That Isn’t “Radical” – That’s Advocating For Students And Schools

Radical definition

When NCAE elected new leadership last week with large majorities in votes for both the office of president and vice-president, many instantly called the results a move to a more radical position.

That’s not an accurate description.

Today in NC Policy Watch, Greg Chidress quoted the new president elect Tamika Walker Kelly about the description of the new leadership being “radical.”

Radical 2

She stated,

“Advocating for our educators and the things that our students deserve and making sure that we have public education is not radical at all. Making sure every child has access to a high-quality public education, making sure that educators are paid, making sure curriculums and academics center on all students, especially students of color, those things are not radical at all.” 

The definition of “radical” (as it seems to be applied) starts this post.  It means something “different from the traditional” or “favoring extreme changes.”

What has been traditional in NC until the current powers in the NCGA came to be was well funded schools, a commitment to public education, no money given toward privatization “reforms” like vouchers, and a bipartisan respect for the teaching profession.

At least that was what was traditional until about 2011-2012.  And it is really hard to think that a whole new paradigm shift and a span of eight years could reestablish what has been traditional and “non-radical” for decades prior to that.

If anything fits the definition of “radical,” then wouldn’t it be what the North Carolina General Assembly has tried to do to public education in North Carolina within the last 8 to 10 years? Talk about doing things that were non traditional or “radical.”

And that talk about “union” is radical? Not really unless you want to exist in the echo-chamber that many in North Carolina seem to want to remain as NC is one of only seven states that outlaws collective bargaining (a remaining holdover from the Jim Crow laws).

In fact, North Carolina is the only state in the country with the lowest legal minimum wage, no collective bargaining rights, no Medicaid expansion, loosely regulated voucher and charter school expansion, and a school performance grading system that measures achievement over growth.

That’s radical.