May 16 was unprecedented. Now what?

The May 16 Day of Advocacy in Raleigh was an amazing, historic event–the largest coordinated teacher action in state history.  The sea of red that turned out despite sometimes pouring rain showed North Carolina how many of its teachers are passionate about their work and deeply committed to improving education in our state.  



Senator Jeff Jackson endorsed my sign


Gallery in the House of Representatives chamber was packed with teachers

Teachers who were present among the more than 20,000 in Raleigh and those who supported us from home probably have the same question:  What’s next? Will it be back to business as usual, with our public education system continuing to suffer from the same neglect that has plagued it for the past several years?  Or will we find a way to harness the teacher power we saw in Raleigh and use it to bring about substantial change in North Carolina?

There is good news.  What happened May 16 in Raleigh was a movement, not a moment.

Under the umbrella of Red4EdNC, we will capitalize on the unprecedented momentum we’ve created together over the last few weeks.  We will build a stronger, statewide coalition of teacher advocates that has the power to secure real legislative gains for public education in North Carolina.  This coalition will be represented by a Teacher Congress composed of teacher leaders from both urban and rural districts across the state who will determine, collectively, a clear and specific policy agenda.

To help us take the next step, teachers and education allies should check in with Red4EdNC using this form, then share this information with others in your school and in your network.

NC has incredible teachers who have stuck it out, despite increasingly difficult conditions, over the past few years.  We’ve done that because we care about our students and we believe in what we do. On May 16 we caught a glimpse of how powerful those teachers can be when we speak with one voice.  Now it’s time to translate that collective power into action that will lead to substantive changes that public education in North Carolina desperately needs.

Together we are strong.

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