to help the ones who are living in poverty. Leave education to the educators. ^O^
Maria Glass says
SHIFT, one more home-spawn, pseudo journalism, whose “writers” do not even sign their names under their extremist views. Curious, how much did Gates and the like of him “donate” to your cause. In the other corner, nearly 48,000 BATS, all well educated and well informed about the current education “reforms”. Shift has mispelled its name.
Bill Gates knows ONE thing about education…that there HAS to be a way to make money in the system… IF it is changed! After all a $500 BILLION dollar industry! Think about it Pre-K through College…and every businessman in this country wants a cut…and the only thing standing in their way are those DARN Badass Teachers and Their PESKY Unions!!! I am one of them and will continue to fight for my students and THEIR rights as well as mine. I didn’t go to college and graduate from some of the BEST public schools to put up with nonsense like this…we learned how to deal with this mess and we are dealing!
Terri Michal says
What kind of an organization is this that ‘reports’ such news with so little facts or discovery? Do you even have a clue as to what you are saying? Do you think all of the members of the Badass Teacher Association have just been sitting around wringing their hands and then BOOM…out of the starting block they do something as drastic as this rally? The BATs have been working tirelessly for slightly over a year now….and many of the organizers of this event have been working with other organizations even before BATs existed….to create a positive change for OUR students within the systems of our individual states and on a federal level. After being met with deaf ears, and even worse, being identified as ‘trouble makers’, ‘ineffective’, ‘lazy’….etc…..it takes an action like this one in WA to show these folks that are running the show that we mean business. As folks like Bill Gates continue to destroy public education with the help of organizations and media outlets like ‘Shift’ more and more rallies like this one will pop up…because the American people need to know the TRUTH….and who better to educate than a teacher? Paint us as darkly and as negatively as you wish for the truth always comes to light and someday everyone will see the teacher’s worth….and dedication….and will know the importance of this fight against corporate education ‘reform’.
I am what some might consider a right-wing extremist, not a union lover by any stretch of the imagination and I hate common core. The beautiful think about CC is there is something for everyone to dislike. It’s not one side of the aisle against the other. It’s the oligarchy against the forgotten man.