Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dear Readers . . .


Dear Fellow Educators, Students, and Parents, 

I hope this note finds you well.

I just wanted to drop in to say hello and hope that you are all enjoying, but more importantly, being provoked by the content this website has to offer. 

I also wanted to deliver a friendly reminder, in solidarity, that you are free to lift any image from this website and use in your own advocacy material as you maintain your fight against corporate reform and privatizing public education. While I hold copyright, I am granting you a free license to use all images on this site, with the only condition that you credit the name "Robert Rendo" for the illustration. 

Usage includes but is not limited to hardcopy materials, Twitter, Facebook, My Space, Pinterest, blogs, YouTube, websites, newsletters, media presentations for public speaking, and periodicals, etc. Like Diane Ravitch and literally millions of others nationwide, anyone who believes in preserving education as a public trust may use my images, and they're all FREE.

It is my sincere hope that we use imagery as one of many strategies to tell about how wrong and misguided this whole reform movement is in public education. 

This will indeed be a long battle, but as we stand together, organize, and continue to mobilize, we will prevail in the long run, as we permanently hold one thing in education that privatizers don't: the TRUTH.

Preserving K-12 education as a public trust and funding it resplendently so that ALL children have a first rate, world class education is the birth right of every child in the United States. A critical part of fulfilling these human rights is ensuring that children are not born into poverty, or can get out of it well before they enter kindergarten. The academic success of every child will depend on giant factors, such as his/her socio-economic status, the availability of resources within the school and pedagogical quality (which I do NOT define by test scores!). 

Turning education into a numbers-obsessed factory production game will only further stratify our society. We not only look to protect teaching as a profession, but to guard against turning current and future generations into a sea of test-taking, robotrons who emerge into civic discourse and the work place with little to no creativity and critical thinking. 

Certainly testing has its place, but it cannot drive the narrative of teacher effectiveness, nor should it ever be used to punish, label, or deteriorate the self esteem of children. Tests tell us what children are strong and weak in, not whether we've been adept at teaching them. We are THE only modern industrialized country that now ties teacher worthiness and employability to test scores. With this over simplified and ignorant notion of education, we stand only to dumb down our citizenry rather than empower it. 

But we will continue to fight this injustice. 

The fight begins with state governments and certainly extends to President Obama and the United States Department of Education. 

It is my sincere hope that we together stand undivided and unwavering, as we reclaim the social and cognitive justice we and our children need if we are to maintain a true democracy. 

It is my intention that the images on this site voice such concerns with vim, vigor, passion, and healthy provocation.  

Your feedback (of ANY nature) on this site is always welcome.

Warm Regards,

Robert Rendo, publisher