Sure you do!
And you are correct in assuming that you have the right to help improve your schools. We all do. But think for a moment.
Can you see all the obstacles that will trip you up —impede your progress— as you strive to improve your public schools?
Imagine your community having schools that met all the children’s needs. Imagine how much easier life would be if we could guarantee quality education for all your children. And shouldn’t our public schools improve in a way that does no harm?
What’s the problem?
Short answer: Because laws cement in place our guiding principles, the school reform philosophy behind No Child Left Behind slowed improvement. Think about it, did the law improve your school? Or, have our schools improved slowly but surely because of the efforts of the people in them and supporting them?
No Child Left Behind, and now its revision called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), has teachers and parents pushing children to make standards, testing, and accountability systems “work.” Here’s why so-called education reforms have NOT worked:
- Setting standards continues to be the laws first step. This means the money is spent on rewriting standards and not on the resources to have “kids ready to learn.”
- Higher test scores don’t mean a better education. Test scores do not define a great education nor does test-directed teaching focus resources on having “teachers ready to teach.”
- Accountability cannot reasonably be based on test scores (outcome-based) without first addressing the learning conditions (“materials to do the job”) under which we are asking teachers to teach and students to learn.
TO MAKE PROGRESS IN THE U.S. —on multiple political fronts including education— the country needs you to do what you can when you can.
“Young powerfully reminds us that we, America’s citizens, are the ultimate source of political power and public policy in our democracy. We, the people, need to learn about what ‘reform’ policies have been imposed, what’s wrong with them, and how they need to be changed.” Gary Ratner, Director of Citizens for Effective Schools