This week has been one filled with moments of changing perspective, changing attitude, and figuring out what comes next.
At the beginning of the week, I fell. That has been difficult with three little ones. I don’t think I quite realized how many things we do requires two hands, or at least are made so much easier with two.
But. It wasn’t my dominant hand. So there’s that. And. My husband is amazing and works from home. So there’s that too. Could be worse. I don’t mind telling you, it is incredibly painful and is limiting my computer time. But maybe that isn’t such a bad thing either!
This week has shown me just how much I am committed to positive change in our community. Local politics won’t get me down. I will continue to fight for education, and not just the basics. Our kids deserve more than that. Our country depends on the next generation growing to be intelligent, innovative, culturally aware, critical thinkers. Teaching to a test is not the way to get there. It is not the way to create the society that we want.
I am very disappointed that politics and manipulation prevailed over innovation, vision, and children this week.
I sat and listened at a school board meeting last night when they discussed adopting the budget for the next year. I heard administrators and board members say that there needed to be a rubric for any programs that might potentially suffer cuts would have to go through. How a formal process needed to be in place so that critical information, facts, and research could be investigated before making such a big decision.
And all of this AFTER they made the decision to both keep and then ultimately suspend Spanish Immersion despite overwhelming evidence that the district’s numbers were wrong and that they didn’t have all the necessary information to make such a decision. Where was the rubric then?
And why was one program not given the opportunity, the courtesy, to go through a more extensive process?
Why, when the district knew months ago that they would recommend the elimination of Spanish Immersion, was the information only made available at 4pm on the Friday before a decision was expected to be made?
Why, despite all contrary evidence, was this program made out to be a budget issue?
Hmmm. Something doesn’t seem right here. Not even a little bit.
Politicians, elected officials, administrators, leaders, take note. If you had met with all of the affected parents in a face-to-face meeting, explained the issues with the teacher’s union, explained that the program would be evaluated, then done so in a credible manner, we would not be in the place we are now. With angry parents, crying children, and a fractured community.
For that matter, if everyone involved in implementing this program in the first place had simply been honest from the beginning and throughout this year, we wouldn’t be in this place.
But, even this awful ordeal filled with manipulation, intimidation, dirty politics, and misunderstanding has a silver lining. I have come to meet and know some of the most fantastically committed, passionate, intelligent parents. I have come to realize how much a group like this can accomplish, even in a short time. And, I have come to the conclusion that I can step far outside my comfort zone when I feel strongly enough about something.
I also have a new mission. Silver linings. I will hold on with all my might. And I will remember, every day, just how lucky I really am in life.
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