Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Press Release - Teachers Marching on Washington

I got this today via email. I think it's high time teachers did this and long overdue.

Thousands of Teachers Expected to March on Nation's Capitol Oct. 18 to Bring Attention to Teacher Abuse; Some Wearing Bags on Heads to Hide Identities; Presidential Campaigns Alerted

Thousands of teachers and their supporters, some wearing paper bags on their heads to hide their identities, are expected to converge on the nation’s Capitol Oct. 18 to send a strong message that abuse of teachers must stop because teachers are the anchors of the education system. The organizers have alerted both presidential campaigns about this momentous event.

Education leaders organizing the rally say that the country's educational system is about to implode as have our financial institutions and for the very same reasons - a lack of regulations and greed. In addition to marching on the
National Mall, there will be an array of speakers whose message is to convey just why schools are so dysfunctional and what must be done for education reform to work.

This march will be an historic presentation of teachers as individuals, rather than as extensions of the teachers' unions, sponsored by Educators for Progressive Instructional Change (EPIC), a non-profit organization focused on empowering teachers to dramatically impact the process of education reform. These teachers will talk about how administrations operating with too much power and hollow regulations have held schools hostage from the public.

Karen Horwitz, M.Ed., Chicago area native and author of the book, White Chalk Crime: The REAL Reason Schools Fail (2008), will speak about how teachers have been silent about what has been really going on in our schools due to their fear of teacher abuse. (WhiteChalkCrime.com offers more information about her book as well as an opportunity to blog about education concerns.) In 2002, she cofounded the
National Association for the Prevention of Teacher Abuse (NAPTA) to unify what she calls a disenfranchised group of teachers and an intentionally divided group of parents and teachers.

This group, whose website is EndTeacherAbuse.org, now exceeds 1,000 members, all of whom are eager to attest to the depravity of teacher abuse and its negative effects on students, but up until now have had no voice because it is simply too unbelievable that a first class nation could be treating its teachers this way,
Horwitz said. Teachers from her group will be present at the rally later this month to explain why legislators must bail out teachers from the powerless state in which they find themselves despite their unions, she said.

However, due to the imbalanced playing field in education, few teachers can afford to expose what Horwitz called in her book the "EducRAT$"; with their unlimited access to propaganda that blames teachers, parents and children and that instead protects those who are cannibalizing
American schools. Thus, EPIC is providing bags to hide the faces of currently employed teachers who fear retribution from school authorities or their unions.

“We need to send a strong message to draw attention to the need for
educational reform in this country. Teachers need to Speak Up and Speak Out for their profession and their students, and teachers need to be given the power to do so,” explained Myra Sawyers, M.Ed., President and Founder of EPIC. “This is an advocacy movement FOR teachers. It’s about giving teachers the support, power and respect they deserve.”

“We are holding the March in Washington D.C. because that is where we can create the biggest visual message for all government leaders and the public,” Sawyers said. “Teachers must have a greater role in influencing standards and policies. Amazingly, teachers – those who actually know what education needs – are not consulted. So EPIC is here to give teachers a voice. We want to empower teachers to change the educational world."

From 9 a.m. to noon on Wed., Oct. 18, related events will be held on the Mall in preparation for the March, including presentations by nationally-recognized
education reformers who will engage the public in lively discussions about the challenges of modern educational practices. From 1-4 p.m., the rally and Teachers' March will take place at the foot of the Capitol as what organizers are calling a solid show of unified concern. Registration tables, vendors and supporters will be visible along the mall.

"This will be a day of answers, solutions, and enlightenment for all who care about education," Horwitz said. Topics from
teacher shortages to avoiding more Columbine shootings will be covered. Participation is free and advance registration is encouraged. Register at www.teachermarch.org.

About EPIC
Educators for Progressive Instructional Change (EPIC) is a non-profit organization focused on empowering teachers to dramatically impact the process of education reform. It was created by teachers and teacher advocates with the belief that today's educators have the power to transform the teaching profession and must play an essential role in developing education policy. It is not a
Political Action Committee (PAC) but a non-partisan organization with no political mandate. EPIC does not lobby for any particular issue. Rather, it inspires teachers to become their own self-advocates. To achieve this objective, EPIC offers members a speaker series, annual conferences, policy forums, activism workshops, participation in political activities, one-on-one support and guidance, an annual newsletter, and other events and activities. Visit www.epicreform.org for additional details about EPIC.

National Association for the Prevention of Teacher Abuse (NAPTA) is a non-profit, non partisan organization founded to educate the public about teacher abuse and its role in obstructing school reform. In addition to helping teachers, educators, parents and citizens navigate within an education system that is increasingly hostile toward them, it is uniting disenfranchised teachers and giving them a voice. Its 1000 plus members post their stories of teacher abuse and thus student abuse at its website: EndTeacherAbuse.org. Membership is free and all who care about children, teachers, and this nation's future are welcome to join.

For more information, please contact Josh Fertel, River City Marketing at
703-218-1750 or josh@rivercitymarketing.com, or Myra Sawyers, EPIC, at 571-233-6735 or myrasawyers@epicreform.org, www.teachermarch.org, www.epicreform.org or Karen Horwitz, NAPTA, at 312-397-1940 or teacherkh@aol.com.


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