When schools became big business, they became political.
Everyone has a stake in the education game these days…something to gain (money and power) and something to lose (money and power).
In his book, manifesto really, “Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling,” John Taylor Gatto exposes schools for the systemic prisons that they have become. Ask anyone in education and they will tell you that schools just aren’t what they used to be.
But my question is, whose fault is it?
Who is to blame?
A passionate education reformist and self-proclaimed activist, I have fought with, written to, and offered alternative solutions to every level I could gain access to from classroom teachers to supervisors to principals to superintendents to school boards to city council to the mayor to the State Commisioner of Education to the Governor to Senators to the Secretary of Education and even the President himself.
And I have come to one simple conclusion.
My husband says it often, that if you look to government to solve your problems then all you will get are more problems.
If we the people want education reform, then we the people need to demand it.
If we wait for the pendulum to swing, or the next president, or governor or superintendent or whatever…then it will be too late. Time stops for no one. And our children cannot wait.
If you don’t like the way schools are being run, then find your voice. Find others and encourage them to find their voice and together you will become louder.
Speak from a place of knowledge and offer solutions rather than just critiques. Start small and find your confidence and then get bigger, tackle bigger and bigger goals until you see the change you want.
If your child cries and fights you over homework. Say something. Don’t let it ruin your night, week, year, relationship.
If your child hates to read or write, make time for the library and journal together. Talk to the school about what reading and writing looks like in the classroom and start a discussion about how it could be done differently.
If the math doesn’t make sense, ask the district to run a parent academy and explain it. If it still doesn’t make sense start a discussion about how it could be done differently.
That is the real power that we the people have.
These are OUR children, OUR schools, and OUR responsibility.
One block at a time we can rebuild and stop waiting for others to do the work for us.