Touched by Testimony Delivered. Ruth Rodriguez-Fay, Classroom Teacher
The following is not testimony given at the Department of Education Hearing on January 29th, 2013. The words scribed and shared are from those touched by the Journey For Justice 2 Alliance. The individuals who submit their story are “there” with the cause. “Lest we forget FIRST THEY CAME FOR…
To: Department of Education,
Civil Rights Division
I thank the organizers of this important hearing, “Journey for justice 2”, for bringing the voices of the most disenfranchised to the hearts and ears of this body of policy makers. I commend them for the courage demonstrated to take up this very important cause in defense of ALL children of this great democracy; but especially the children that have been subjects of collateral damage to the corporate agenda, and the takeover of our public education system; as well as the highly financed backing and cleverly high jacking of public schools disguised as education reform.
It was a century ago that U.S. business big wigs attempted a similar takeover of the nation’s public schools; but, just as it happened then, resistance to this scam will prove to be our victory. For as we have learned from our history, “education cannot be measure as dollar per production outcome”, because “education deals with the human mind, and the role of schooling is to assist young children to become critical thinkers”. We must remain firm in our commitment to defend our public democratic process, and reject the test prep factory style of education promoted by greedy business billionaires who would never consider subjecting their own children to the abusive method of educating children that they have so dishonestly crafted for the community of the politically powerless.
The fight to preserve democratically public education against the big corporate machine has been challenging to say the least. But the poor, working class and the politically marginalized have a history of struggling for basic human rights, and this will serve us well as we proceed with defending our schools. They have shown to be relentless in their quest to dismantle public education; it is going to require every ounce of will power from every one of us who believe in the democratic process of our schools, and to those who are prepare to fight in defense of all of the children.
At the [our] Save Our Schools [People’s Education] Convention this past August, Rose Sanders reminded us “this is the worst war fought in U.S. soil, not the revolutionary war nor the fight for civil rights of the 1960’s compare to the war we are witnessing against our children. In her book, The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander warns us that this is the “Civil Rights Struggle of our time”. So, today I make a plead before those in this important hearing, to every citizen who loves freedom and justice, who agrees in the words of our great leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., that public education is a right, and help us by joining the fight in defense of our children, for in so doing it is the preservation of future generations, and of the democratic values that we are upholding and defending.
Finally, I ask that this committee take a bold move of rejecting all the recent attacks on the teaching profession, that you take a serious look at the demoralizing conditions under which teachers find themselves as a result of a business model that has not proven to result in real reforms. I ask that you look at the conditions in our society that contributes to the challenges in our schools, and to join us in an honest discussion between teachers, students and parents one that can be a catalyst to real solutions.
January 29, 2013