(note: Links in this post are not not embedded right now because my blog site keeps erasing my post every time I try to make a link. Hmmmm…weird, huh?) Can’t upload pics either….
The thing about fires (and I don’t mean the ones in a fireplace or Bar-B-Q pit), is that no one is ever quite sure exactly which spark it was that started the blaze. But once it’s started, it s a powerful force of nature that is difficult to stop. Those of us working in the resistance– against corporate reform of public education, and those of us who are fighting for social justice, equity, and democracy in public spaces we call schools—we know that every spark counts. Every spark matters. A look back any previous movement, from the resistance against Fascism in early 20th century, and up through the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s, indicates that while movements are “big” they are comprised of individual sparks. Everything we do, even the small localized battles, add up. The power of one = the power of many. I know…it sounds like a cheesy bumper sticker, but it’s true.
From the refusal to sell out to Pearson, like the power of one Barbara Madeloni http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/07/education/new-procedure-for-teaching-license-draws-protest.html?pagewanted=all , to the parents in 61 districts NYC http://www.parentvoicesny.org/?page_id=11 who opted their children out of the NYC Pearson field tests in June, to the battle of Texas school superintendents fighting high stakes testing http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/education/article/S-A-school-districts-to-join-statewide-backlash-3407798.php , to the to the one lone parent in public school in anywhere USA (and the numbers are growing), …and movements across the globe in Australia http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/principals-warned-off-test-boycott-20120514-1yn57.html or Treehorn Express http://treehornexpress.wordpress.com/ …. it all matters.
Sometimes we feel like all hope is lost. If, as they say “normal” is nothing more than a dial on a washing machine, the I suggest that “futility” is nothing more than an emotion reformers are trying to subscribe upon us. It’s a dial that someone else is trying to turn. We do not have to succumb. Even if we fear we might lose the battle, we will not do so quietly. We must make corporate greed and political corruption, the selling out of children at stock options, publicly known and transparent transgressions. We will not keep their secrets. We will publicize them widely.
And even though tonight I sit at my computer, wondering why I am not out picketing some federal building or chaining myself to the main office of Pearson Inc, I can do something. I can fan the sparks that have been started by others. It’s a small gesture in some ways. But…every spark matters, if we don’t let them die out. Disruption of the oppressive take-over of our schools, of our children, of our human rights (not to mention Constitutional rights if you live in the United States) will not happen from the top down. It will happen from the ground up by creating cracks, fissures, and ruptures in some rhizomatic fashion, spreading like a brush fire.
Which one of these local and seemingly small efforts will turn into the flame? Who knows? I have hope in all of them. So my blog tonight highlights the story of fellow fighters-this time in Indiana where teachers, parents, and community members are fighting for the survival of The Project School. This is an excellent account written by Doug Martin, of the events. These are events that can happen to any one of us. This could be my school. Your school. So we fight for, and with, each other.
My job tonight is to fan that frigging flame. See original post in Common Errant. Pass it on.