As outrage continues to grow surrounding the unprecedented “Common Core” nationalization of K-12 education under the Obama administration — particularly among Republicans, Tea Party groups, conservatives, and libertarians — a new foe of the controversial scheme is attacking the federally backed standardization plan from all angles, including the political left. Known as the Badass Teacher Association, with members calling themselves BATs for short, the nationwide coalition of educators is working hard to defeat the agenda — and they have been wildly successful thus far.

Analysts say the group is set to have a major impact on the raging debate, and in an interview with The New American, BATs co-founder Dr. Mark Naison explained why. Already, in a period of a few months, the association has attracted some 26,000 BATs on its primary Facebook page. Headlines about the teachers and their opposition to the Common Core national education scheme have appeared from coast to coast. As the battle against the controversial standards heats up, the group’s influence is expected to grow in tandem.

Proponents of Common Core regularly claim that criticism of the standards, pushed on 45 state governments so far by the establishment and the Obama administration, has come mostly from the right. The BATs, though, while certainly a left-leaning organization as evidenced by the “socialist fist” in their logo (shown), have their own problems with Common Core — and they are making it known, loud and clear. While its members and leaders quoted in media reports say they, too, want to restore local control, the outrage goes much deeper.

“This association is for every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality through education,” the organization says on its website and in e-mails to new members, asking others to join the alliance and fight back as well. “BAT members refuse to accept assessments, tests and evaluations created and imposed by corporate driven entities that have contempt for authentic teaching and learning.”

According to the association, its aim is to reduce or even eliminate the use of high-stakes testing while increasing teacher autonomy in the classroom. In a nutshell, that starts with killing Common Core. The BATs are also working to “include teacher and family voices in legislative decision-making processes that affect students,” it explains. To achieve its mission, the alliance says it will plan different actions each week where members can help out, as well as having state groups coordinate local rallies and events. Other activism will include phone calls, letter-writing campaigns, e-mails to officials, and more.

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