The Antioch University Los Angeles Education Department is committed to activism and to creating change in the public school system. Each quarter as part of the Friends of Education Speaker Series, the Education Department hosts a speaker on campus who is an activist to encourage students to join the battle against the systematic destruction of the public education system.
In November, Karen Wolfe and Tina Andres of the Badass Teachers Association (BAT) spoke to students about BAT which is an American education activist organization. It was founded on June 14, 2013 to give voice to every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of society to erase poverty and inequality through education.
According to BAT, its members refuse to accept assessments, tests, and evaluations created and imposed by so-called corporate-driven entities that have contempt for authentic teaching and learning. The BAT goals are to reduce or eliminate the use of high-stakes testing, increase teacher autonomy in the classroom, and work to include teacher and family voices in legislative decision-making processes that affect students. BAT teachers engage in organized group actions such as phone calls, emails, or letter writing.
“Our students were treated to a conversation from activists who work daily for what we believe and what our department stands for,” said Professor J. Cynthia McDermott, EdD, Chair of the Education Department. “If you are interested in protecting our precious public educational system in many ways begun by the founding president of Antioch College, Horace Mann, look BATS up and join them.”
The 2017/2018 Friends of Education Speaker Series includes presentations by Melissa D. Wakefield on Cases of Native American Youth Suicide, La Dawn Best on becoming allies with the LGBT community, and LA Progressive Live on reaching out to our communities with progressive ideals.