Throughout this month, it has been so refreshing to see others within the village, particularly the parents, finally realizing what the education reform movement is REALLY about...
It first started earlier this month with the ousting of DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, which resulted in the resignation of his school chancellor, Michelle Rhee... Why? They both were guilty of alienating the community from the reform process.
Then, via a blog entry at Failing Schools, there is a video clip of NYC stakeholders upset with the co-location plans of a charter school, expressing their frustration of the exclusive practices of not involving them in the process, not accepting ALL students, and removing students from such charter schools when these kids fail to meet the mark.
Speaking of WFS, Woodside HS, a suburban public school near the Bay Area, was profiled in the movie. One of the profiled children dismissed Woodside for Summit Prep Charter School. While Woodside HS is considered a "good school", the child opted to go elsewhere for fear of being tracked to a "low-level class", since she doesn't test well; Summit Prep do not track its students. Baffled yet sorely disappointed, the parents of Woodside HS created a large banner stating the following: Woodside High School Teachers – Man, You’re Super! Thank you for teaching ALL the students in our community! The banner was place in a prominent area of the school for the public to see.
|Courtesy of the California Teacher Association|
Last night, Queens Teacher blog posted an entry about how the NY Post literally made up a story about a parent's view concerning the possible release of teacher evaluation ratings in NYC. Well, that parent, Brian Rafferty, spoke out against the newspaper:
Now I am confident there are other stories of parents "finally waking up" and seeing the madness for what it really is. I believed Leigh Dingerson, the author of this Rethinking Schools piece on DC school reform as well as a parent, described best the role of parents (and educators) in today's education reform movement:
While the public relations war is surely far from over, if more of us cease in entertaining the blame game and continue to come together, then we can become a force to reckon with. The ed deformers' "spell" on the public perception is showing signs of weakening. As a village, we must continue the fight by first coming together in a common effort to save our schools and our children's futures.
Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. ~ Henry Ford
In closing, I would like to quote the protagonist of the award-winning movie Gladiator, Maximus, as he rallied his fellow slave comrades during their first gladiatorial fight:
Anyone here been in the army?... You can help me. Whatever comes out of these gates, we've got a better chance of survival if we work together. Do you understand? If we stay together we survive.
IF WE STAY TOGETHER, WE WILL SURVIVE!