It’s no secret who I voted for, but I believe in The People. We live in a country where that means something. I know in 2011 educators met with Dewhurst and he listened. I know others did, too. I know when I wrote my blog post, A Plea from a Teacher that was viewed a bajillion times around the world politicians from all sides commented on it and sincerely wanted to hear back from me. The People spoke yesterday, and it was a resounding defeat for Democrats, but just like the R‘s don’t own Jesus, the D’s don’t own education. Don’t let an election stop you from fighting for the kids, the classroom and what we know is right. Education can not be a partisan issue now. If people let it become one, it gives the testing companies and their lobbyists more power. Most politicians are parents. They want what’s best for kids, too. They just don’t always know what’s best. They won’t ever know if we don’t speak up. Tell your classroom stories. Tell about how the cuts have challenged you as an educator (not just teachers), tell how testing affects your kids, educate the public. If we go around being angry teachers and parents all the time, those “reformers” sound like they’re on to something.
(Another cross posting from my Facebook wall. Sorry if you’re seeing this twice.)
I teach in a 21st century classroom. I’m one of few people in my building who do. My friends who teach English, social studies and math do everything in their power to expose their students to a 21st century classroom, but it’s not easy. Those who teach science in my building have newer labs, thank goodness, but even those could be better.
My 21st century classroom is great, but it’s also frustrating because our current infrastructure doesn’t support true 21st century education. We’ve grown accustomed to dance parties while our computers and their spinning pinwheels of doom provide a nice background.
In 2008 I started the school year in a wheelchair. My husband rolled me to class every day, and he was shocked to see the classrooms looked just like they did when he graduated in 1983.
When we go to Denton, Austin, Lubbock, Abilene, Mansfield for competitions, my kids wonder WHY their schools don’t look like those of their state peers.
When they see their friends in the small towns in our surrounding area going to new schools, they ask why we don’t have new schools.
That could change.
When bond election discussions started, our local school board made recommendations based on a study done by outside sources. They decided the decision shouldn’t be theirs alone.
A Community Facilities Action Team was created from people across the district: educators, parents, former board members. They worked for months on recommendations and heard from groups across the city. The district has kept the community factually informed on the district website.
It’s been democracy at its finest.
They’ve narrowed the decision down to two choices for now with an election scheduled for May. If you’re a Wichitan, I highly recommend going to http://www.wfisd.net and looking at the possible future for our secondary schools.
I hope you’ll get out and vote.
I know how I’m voting. Our kids deserve new schools. They deserve the chance to be competitive with their peers.