I came back today after spending the week-end in Sacramento at the 2013 California Democratic Convention. A contingent of labor groups, including the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers, submitted a resolution titled, “Supporting Public Education and Dispelling the Corporate Reform Agenda”. It not only calls out the corporate reformers, but so-called democratic organization (in name only) such as Democrats for Education Reform and Students First. This resolution was heard on the floor of the convention today. I’m very proud of the fact that this resolution was passed by a majority of California Democrats. The text of the resolution is below.
Supporting California’s Public Schools and Dispelling the Corporate “Reform” Agenda
Whereas, the reform initiatives of Students First, rely on destructive anti-educator policies that do nothing for students but blame educators and their unions for the ills of society, make testing the goal of education, shatter communities by closing their public schools, and see public schools as potential profit centers and children as measureable commodities; and
Whereas, the political action committee, entitled Democrats for Education Reform is funded by corporations, Republican operatives and wealthy individuals dedicated to privatization and anti-educator initiatives, and not grassroots democrats or classroom educators; and
Whereas, the billionaires funding Students First and Democrats for Education Reform are supporting candidates and local programs that would dismantle a free public education for every student in California and replace it with company run charter schools, non-credentialed teachers and unproven untested so-called “reforms”;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party reaffirms its commitment to free accessible public schools for all which offer a fair, substantive opportunity to learn with educators who have the right to be represented by their union, bargain collectively and have a voice in the policies which affect their schools, classrooms and their students;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party send this resolution to all elected Democratic leaders in California, publicize the corporate and Republican funding of these groups and work with the authors of this resolution to dispel the false reforms and support the real needs of the classroom: trained teachers, adequate funding, safe and clean facilities, diverse and stimulating curriculum and access to pre-school and higher education.