I don’t have the answers. What I do have are some essential questions. My bio states,
“I feel a shared sense of frustration in the face of the attacks on the underpinnings of the middle class. But I am encouraged by the ever growing, concerted action I see. We all have a part to play. We all have a voice. Make a personal plan to act and share it with others. Empower yourself by reaching out to those around you who share your sense of urgency but may feel powerless.”
So my personal plan is to activate myself, and as many others as possible to push back against the perpetrators of those attacks. I am well aware this fight will be a protracted one due to the highly organized and incredibly well subsidized nature of the opposition. But it is a battle for the promise of the America’s Founding Ideals,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
and The American Dream, and I want my children and yours to have a fighting chance at realizing the attainment of these sacred American covenants.
Do we really hold the power to positively impact this situation?
That sense of frustration has been percolating for a long time. But I am truly encouraged by watching Americans advocate for an America that still believes we stand together to provide opportunity for all people.
I know that in my chosen field of public education, it won’t be the teachers who win the battle they have been fighting for years on behalf of our children. It is the parents who will continue to fight for what is truly best for students. Teachers have been systematically and brutally marginalized, are frankly being ignored and are, to varying degrees, fearful. Rather it will be those parents, armed with factual knowledge about unvetted, and unproven schemes that will bring sanity and true accountability back to the debate on so-called education reform.
Each day I read about private citizens taking action to prevent their four and five year-olds from being subjected to hours of standardized testing. Parents all over the country are joining the movement to opt out of standardized tests, in spite of the fact stiff sanctions are in place to prevent parents from doing so:
Mom to her son, “How did you do on the test today honey?” “Mom, I can’t discuss it with you, it might invalidate the test.”
“Received a call from my daughter’s school asking when she would return, as she needed to take the (standardized test). I told her we were refusing the test. The Assistant Principal informed me that (my daughter) would have to repeat the third grade if she did not take the test… (Understand that I didn’t send in a refusal letter due to the fact that I am a teacher in the county, and I’m terrified it will affect my job.)”
This is the surreal landscape we have come to find ourselves. There is no logic here. There is only never ending confusion and regression. But we are well on our way to understanding how to deal with the problem. It is time for us to come together and collectively empower each other to raise our voices, share our plans and wield our power.