Why Am I Going to D.C.?

Treehorn Express:

A tribute to every NAPLAN victim who is ignored by those who are expected to care.


Distinguished Guest Writer

Peggy Robertson

Peggy, of UNITED OPT OUT NATIONAL, is a most enthusiastic opponent of high stakes testing who plays a major role in the organisation of a four-day gathering of parents and teachers in Washington, D.C. on April 4-7. They’ll be there in their thousands as they were last year. The press release tells us that the administrators of the public education advocacy group bullhorn
UNITED OPT OUT NATIONAL are hosting the second annual event on the grounds of the US Department of Education in Washington, DC on April 4-7, 2013. “We ask all of those in support of teachers, students and public schools to attend. The third day will include an organized march to the White House.

The event is a four-day gathering of progressive education activists endeavouring to resist the destructive influences of corporate and for-profit education reforms, which began in previous administrations and persist with the current one. We cannot and will not stand silent as the threats to dismantle our system of public education continue. These threats include the erosion of the teaching profession, excessive use of standardized testing, mandated scripted curriculum, the absolute disregard of child poverty, and reforms which disproportionately impact minority communities.

We ask that you join us, stand tall, and meet your responsibility as citizens to be heard above the din corporate influence. You will have the opportunity to hear speakers and converse with public school advocates from across the country, including Diane Ravitch, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, Stephen Krashen, Brian Jones, Deborah Meier, and many other students, teachers, and community members (visit the link below for full schedule details).

Do not miss this free and unique opportunity to connect with like-minded public school advocates. Come gather information and strategies that can be used to fight corporate education reform in your own community. Join us and make your voice heard.”

Peggy Robertson has taught kindergarten, first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth grade, beginning her career in Missouri and continuing in Kansas, for a total of ten years. She was hired by Richard C. Owen Publishers in 2001 to serve as a Learning Network Coordinator and spent the next three years training teacher leaders and administrators in educational theory and practice in the state of Colorado, as well as around the country during the summer months. In 2004 she was hired as the Literacy Coordinator by the Adams 50 School District in Westminster, Colorado. While working in Adams 50 she mentored teachers and administrators and supported them in the writing and implementation of school development plans. She earned her master’s degree in English as a Second Language at Southeast Missouri State University. She currently is an instructional coach at an elementary school and devotes the rest of her time to her work at United Opt Out National. Her blog can be found at www.pegwithpen.com . Contact Peggy writepeg@juno.com .

Why Am I Going to D.C.?

Peggy Robertson

DOE FINAL BWThis is such an emotionally charged question.

I am going because I feel as though I am on a mission that chose me and I am simply one of the vessels to help it reach its destination.

I am going because I watch my sons watch me. I see them examine the choices I make. I see them watching me refuse to back down and demand the truth out of all that life brings forth. I cannot let them down.

I am going because I have been told all of my years of teaching to simply “shut my door.” Simply shut my door and do what is right for children. This is not enough. I open my door wide. I scream to the world what I am doing for these children – I scream that I am giving them what they are rightfully owed – a whole and equitable education. I scream to the world that I am allowing them to make choices, give input, become a part of their learning experience and become empowered by their voice and their ability to make a difference in this world. I do so because it is the truth and because it is important to model for other women who have spent their lives believing they must stay quiet, be agreeable, and do as they are told. I am not one of those women and deep down, no women are that way – I hope to help them find their voices.

I am going because my community around me is dying on the vine. And there are a few fellow activists here working with me to determine how to make the vine grow – not just upward – but outward and inward and in ways that were never imagined before in the public schools. We have hopes to not only preserve public schools but improve them and create democratic schools – which is what should have existed all along.

I am going because I am surrounded by the truth. I cannot turn from it. And I am determined to expose it and wake the masses up. I am determined to help those who cannot speak for themselves – the children, the families, and the educators who live in fear of losing their jobs.

I am going because I have seen too many children harmed by these mandates. I remember them. I wonder what happened to them. And I wonder what else I could have done to help them.

I am going because I selfishly need to surround myself by those whom I consider to be a part of my community. I need their support, their guidance, their knowledge and their love.

I am going because every time I speak to a fellow activist I find myself growing a bit stronger – and this strength turns to action.

See you in D.C.,



Make sure you visit http://unitedoptout.com and surf its sub-sections. This remarkable organisation is one that needs replication in all GERM countries to get rid of the immoral, unnecessary, curriculum destructive, wasteful, high-cost Standardised Blanket Testing regimes. Standardised Blanket Testing is a scato-meme that is a deleterious accident of history, threatening the general progress of each country’s knowledge economy. SBTs of all kinds have to go.

Let’s send genuine down-under wishes to Peg [ writepeg@juno.com ] and her wonderful friends.

Phil Cullen


Best wishes to our colleagues up-over from parents, teachers, students down-under


The Good Guys – PENA, TESA & SAY NO to NAPLAN – and every Teacher, Parent, Student available in Melbourne meet

Wed. March 6 6.30 p.m.

VICTORIA UNIVERSITY Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Room FLB01

to organise a campaign to BOYCOTT NAPLAN TESTS



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