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Anna Marie Pierpont knows the struggles that many Broward County teachers face. A second grade teacher at Hollywood Hills Elementary School she has had to move to various schools in the few years she has been teaching in Broward County.
Pierpont is a member of the Badass Teachers Association, a group that believes more aggressive efforts are needed to help teachers and students. The Association held a demonstration at the ArtsPark at Young Circle on December 8 from 4-8 p.m.
“We care about students and believe there is too much emphasis on testing. We think teachers should have more respect and better pay,” said Pierpont.
Anna Fusco, a member of the Badass Teachers Association and a candidate for president of the Broward Teachers Union believes teachers are not being treated fairly. “We don’t want to have to teach to the test and we want the pay raises that were promised to us,” she said.
Many of the teachers are disappointed that so much of their time must be given to preparing students for standardized tests. This means less time for recess or arts programs. They are also against the pay for performance system that rewards teachers financially if their students do well on the standardized tests but penalizes teachers with students who don’t do as well.
“Teachers should be paid more for the professional work they do,” said Fusco. “Teachers work hard for less pay. They do it because they love children. Many teachers work two or more jobs to make a living.”
During the Badass Teachers Association meeting, the teachers shouted “Enough is Enough.” They complained that teachers are not rewarded for their efforts and that testing corporations are making too much money for supplying tests. This is money that could be used to increase teacher pay and programs to students. They are also concerned that too much of education is being handled by corporations.
Terry Preuss, a member of the Badass Teachers Association said she would like to see less emphasis on standardized testing.
For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page.