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The Indignant Teacher’s Urgent Message to Boston Mayoral Candidates

August 27, 2013

The Indignant Teacher has made lots of mistakes since trading her 15-year identity “Boston Public Schoolteacher” for that of “The Indignant Teacher”

Her biggest mistake came last week, when she put Boston Mayoral Candidate John Connolly in front of the firing squad for contradicting himself about the Stand For Children endorsement and it’s half-million incentives. Though Connolly’s response was not the one she was hoping for, she’s come to realize that was only because she was wrong in how she went about it. She apologizes to the Councillor for any misunderstanding as to her intent.

The worst mistakes provide the best lessons, as the Connolly Controversy has done for The Indignant Teacher. This has not only clarified her purpose, it’s also narrowed the focus of her efforts, allowed her to identify a specific & unique goal, and enabled her to create a plan of action that would most effectively and efficiently allow her to achieve this goal. Better still, it has offered her an audience that has the potential power to help her achieve this goal.

When The Indignant Teacher first came to be, all she knew was that she could no longer spend her days acting in ways that were harmful to the children she was supposed to be teaching. She was, then, an Ignorant Teacher, who didn’t even know what this War on Education was really all about, never mind how she could possibly help fight it. But she knew that by staying in the classroom and continuing to be the ever-so-compliant educator, she was fighting on the wrong side of the War.

The fact that she was the single mother of 3 little boys taking a 100% reduction in income to instead work for free – and with no specific purpose, agenda, or prospect for income – could prove to keep her on that wrong side for only so long.  She turned in her resignation, knowing only that anything was better than spending one more day contributing to corporate reform’s terrible, terrible agenda by teaching in a public school classroom. She had to get out. She had to fight.

Ever the teacher, the Indignant One knew she must first educate herself about the Reform Movement and the current War on Education. What she quickly learned was that she was entirely misinformed about all things related to reform; Mainstream Media – radio, television, and print (even magazines) – had been lying! It was only through social media outlets, she realized, that the truth about the issues could be found, and with evidence to back everything up.

Growing only more indignant as Mainstream Media’s role and responsibility in this War became clearer, The Indignant Teacher realized that her purpose was, as it always had been, to educate. Figuring out who exactly she was supposed to be educating was the hard part. Making sure they would then let her educate them was the other.

By the beginning of summer, The Indignant Teacher had determined her target audience to be Boston’s Mayoral Candidates, with the goal of ensuring our next Mayor be someone who would say something like this. In the months since, she has actively been seeking ways to get their attention. She has, as of this writing, only failed.

Because the general public (&likely their politicians) relies on Mainstream Media to obtain facts about current events and politics, and because she believes in the good of humanity, The Indignant Teacher finds it impossible to truly believe that any of the candidates, never mind any human being with a heart, would not say those words if they truly understood Ed Reform’s reality. She has already bet her career and her financial stability on this.…if people, including (especially local) politicians, truly understood the realities of Ed Reform and all it entails (from charters to vouchers to TFA to what damage those things cause in their own children’s lives), there is not a chance the Movement wouldn’t be stopped in it’s tracks. The direction of Education would be reversed, and schools would once again become places of learning to love learning, places where children thrive and flourish academically and socially, and places that aren’t – frankly – abusive.

To clarify: Today’s public schools are abusive to the students enrolled in them. Our nation’s students are being forced to act as guinea pigs in what will soon enough prove to be society’s most devastating mass sociological experiment of all time. Our children are bearing the psychological brunt of being forced to take part in activities that are developmentally inappropriate. {What does that mean? It means, the kids are being expected to do things that they are not developmentally ABLE to be do…and so they are made to fail. That what this means.}

The Indignant Teacher understands when people hear that, they often assume it’s a fantastic exaggeration by an ex-teacher with a hair across her you-know-what. It’s not.

She would not be saying these things if she didn’t know them to be true, and The Indignant Teacher welcomes the chance to debate any person who challenges that; she would not lose.  Anyone who takes the time to self-inform will see that.  This side of the War has only recently started winning; we will prevail, and likely soon. There is too much indisputable evidence in our ammo bags at this point, and with power to kill every single issue on the table. Some politician will, very soon, realize that, and be the leader that this army is ready and waiting to follow.

Calling on Connolly to defend his position with the Stand for Children incident of last week was an erroneous, round-a-bout way to somehow result in educating the candidates. The Indignant Teacher was wrong to single out John Connolly and challenge his understanding of what accepting their endorsement really means. Because every other candidate in the pool of twelve – with the noteworthy exception of Rob Consalvo – went after Stand’s endorsement, they all should have been challenged. This was The Indignant Teacher’s mistake.

Within 24 hours, this mistake proved invaluable, as it provided The Indignant Teacher the means and opportunity to be heard by the twelve people she most hopes will listen. Overnight, this blog’s readership increased tenfold, bringing her Boston audience to over one thousand. If each member of that group takes the few minutes needed to share this message via every social media outlet they are part of, there is no doubt the candidates will get the message.

Time is of the essence. There are only a few short weeks until the field is narrowed to four. There are but 3 months to make sure each candidate’s platform on education is one that will see that the BPS becomes exactly what it’s students need it to be. What they deserve. The only alternative will surely result in years and years of toxic aftermath to deal with; the BPS can not afford to go a step further down this path.

The Indignant Teacher hopes to make sure every Boston Mayoral Candidate become educated enough to lead this army to victory. She cannot do this alone. Please Help pass along the following message, which may be small in words but immeasurable in worth:

***The only sure way Boston’s future Mayor will be able to keep his promise of school improvement is to first promise to allow Dr Diane Ravitch to tell him exactly how to do that.***

This War on Education will soon be over, but not until America elects a politician who understands the truth, and who has what it takes to start a Revolution. Dr. Ravitch has long since earned herself a place in the history books as the Leader of this War; when America finds the politician who will let her guide this army to victory, they can be written.

The Indignant Teacher believes that politician can be found in Boston. Once again, she is reaching out to her Boston audience to help ensure that the birthplace of public education become someday known as the City where it was later saved. Please share this message and get it to the candidates.

Boston voters aren’t the only audience The Indignant Teacher needs to call on for help; her smaller but properly-educated fellow indignant teachers, edu-bloggers, and random citizens who’ve been self-informed is the second audience she must call upon. They can help by sharing their own thoughts about The Indignant Teacher’s message and hopefully encouraging all Bostonians to listen, and most importantly by making sure our next Mayor does the same.

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3 Comments
  1. Steven permalink

    You are incorrect in stating all of the Mayoral candidates went after their endorsement. Some of these campaigns fill out the questionnaire for all groups as a form of transparency. You should look at their stated education stances. Especially on the charter cap, before you make these kinds of accusations.

    In what world is an anti-charter cap candidate like Yancey or Arroyo in any way catering to STAND or chasing their endorsement.

    You’ve done a disservice with this misinformation.

  2. Steven permalink

    Left out Mike Ross who I also believe is against the charter cap being lifted, not sure on that. My basic point is if someone has educational stances that are directly against that of STANDS can we really say they “went after” that endorsement.

  3. This comment came from a reader who was unable to post it herself for some reason, but it’s a great idea that should be shared…

    “Great article!!! I think we should be demanding a BIG PUBLIC forum where these issues are discussed and debated openly, and people like the Indignant Teacher and others who are most educated and aware about the harm/danger of the corporate reform agenda directly debate with Paul Grogan and Jason Williams and the people who are supporting it. Isn’t that a GOOD idea? And the candidates should listen instead of talk. We should find a WBUR or WGBH person to “moderate” it.”
    -Andrea Doremus Cuetara, BPS teacher and education activist

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