Let’s Put Education Ahead of Incarceration

How can people like the Koch’s, Devos and Waltons claim to be so in love with America and show such disdain for its children?

Betsy is undetered by facts showing vouchers have not improved education. Charles blames our nation’s teachers for results on tests that are skewed by influences (poverty, violence, hunger, etc..) beyond their control. Sam believes a teacher with five weeks training can outperform a teacher with five years of practice (I call it them “Wal-Mart Specials”)

Their efforts are demonizing public education because creativity does not show up in tests where rote memory rules. These pseudo intellectuals are looking to take the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) out of our engines so we can compete with countries on a scale that does not matter in the part of the world we live in.

American does no longer leads the world in education. We lead the world in incarceration (per capita) and we lead the world in defense spending (more spent than the #2 through #25 combined). We are in no position to be abandoning our children under the guise of “reform. Every child can succeed if we do it right. 

Race to the Top did not create ten states of winners, it created forty states of losers. We don’t need, nor can we afford privatization. We need partnerships with every group having a stake in public education.

I don’t know how the soldiers on the front line of the war on poverty were given orders to attack our poorest families and deprive their children of a free and appropriate public education in a least restrictive environment.

As I write this, I don’t know if Chicago’s teachers will be in their classroom tomorrow morning. I will go to sleep tonight knowing the teachers in my district will be there. We have a partnership with our Education Association who saw the financial predicament imposed by cuts to education funding and volunteered give backs to retain important programs.

Just two days ago, my Board colleagues and I were informed by our Superintendent of a student with special needs wanting to remain in our district despite the family’s removal making it easy for us to shift the burden elsewhere. I could not be more proud of our Superintendent and the School Directors who serve with me.  We made a “school choice” no charter school would make.

We won’t back down, we’ll stand up for public education.

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