Sun, 26 January 2014
MyMediaDiary: The Badass Teacher Association - Interview with leaders Marla Kilfoyle and Melissa Tomlinson
Kevin Walsh interviews Badass Teacher's Association leaders Marla Kilfoyle, a high school social studies teacher from Long Island, and Melissa Tomlinson, a middle school math/special education teacher from New Jersey, who also received national attention in November 2013 when Governor Chris Christie shouted at her when she asked him a question.
This interview follows Kevin's January 24, 2014 post: Public Education Going the Way of Netscape Navigator? Common Core, Bill Gates and BATs
Topics include: BATs exploding membership, What's in a name?, Common Core Standards, Addressing teacher Isolation, Post-Christie life for Melissa, Reaction of parents/colleagues, Creating a strong voice in the unions, Pleasant surprises, Current needs.
Background on the BATs: In June, 2013, Mark Naison, a professor of African-American Studies at Fordham University, together with Priscilla Sanstead an education activist, formed the provocatively titled, “Badass Teacher’s Association”—a grassroots organization “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"
In 6 months, the group has grown to 36,000 members, and they’re not all teachers. Parents, students, retirees and anyone who believes in the founding goals of public education has a found a voice in this dynamic group.