After watching the hearings for our potential new Secretary of Education, I felt compelled to write about Public Education.
Public Ed is…
- accepting and embracing ALL children.
- providing a safe place for the angry child who doesn’t know how to deal with the cards life has dealt him or her. (I can assure you, Mrs. DeVos, a grizzly bear is not the greatest threat to our students.)
- providing two meals to children who might not have that luxury at home, even though their parents are working hard.
- teachers and staff working hard to meet the social, emotional and academic needs of our students. This means spending money out of their own paychecks all the time. It means digging deep for the strength to handle situations on our campuses daily. It also means being rewarded greatly with love, hugs, smiles and tears from students and their parents when hard work pays off.
- celebrating all progress and not depending on one standardized test to measure that progress.
- holding ourselves accountable with or without accountability systems because we love what we do and we genuinely care for our students. We want to see them progress and succeed at their own pace in their own time.
- doing more with a whole lot less because there are many in our state legislatures who don’t understand the value of Public Education and equal funding for school districts.
- making decisions every day to do what is right for kids. We do this within the parameters of the law (even when the law doesn’t make sense) and are miracle workers at making “it” work.
P.S. Mrs. DeVos, I.D.E.A. stands for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In public schools, we take this very seriously and ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed. From one “education activist” to another, it might be a good idea to study up on it. I do wish you all the best should you be appointed as Secretary of Education. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to those of us in Public Education for advice, we would be more than happy to help.