Tag Archives: public education

RIP The Week That Was Wasted

Dear students,The anti-education
I’m sorry. I’m sorry we wasted your time this week. Sorry you had to sit and wait and wait and wait while your peers finished the exam that takes everything else you do in school and belittles it. Sorry you’ve been brought up in the generation of test, test, test where teach, teach, teach means nothing unless it culminates in Commended.
I’m sorry I had to look at you and say “no talking, no questions, no, no, no” unless, of course, your question was could you read a book when you were done.
I’m sorry I had to break out the teacher look when the entire class was done within 90 minutes, and yet you had to sit silently for 4 hours in your perfect little rows of 5X5, facing forward in classrooms covered in butcher paper so you wouldn’t actually learn something.
I’m sorry the politicians we elected listened to business owners and testing companies instead of educators about how best to ensure you are learning.
I’m sorry I didn’t stand up earlier and say enough is enough.
I’m sorry I didn’t educate your parents on what the test-only culture was doing to our classrooms.
I’m afraid now I might be too late. But I won’t be silent, and neither will most of your other teachers.
Something has to change. I’m sorry it won’t change in time to make a difference for you.
And, yes, I realize the test is done. I realize that you’ve been brought up in a culture that says the test is all that matters. But, dear students, that is wrong. And while the test is done, class is not.
I’ll see you Monday. I might not be able to recapture a week of lost learning, but for the next four weeks, we’re going to learn without the pressures of the test. Hopefully, the teacher look can be put away until next year’s week of no, no, no. No learning, no questions, no real answers other than A, B, C, D.
If you’d like to bring a book for downtime, AWESOME. I have some suggestions for you, and our library is fantastic.
Perhaps we’ll have a wake for the week that was wasted.

Yes, it is important

Yesterday someone I love told me I needed to understand the budget cuts were unavoidable and that the waste in education is the reason for budget problems in Texas. Ultimately, the person said, you could see the real problem with education in one area specifically: Pre-K. In the person’s opinion, which was developed based on numerous pieces of Tea Party propaganda, pre-K is a complete waste of tax payer dollars.
The person ended their argument by explaining that they had never been in pre-K, so why was it necessary?
This is a perfect example of what’s wrong with the whole school budget problem this biennium.
The people making the decisions have NO IDEA what they’re talking about.
I explained to the person speaking that pre-K teachers prepare low socio-economic students for school. These kids sometimes have one parent, often none. Instead grandparents are raising the children. Pre-K’s feed the hungry. The pre-K teachers I know buy clothes for kids, shower children, run washing machines because kids come to class filthy and teach pre-reading and math skills.
Should education be the stand-in for family? Maybe not, but the reality is it IS. Without pre-K, you are dooming these children to a life of poverty before they ever even have a chance.
BUT our legislators, led by a Tea Party insistent on change and making these decisions without any real knowledge. They’re not talking to educators. They’re being led by lobbyists down the rabbit hole of education by voucher and choice. A place and tie where the rich get richer and the poor die.
The person explaining to me how non-essential pre-K is also let me know Public Education isn’t guaranteed. I told her she was wrong. While it might not be in the constitution, public education is guaranteed by our state constitution.

I’m not sure what’s going on with our state politicians, but I do know education is essential. I know it’s a path out of poverty, and I know we are not a country built on the idea that those with money control the agenda.

I read an email from a teacher about learned helplessness. She says educators let this kind of thing happen because we feel we are powerless. I’m not sure how we find the power, but I do know, if these bills on the floor pass, if our education system is decimated, we have an OBLIGATION to make sure those in office now never find their way to office again. We must start now working to make sure this never happens again.

A Single Voice

…Can’t do much. But if everyone who supports public education speaks up, we can make a difference.
I have to believe that because every bit of research shows that education is the way out of poverty. It was for me.
The move from poverty to middle class and even to upper class is what makes the United States different. It’s what makes us special. It’s why people spent weeks on ships in horrible conditions and lived in squalor holding fast to the dream that they too could be anything they wanted if they were willing to work hard.
Kill the public school, and you kill that dream.
This budget crisis isn’t going anywhere if the people in Austin don’t change the way they do business. They’ve created this problem. They need to fix it.
Today, they’re passing the buck. That can’t continue.
But it will if we don’t speak up.

Don’t forget the Save Texas Public Schools rally!
To show support for Texas public schools, teachers and WFISD, a non-partisan Pro-Public Education Rally will be held THURSDAY, April 14 from 8-9 in the Memorial Stadium parking lot. Please bring a flashlight or cell phone with light.
If you would like to speak at the event contact Mary Beth Lee: marybeth@marybethlee.com
Who’s invited? Everyone who believes in a quality Texas Public School System, public school faculty and staff members, parents and students.
Feel free to bring signs showing support for public education.
For more information, feel free to contact me marybeth@marybethlee.com

WHY

Save Texas Public Schools Rally
Memorial Stadium
Thursday April 14 8-9(ish)

A good friend asked me why we were rallying, what we hoped to accomplish. I thought I’d share my answer here:
What we hope to accomplish: to give people the chance to show they support public education, and to do so before the Senate votes.
What will the outcome be: I don’t know. I was in Austin March 12 with over 11000 others marching. We were there to make our voices heard. If we don’t try, we won’t ever know.
But I do know public education is essential to the United States. It leads to the American Dream. Without it, there is no escape from poverty.
I know teachers usually don’t rally. (We gripe to each other, but we don’t say enough is enough.) Right now I’m hearing a lot of complaints in the community. People believe Rick Perry when he says public schools are the problem, especially when we don’t speak up to say he’s wrong.
Public education is at risk here. It’s real and it’s ugly and if we don’t speak up, we’ll be able to watch it die without ever even attempting to fight.
I can’t sit back and do nothing.