Boycott ExxonMobil Because #ChildrenRNot4Sale

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Above photo: From the BadAss Teachers

Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil made these statements in a panel discussion on the topic of Common Core:

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He added:

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Our response:

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And Peter continued:

Tillerson’s viewpoint is anti-education, anti-American, anti-human. It’s a reminder that the education debates are not about Left versus Right or GOP versus Dems. The education debates are about the interests of the human beings who are citizens of a nation and stakeholders in its public institutions versus the interests of a those who believe their power and money entitle them to stripmine an entire nation in order to gather more power and money for themselves. The education debates are about democracy versus oligarchy. The education debates are about valuing the voices of all citizens versus giving voice only to the special few Who Really Matter.

1cc3Read more from Peter here.

Then the BATs swarmed over Exxon!

The Badass Teachers, an organization with over 56,000 members, are calling for a public boycott also:

BATs calls upon all parents, students, and educational professionals to publicly join us in a boycott of Exxon Mobil and take a stand against the corporate greed that is profiting against the backs of our children.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 28, 2015

Badass Teachers Association

Recently, Forbes Magazine released a special report “Business Gets Schooled” to expose how corporations have experienced pushback from the Tea Party about the Common Core State Standards. http://for.tn/1JvahZu In this report, Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon, is quoted as saying that American schools are turning out “defective products that have no future.”

The members of the Badass Teachers Association are appalled that our children and our students are thought of in a way that strips them of their very essence as human beings. In response, we are calling for a boycott of Exxon Mobil.

“As a public school teacher, let me be clear: my students are not products. Education is not about turning children into widgets for big business. It is about readying children for life, and that includes so much more than the tiny and inhuman vision of people like Rex Tillerson. Hands off my students, my daughter, and my country!” demands Steven Singer, parent, teacher, and public education activist.

“A CEO that thinks our Children are products cannot be allowed to influence education policy with their money! Our children are innovators, amazing individuals each one with their own gifts; only love, food security, housing security and loving, caring teachers can unlock their potential. My students are not defective; however CEO Rex Tillerson is defective in his thinking of what it is to be human.” stated parent, teacher, and education activist Jamy Brice Hyde.

Melissa Tomlinson, Assistant Executive Director of BATs responded; “CEO Rex Tillerson’s comments amplify what is really wrong with our country. The fact that a person in charge of a multi-billion dollar corporation with international influence only sees our children as products to be developed for eventual profit dehumanizes the majority of our county.”

Not happy with how they were characterized, Suzzanne McCarron, vice president of public and government affairs at Exxon Mobil only furthers exemplifies the fact that Exxon Mobil has no understanding of the education of children and what education reform needs to be when she makes the statement that “U.S. students rank 31st in the world in math, 24th in science, and 21st in reading.” http://for.tn/1VlkbUo This statement, backed by the knowledge that Exxon Mobil is one of the leading corporate proponents for the Common Core State Standards, demonstrates the corporate ignorance surrounding how we truly need to look at public education in our country and examine how we can provide the resources our children really need to further their educational success.

Read more here.

Another teacher writes:

This is what many of us have been saying for some time: these standards are backed, and were initiated, by business. They admit as much, finally, in this article. Not mentioned is how a few businesses stand to gain from the sales of curriculum designed to teach to the standards, nor how much the testing industry is making delivering the tests of the standards. But let’s leave that for another time. This article contains even more disturbing ideas about how our children should be used as profit making fodder. Those ideas come from Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil.

Tillerson apparently agrees with Gates and, as the Education Chair of the Business Roundtable, has been supporting and promoting the Common Core. And Tillerson, like Gates, reveals a lot about how he views our children when he speaks. While Gates speaks of education as a process that is easily measured and needs to be standardized like any manufacturing process, Tillerson goes even further and speaks of our children as the product of that process: one to be consumed by Exxon Mobil and the rest of corporate America.

Read more here.

Meanwhile… Big Biz Gets It Wrong! 

Carol Burris, a long time educator and principal,  recently wrote this letter as published by Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post:

 Dear Mr. Tillerson, Please leave our children alone. We do not need you to develop them as products. They are neither kerogen nor shale. Your Dickensian thinking has been “outed” and this holiday season, you are as welcome as the ghost of Christmas past. The common-folk for whom the Core you adore was designed, do not like it—only 24 percent of public school parents want it used in their school. And they certainly do not like to hear their children referred to as “defective products.” Mr. Tillerson, you have made the mommies and daddies mad. I understand their reaction must confound you. In a world in which your corporation has been declared a person, one might mistake human children for products to consume. When we humanize the inanimate, it is easy for the humanity of the animate to slip away. But let me make this clear — our children are not products for your purchase. You, and the captains of industry (or whatever you call yourselves this century), are not “the customers.” School is not a training camp to work on oilrigs, to pump gas or design lubricants. There is just enough democracy left to make students know they have choices, and more than enough parental commonsense left to know that community control of schools is slipping away. We are so sorry to disappoint. The story line is not as simple as the one told by Peter Elkind. The resistance against the Common Core is far more than a push from the right. Come visit New York. Parents don’t like it because their kids are frustrated and confused—it has been, from start to finish, a mess. Business and colleges cannot define their own desired academic outcome and then use it to map learning backwards. Kids do not grow backwards; they grow forwards.  Learning progress is uneven. It intersects with social, developmental and biological factors, none of which can be ignored. Those who don’t know sludge from shinola when it comes to teaching kids sold you junk science. I do thank you for your candid remarks, however. The curtain has once again been pulled back to expose Oz, and the resistance to the corporate reform agenda will grow. Like Arne Duncan’s awful “white suburban mom” comment, your reasoning on why we need the Common Core will surely be repeated again, and again, and again. Mommies and daddies don’t forget.

But wait! Go to the hashtag #BoycottExxon and you will find another hashtag – #ExxonKnew. Before the great #ClimateMarch in Paris this year news broke about Exxon’s prior knowledge about the dangers of climate change due to their products.  The Nation wrote about this here.

Perhaps it is time for EduActivists and Climate Justice Activists to collaborate! #BoycottExxon #ExxonKnew

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It seems Exxon knew about climate change and decided to hide the truth. Education reformers don’t use their own policies in their elite schools either.  They must know the truth: edreform isn’t good for kids, just like fossil fuels aren’t good for humans or our planet. How long have the reformers known the truth about  Common Core?

#BoycottExxon because our children and our planet are not commodities. Stop Common Core.  Keep fossil fuels in the ground! Stop the oligarchy!

 

  • jemcgloin

    As a NYC high school math teacher, I’d say the biggest problem with common core is that the questions are really badly designed. The next biggest problem is the rushed roll out.
    In general the billionaires want to wreck public school so that they can have charter schools with highly paid CEOs and poorly paid role teachers that burn out and leave in a few years.
    Once they get control of all the school contracts, they will then stop worrying about school quality and start complaining that they don’t get paid enough.