Starting A-New


For much of the last twenty years, I’ve been focused on my own university teaching, faculty and student rights activism, and on several large projects that have required an enormous amount of time and energy.  I’ve left the battles raging in K-12 to other very capable educational warriors – like Diane Ravitch and Ken Robinson, for instance.  I’ve maintained faith in those in the K-12 trenches following the teaching of wonderful educational reformers and thinkers like Sally Smith.  But with the events of the  last few years, and with the egregious appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, someone whose credentials are so grievously absent, whose open hostility to high-quality public education is continually on display, I feel that I have to expand my work, and the work of Guerilla U, whose motto is Truth, Tactics and Triumph.  Truth about the ruination of public education in the United States.  Tactics that will allow us to fight back powerfully against the wealthy, corporate interests poised to privatize the future of our children.  Triumph for us all, but most of all, for those who are the most vulnerable among us — our children and grandchildren — who deserve our protection and care now more than ever.  We need to be ferocious, relentless.  Why “Guerilla U”?  Because we are facing institutions and organizations of enormous power and wealth, who now more than ever before in our history, are the beneficiaries of governmental protection.  We are greater in number, but can only succeed if we join strengths, hit on many fronts, like guerilla fighters, to weaken those who would be our oppressors.  We have to do battle against Betsy DeVos herself — rising up against her attempts to dismantle public education from within — through our telephone calls, our letters, our newspaper articles, our demonstrations.  We can’t allow ourselves to tire, or to be deflated.  But we also have to be present in our communities, and present in our schools.  Parents, teachers and students must be united in the struggle to establish the highest quality pubic education possible for all of our students, in all parts of our country, in every neighborhood throughout the nation.   As educators, we have to fight on every single level, from grassroots to federal, to re-establish the professional sovereignty of our calling.  As parents, we have to join together, inform ourselves, and swarm the schools, the governmental institutions of town, state and country.  Most important?  We have to gather our children, our youth, to us and remind ourselves every single day, that we are doing this fighting for them — for their right to a superb education, for their right to be cherished and nurtured and guided by those who see them as walking miracles rather than dollar signs.  We have to listen to them, really listen, and encourage them to use their own voices, to take control, no matter how young they are, of their own inner guidance and inner hunger for learning.  Even the youngest of children knows what they love, what their heart and spirit guide them toward — whether it is playing music, or building a treehouse or studying bugs — they know who they are, and it is our responsibility to nurture their gifts for them.  There is a war that is raging, and its coming for our children, so we have to fight back.  Guerilla U will be here, providing regular information, regular support, and wanting very much to hear from you all — we are a community coming together to defend the most precious and vulnerable among us.  Please feel free to leave a post here, or send us an email at with your own particular concerns or questions.


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