Cease Partnership with ResearchED!

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Dear Members,

In 2017, the OSSTF/FEESO entered into a partnership with ResearchED Canada, a branch of a UK organization that promotes its own brand of "grass roots" teacher-led conferences and network hubs with a roster of speakers who circulate internationally. These include:

[1] The founder of ResearchED UK Tom Bennett, who has a platform on "hate speech is free speech"' magazine, Spiked, also known for encouraging climate-change denial and transphobia.
[2] Joanna Williams, who is the associate editor of Spiked and writes about the [a] "corrosive impact of gender ideology." Her latest article was titled [b] "How trans ideology took over."
[3] David Didau, who writes about the correlation between IQ and race, with reference to scholars dismissed for scientific racism.
[4] Katharine Birbalsingh, known for promoting (self-professed) right-wing compliance-based no-excuses schooling and circulating "the best halloween joke of the century" a transphobic joke re-circulated by ResearchED founder Tom Bennett on Twitter.
[5] Robert Pondiscio, who promotes controversial charter schooling in low-income racialized communities, dependent upon punitive discipline and policing.  
[6] Frank Furedi, contributor to Spiked on "culture wars" and speaker on the "lowering of expectations in cultural and intellectual life in contemporary western societies."

These aren't just bad apples. These are speakers who circulate internationally and reflect ResearchED culture.

ResearchED has been criticized both [7] in Canada and [8] in the United States for an "equity backlash," which excludes research on race and education, anti-oppressive pedagogy, and student centered teaching. These exclusions are reflected in Canadian programming in [9] 2017, [10] 2018, and [11] 2019.

In 2021 ResearchED Canada is hosting their next conference with ResearchED UK.

We believe in the right to free speech, including those that contradict the values of public education, but we do not believe the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation ought to be funding it.

We demand that the OSSTF/FEESO cease partnership with ResearchED Canada until such time that their mission and practice, which is bound to their partnership with ResearchED UK, align with the values of the OSSTF/FEESO and the members they represent.

On June 1, 2020 the OSSTF/FEESO offered their solidarity to the Black members they represent, the students they work with, as well as staff members who work for the union, in response to the uprising against police brutality and in support for the Black Lives Matter movement. They reaffirmed their commitment to end anti-Black racism and combat systemic discrimination.

This commitment begins with an examination of the management of social and economic capital: Do their investments and energy support organizations that affirm and centre anti-racist and anti-oppressive pedagogy? Does their sponsorship align with the values of the OSSTF/FEESO and the members they represent?

Systems are not ideologically impartial. Equity is not a "nice to have."

The OSSTF/FEESO has further committed to listening, learning, and acting. We hope they do their part to direct resources to educational conferences that are inclusive and representational of all members.

The petition represents the voices of members who do not feel this partnership serves the vision or interests of the OSSTF/FEESO.

[1] https://www.spiked-online.com/podcast-episode/teachers-need-to-remind-pupils-whos-boss/
[2a] http://civitas.org.uk/content/files/2454-A-The-Corrosive-Impact-of-TI-ppi-110-WEB.pdf
[2b] https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/06/19/how-trans-ideology-took-over/
[3] https://learningspy.co.uk/research/differences-and-similarities/
[4] https://longviewoneducation.org/putting-researcheds-equity-backlash-under-the-microscope/
[5] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/10/books/review/how-the-other-half-learns-robert-pondiscio.html 
Recent coverage on this school: https://ny.chalkbeat.org/2020/6/16/21293619/sucess-academy-eva-moskowitz-george-floyd-charter-schools-race
[6] https://researched.org.uk/sessions/frank-furedi/
[7] https://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2017/08/statistics-and-damage-done-equity-education
[8] https://educationpost.org/the-equity-backlash-is-real-resist-it/
[9] https://researched.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/delightful-downloads/2017/11/researchED-Toronto.pdf
[10] https://researched.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/delightful-downloads/2018/04/redOntario_FINAL-FINAL_low.pdf
[11] https://researched.org.uk/2018-19-sessions/sessions-vancouver-2019/

For additional context, please see: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EVP69Nfl9yxgwVIA10y1qbtkdWfguxeT/view

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