“From where I stand, teachers are the last line of defense against the tyranny of the 1 percent.”
That line in a speech during the annual Education Minnesota conference last week put Megan Olivia Hall, the state’s teacher of the year, in the line of fire.
Hall, a grade 7-12 science teacher at Open World Learning Community in St. Paul said:
I think about all of the teachers in the St. Paul Public Schools who gave up our cost of living raise in 2010 in an effort to limit class size in our district. Teachers are persistent and responsible and generous because we believe every child in America, regardless of circumstances of birth, deserves a decent chance at a good life.
From where I stand, teachers create equality of opportunity, from where I stand, teachers are a profession that takes a gritty patriotism, and from where I stand, teachers are the last line of defense against the tyranny of the 1 percent.
She was named Minnesota’s teacher of the year last May.
The one line in her speech has set Twitter afire from her critics.
Minnesota's 2013 Teacher of the year– comment at 4:40 mark should horrify you. #StudentsFirst http://t.co/oN5a0JF0rp
— Heather (@H_Linville) October 22, 2013
Megan Olivia Hall, 2013 Teacher of the Year and a shining example of how Education Minnesota is nothing but a shill for the DFL. Proof!
— David Osmek (@BigDfromMn) October 22, 2013
But the theme she articulated in her speech last week isn’t new. She believes the biggest problem facing education is the achievement gap.
“We’re a democracy,” she said when she was named teacher of the year. “We care about being a nation of equals. And we don’t have it right now. Not everybody is born with the same advantages. And I think education is the key to closing the achievement gap, I think that teachers are the agents of democracy and the more we work together in our schools, the closer we’re going to get to a true democracy.”