Friday, June 1, 2018
A new essay by Daniel Krutka, Tutaleni Asino, and Scott Haselwood offers lessons learned from the Oklahoma teacher walkout. The abstract states:
Teacher activism is increasingly occurring in online spaces, but the implications for educators are unclear. The authors use the recent Oklahoma Teachers Walkout and the active #OklaEd network to offer an illustrative example of the power and fragility of socially networked teacher movements. They offer eight lessons educators may take from the #OklaEd network and the walkout.
Here is a run down of the lesson they draw:
- Teacher Networks Can Offer Support
- Teacher Participation Can Disrupt Narratives
- Teacher Networks Can Amplify Mobilization
- Teacher Networks Can Encourage Tactical Flexibility
- Leadership is Critical, but Must Be Representative
- Online Activities of Teacher Networks Are Not Enough
- Legislative and Electoral Change are Piecemeal and Ongoing
- Misinformation and Distraction Tactics Not Evident… Yet
I would emphasize that legislative and electoral change is piecemeal. As I wrote in the LA Times, “The Arizona teacher walkouts are just a skirmish in the larger war on public education.” The recent concessions by states like Oklahoma and Arizona do not mean that their fundamental positions have changed. “State leaders like Ducey are so dead set on privatizing education or spending school funds elsewhere that they are ready to change any rules — even longstanding constitutional and democratic norms — to further that agenda.” So efforts to resist these attacks on public education must be ongoing. Education advocates must start guarding the very idea of public education and the various constitutional and democratic norms designed to protect it just as jealously as they are guarding teachers' salaries. Otherwise, they will wake up one day with nothing left to defend.
-image source: https://twitter.com/okea/status/980172899788230658