You believe we’re broke. I believe we live in one of the wealthiest nations on earth.
You believe public employees don’t deserve good health and retirement benefits. I believe everyone deserves good health and retirement benefits.
You believe it’s okay to silence your opponents. I believe everyone’s voice should be heard.
You believe might makes right. I believe a bully is a bully, whether he’s an angry kid on a playground or an angry man in a suit.
You believe government should be vilified, belittled and shackled. I believe government is the only institution in the world in which we can all share and participate equally.
You believe in every man for himself. I believe we are better and stronger when we work together.
You believe “we can’t…” I believe “We can. We must. We will!”
And so, in this time and place, I plant my flag and make my statement. With all the fervor and strength I can muster I tell you now, 


There is room in this world for honest disagreements. There is room for differing policy views and different world views. But there is no place in this state, in this world, for the behavior you have chosen. There is no place for those who would trample the rights of anyone, be they in the minority or the majority. There is no place for those who would hide from the voice of the people behind armed authority . There is no place for those who would serve the interests of wealthy corporations ahead of the poor or disadvantaged. There is no place for those who would say “We have nothing to discuss.”

I did not ask for this fight. But you have brought it to my home, so fight I will. I will not allow you to create the ugly, selfish, hateful world of your vision. We are better human beings than that. While your world view insists that self-interest is the way forward, my world view rests on the power of community.

The new day starts now. We are going to clean house. Your power derives solely from the consent of the governed, and we no longer consent to be treated as your subjects. Your experiment is over…


Dennis Deery
March 11, 2011

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Comments (74)




  1. I love being a teacher. It is my second career. For the first 12 years of my professional career I was in private sector sales and marketing. I really enjoyed that career for the first 5 years or so, and I really liked the money I was making. But, I felt a hole professionally and personally and vocationally and I had always wanted to teach and I made the leap out of a job making $40K + bonuses in 1995 and went back to school to get my MAT and teaching certificate. I have never for one minute regretted it. My worst day teaching is better than my best day in the private sector (that was usually the day my bonus check came). I started my teaching career at around $30K and I am just now north of what my 1995 salary + bonus were. But it doesn’t matter. I get to teach great kids fantastic social studies material and introduce them to a world that will lead them to write better, think more critically and make connection across centuries. I, like most teachers (and the research bears this out) am not driven by money. So, paying me $50 for each of my students who pass the AP European History national exam (and more than 90% of mine do, with almost 50% achieving the highest score of 5), won’t make me work any harder. And, taking away my collective bargaining rights won’t intimidate me from marching to my state capitol, (which, by the way, MY taxes pay for), nor will it stop me from contributing to the candidates who run against the enemies of education and democracy that have made teachers and public employees the “enemies of the state.” My God, since when have teachers been the enemies of anyone? Why do Republicans and their kleptocratic and avaricious financial enablers like the Koch Brothers need to rail against teachers? In any event, my work day contractually is from 7:15 AM to 3:15 PM. Neither I, nor any teacher I personally know, have actually worked “to the rule.” Typically I get to school at 6:30 AM and leave at 4:30-5 PM. I typically put in another 4 hours on weekends planning and grading. Every quarter I usually put in another 8-12 hour marathon right before grades are due. I am always available during the 20 minute break (in elementary school–recess) to let kids make-up quizzes or to talk to me about college applications or maybe taking time to write a college letter of recommendation, or get kids caught up on what they missed in a previous class absence. SO, typically my week is about a 55 hour week. Multiply that by the 38 weeks that I work and I come in at 2090 hours worked a year. Wow! A full work year, despite my 10 week summer vacation! In all honesty, I think the taxpayers are getting their monies worth considering I have a BA, an MAT and another 30 hours towards a MA in history. Moreover, I typically attend professional conferences with a district stipend that covers about 60% of the cost. The rest comes out of my pocket. I am the norm not the anomaly in my district. Are there poor teachers? Sure? Is anyone at your job, or in the state legislature, or in Congress an incompetent buffoon? Are we greedy? Are you kidding me? Are we the cause of the financial meltdown and our current Great Recession? You are not saying that with a straight face are you? Do we hate children? Yeah, that’s why I choose to spend 2100 hours of my work life each year with your kids. Yeah, I’m a sadist. So, rock on Dennis and every American needs to ask the question on why don’t we all have great benefits and pensions given the fabulous wealth generated in this country. If education and bureaucracy ( the actual machinations of making government work) fail, then we have become a banana republic and nothing more. THomas Jefferson is spinning in his grave.a

    Comment by Murray, Portland OR — March 16, 2011 @ 2:09 am




    • Sorry for the typos. Got a bit passionate there. *money’s. *Thomas. *Last “a” in post should be omitted, of course. That’s the perfectionist in me.

      Comment by Murray, Portland OR — March 16, 2011 @ 2:13 am




      • Dennis, beautiful. Murray, inspiring.
        We in NYC salute you both. We support all of the Wisconsin workers, public or private. I hope you succeed in ridding the state of this miscreant, and returning the government to the people of Wisconsin.

        Comment by Ruth Cavanaugh — March 17, 2011 @ 10:28 am




        • To these two fine examples of the teaching profession ANYWHERE in these United States. I personally commend you in your passion for your career and I stand for you too.

          In the past, teachers have bore the brunt of being the last to be remembered in that long line of deserved pay increases.
          Hhere we are in the 21st Century and we can see that what was gained for the teaching profession in the past is being threatened by the folks who have nothing better to do than blame everything on someone else and not stand and accept responsibility for the current events in our history. These Republicans who are at odds with the world need to move back, shave a little closer, and come out wearing blue jeans and t-shirts prepared to sweat a little bit.

          Comment by Fred Criss — April 4, 2011 @ 4:43 pm




    • Thank you Murray for the good words!!

      Comment by Rachel Byington — April 4, 2011 @ 5:26 pm




    • Murray
      Thank you for your service to our nation’s children. I know from personal experience that there’s nothing quite so satisfying as facilitating the learning of another. I also know first hand how challenging and thankless the role of ‘teacher’ can be in a world that doesn’t really place value on or reward ‘education’ per se.

      To everyone else
      Look at how people spend money and it becomes evident what really ‘matters’ to them. Sports figures and entertainers earn obscene amounts of money, while funding for schools gets cut regularly and teachers earn less per child than hourly ‘baby sitters’ are paid when parents go out for the evening.

      Once we get ‘clear’ about our priorities individually and collectively, creative solutions will emerge. One of my favorite quotes is as follows: “Things are only impossible until they’re not.” ~Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation/i>. I use it as a ‘tag-line’ in my emails to remind myself and others of this truth. A Course in Miracles teaches that ‘When the student is ready, the teacher appears’ and that the opposite is also true. Albert Einstein taught us that problems can’t be resolved from the framework wherein they were created.

      The issues are complex, but anyone paying mindful attention will see clearly what children around them have learned from everything in their surroundings … not just ‘underfunded’ schools where the only thing that seems to matter is ‘standardized test scores’ (which by definition means 50% of students will score below the mean because they’re based on a bell curve) that measure little if anything of value and do little to predict ‘success’ in the world, but also from the media, busy parents, politicians, etc.

      I believe we must begin where we are by examining ‘what is’ in light of ‘what might be possible’ if we opened ourselves up to unexamined possibilities with curiosity. I believe that answers reside in willingness to consider alternatives with ingenuity, creativity, innovation, and collaborative efforts to uncover and experiment with viable ideas without prejudging the outcome or finding fault with untested possibilities prematurely.

      Just BREATHE and think about this before responding … and I promise to do likewise.
      Hugs and blessings,

      Comment by Virginia — April 6, 2011 @ 5:49 pm




      • Alas, I see I neglected to add the ” … but I forgive myself and hope others will too for I am likewise a ‘recovering perfectionist’ doing the best I can to relax.

        Comment by Virginia — April 6, 2011 @ 5:52 pm




        • LOL … I should have know the less than and greater than signs wouldn’t show! Such is life 😉

          Comment by Virginia — April 6, 2011 @ 5:53 pm




  2. Brilliant!

    Mr. Deery, I salute you!

    Comment by Owen Wood — March 17, 2011 @ 5:39 am




  3. It is a difficult and dark time for citizens in middle America who have been taken in by Republican political rhetoric…and by citizens who know it is rhetoric.
    Thank You for giving words to what I too believe.

    Comment by Barbara — March 17, 2011 @ 12:50 pm




  4. In total agreement…And thank you….but I think we need to start looking at who is really taking over the republican party v who is Tea party.. There are many shades of gray.. I think we all need to become independent thinkers and voters, and unfortunately at this time that rules out all republicans because of their controversial overthrowing of the democractic process.

    Comment by Amy Leverson — April 4, 2011 @ 5:34 am




  5. I agree with all except the government part. Government is nothing more than armed force that forces people to do things they otherwise would not do. Lets not even mention under both liberal and conservative led governments tend to help corporations. Lastly, take a look at governments throughout history and a common link between them all is violence or the threat thereof, either against their own citizens or foreign people. If government lost it’s ability to conduct violence it would cease to exist.

    Comment by Some Jew — April 4, 2011 @ 2:30 pm




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