Rafael Feliciano president of the Puerto Rican Teachers federation spoke forcefully in his key note address on
“We need to talk about something, not just against something” – Salaam, delegate from
They’re trying to define everything as private, one of our jobs is to expand the definition of what is public.” “People used to think that voting was political power, they are now finding out it was just influence.” -- Peter Brown; a machine shop teacher in the
There is really the potential for an international teachers movement that could be a model for unions elsewhere.” – Lois Weiner who runs the website www.teachersolidarity.com
“I was hoping we could work towards a general strike next May 1st” – Jenn Laskin, teacher in
“Teachers around the country and alot of the population want NCLB ended.” Quoted from a New York City teacher who mentioned that their union president, (and the likely future president of the AFT) Randi Weingarten, had initially supported NCLB, but once she went out campaigning for Hilary Clinton realized that people around the country hated the unfunded mandate. Weingarten, sensing a political opportunity quickly announced her opposition to the law.
“The test is the justification of privatization and without stopping the test its almost impossible to stop the charters” -- “NCLB is so bad, one advantage is that it unites us.” – Rafael Feliciano – president of the Puerto Rican Teachers Federation.
“As a union we don’t only see our role as protecting our members, but in protecting the services and education for each of our students.” – Domenic Bellissimo – teacher at CUNY,
“We’ve boycotted producing the test and now voted to not administer them” Irene Lanzinger, president of the British Columbia Teacher’s Federation – a teachers union that has successfully boycotted marking standardized tests and sees the tests as the first stage of privatization. The believe that teachers and students will be judged inadequate by low test scores which are an arbitrary measure produced by the business community who use the data to “reform” education to match their interests.
Steve Miller – Teacher in the
”The U.S was the first country in the world to establish public education and is moving to be the first country in the world to end public education.”
”For the last fifty years, public education was one of only two public mandates guaranteed by the government that was accessible to every person, regardless of income. Social Security is the other. Now both systems are threatened with privatization schemes. The government today openly defines its mission as protecting the rights of corporations above everything. Thus public education is a rare public space that is under attack”
“In LA its greendot in
“95 per cent of union work needs to be done by volunteers otherwise you become a business.”
Participants at the conference agreed that on October 5th, International Teachers’ Day, all three countries would coordinate a day of action against high stakes testing. Also on