Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Educators for Fenty

In light of this, it's heartening to see a new group of DC teachers, Educators for Fenty.  Here's an email from the founder, Dustin Thomas (mrthomaschs@gmail.com):


The story behind the group:


Over the summer, I found myself having conversations with several different teachers and education reformers about the implications of the upcoming mayoral election in D.C.   We would talk about how a failed reelection of Mayor Fenty would deal a serious blow to the progress being made in schools not only in D.C. but every other city where political leaders are debating whether to make ed reform the number one issue on their platforms. 


For voters who aren't involved in education here in D.C., it would be really easy to assume that all teachers in D.C. dislike Michelle Rhee and Adrian Fenty, especially with the firings, RIFs, and constant battles with the teacher's union.  There's a misperception in the community that ALL educators are against the current leadership in the city. 


We have stood by silently hoping that the signs of progress would be evident enough by the results of our hard work in the classrooms.  However, critics of Mayor Fenty and Michelle Rhee have muddied the waters just enough to make this race much closer than it should be.   For those of us who are working endlessly to provide better futures for the children in this city, I've come to the conclusion that now is not the time to stand by in silent hope.   I created Educators For Fenty as a grassroots group to encourage and support fellow educators to take charge and start pushing back on the critics who continually bash the reforms taking place in D.C.  This group offers ways for educators to plug in and take action for our kids outside the classroom.    Here is our mission statement:


Under Mayor Adrian Fenty's full support and leadership, Chancellor Michelle Rhee has enacted reforms that have brought our public schools closer to this end.  As current and former educators who understand what is at stake for the children of D.C., we believe it is imperative to reelect a leader who puts the children of Washington, D.C. first.


United in the spirit of lasting reform, we are mobilizing to spread the word of how Mayor Fenty's leadership has improved educational outcomes for our children - and to ensure that these results continue.


We are setting out to debunk the myths about educators not supporting the reforms which have taken place under the current administration by mobilizing fellow educators and getting in front of as many voters as possible in the final weeks of the mayoral race.  In our first official event, we were able to bring a little more than 100 educators to a meet-and-greet with the Mayor recently.  Close to 50 educators signed up to hit the streets and share their stories with DC voters.  In spite of the event taking place on the first night of the school year, we were pleased with the turnout and canvass sign-up.  We are having our kickoff canvass today (Sunday August 29) from 2-5pm and have several dates in the remaining two weeks of the race to get educators in front of voters.  


If a current or former educator in D.C. wants to join us on Sunday or any other date they can email Educators4Fenty@gmail.com with their contact information.  We can be found on Facebook at this link and can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/educators4fenty.


 Subscribe in a reader