From an email list:
Dear Friends and colleagues,
We are writing to ask for your support in a struggle to protect academic
freedom and our public education system. Dr. Barbara Madeloni teaches
in the University of Massachusetts-Amherst School of Education and was
featured in a NY Times article in May about resistance to Pearson’s (a
multinational corporation that sells textbooks and assessment systems)
role in the Teacher Performance Assessment
). Two weeks later, she received a letter terminating her contract as
a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education. Barbara has long been a
public critic of privatization and corporatization of education, and
often voiced opposition to the administration’s plans to take the
School of Education further in this direction.
Many people at UMass see her non-renewal as an act of retaliation.
Recently, the executive board of the UMass faculty union (affiliated
with the Massachusetts Teachers Association) unanimously approved a
motion to support Barbara’s reinstatement, calling it an attack on
academic freedom. The Graduate Employee Organization union at UMASS
passed a similar motion. For more information and background about the
case, you can go to this website: http://cantbeneutral.org/ .
A petition is now online to support reinstating Barbara in her faculty
position. It has already been signed by over 1500 people including
Pauline Lipman, Michael Apple, Ken Zeichner, David Stovall, Ira Shor,
Michelle Fine, Kevin Kumashiro, Deborah Meier, Bill Ayers, Christine
Sleeter, Bill Bigelow, Linda Christensen, Ruthie Gilmore, Bettina Aptheker,
and Celia Oyler. A scroll through the “comments” on the petition includes
hundreds of heartfelt testimonials from Barbara’s past students about
her amazing teaching. Over and over, they say that Barbara was “the
best professor I ever had at UMass.”
Please consider signing the petition and passing it on to your
networks and colleagues. Here is the link:
We appreciate your solidarity and advocacy on this important issue!