The #WeChoose campaign is a declaration from hundreds of thousands of parents and students in cities across the United States with a clear, yet profound message – we refute and resist corporate education policies that are inflicted upon our children without our voice.
The failure of previous administrations to respect the voices of all Americans has set the tone for this perilous moment that we are in now. We reject appointed school boards. We reject zero tolerance policies that criminalize our children. We reject mediocre corporate education interventions that are only accepted because of the race of the children served. We choose equity. We will organize to build local coalitions and alliances to have the power to realize this vision.
- Launching in February of 2017, the #WeChoose campaign will elevate a plank in the J4J education platform. Coalitions in no fewer than 25 cities across the U.S. will organize press events, policy forums, meetings with elected officials, direct actions and other tactics to demonstrate public support for one of the planks. The organizing will be supported by a coordinated social media campaign.
- The planks rotate each month and the goal each month is to win decision maker support for the #WeChoose The campaign will culminate in August of 2017 with a national policy forum and commitment from decision-makers to stand with communities to fight for equity, not school privatization schemes.
- A Moratorium on School Privatization – Only 1 in 5 charter schools outperforms traditional public schools. The overwhelming majority perform the same or worse than public schools. It is a failed experiment that harms children.
- The Creation of 10,000 Sustainable Community Schools – We want strong neighborhood schools with a curriculum that is engaging, relevant and rigorous; supports for high-quality teaching and not high stakes testing; wraparound supports for every child; student-centered school climates; and the end to zero tolerance policies in schools and transformative parent and community engagement.
- End Zero Tolerance Policies in Public Schools NOW – Criminalizing children is morally reprehensible and it does not make schools safer. We support restorative justice practices and leadership developed programming to organize humane accountability and character development opportunities.
- National Equity Assessment – We believe that equity is one of the major failures of public education. The U.S. ranks 19th in the world in education; when you remove the effects of poverty we are number 2.
- Stop the Attack on Black Teachers – A 2015 Shanker Institute study found a rapid decline in the number of Black teachers in 9 major cities impacted by school privatization.
- End State Takeovers, Appointed School Boards and Mayoral Control – Privatizers have pushed for policies that remove locally elected school boards, preventing taxpayers from holding appointed school boards accountable for the policies they set.
- Eliminate the Over-Reliance on Standardized Tests in Public Schools – We know that the best school systems use multiple assessments to gauge student progress and needs. Testing to punish is steeped in the deepest racist tradition of supporting the illusion of white supremacy; if W.E.B DuBois understood this in 1940…