I came across this editorial at The Chattanoogan.com. While it's written about the Hamilton County system much of what is written could fit situations across the state and I hope you'll read it with an eye toward getting involved in your own public school system. An important snip:
The majority of the School Board has refused to keep the superintendent accountable for the spending of taxpayers’ money. They have shown us a lack of good judgment when it comes to the curriculum, control of tax money, and oversight in the manner in which academically challenged students are treated.The author, Don Drennon-Gala, Ph.D., goes on to say:
In short, these same School Board members have failed their constituents in regard to accountability, the budget, etc. However, we have seen in the past that the voter is either not interested in voting or is apathetic in regard to the representation of the School Board. The individuals on the School Board, including Charles Love, have been controlling millions of tax dollars on an annual basis.
In the interim, the good people of Hamilton County, Tennessee need to be aware of what is going on in local politics,...I know that it's tremendously time consuming to follow politics. I know that family and job take up huge amounts of time and there is precious little left for the fact finding, analyzing and communication needed to hold politicians accountable. But if we don't do it the cost can be tremendous. It's being penny wise and pound foolish, imo. People who have the authority to take your hard earned money, to make laws that impact what, how and when you can do things, and most importantly how many of our children will spend the greater part of their preciously short childhoods must know that we are paying attention. They must know that they will be held accountable for their decisions and inactions. Every dollar they demand from you ought to be absolutely necessary because it's a dollar your own children must do without. It may be those dollars they demand from you that require even more hours at work and make it even harder for you to spend time with your children and keep an eye on what these politicians are doing.
This morning's e-mail contained a note from someone concerning the upcoming referendum in Nashville about raising our sales tax. They commented on how hard folks who derive their paychecks from the public education system, were pushing the members of their groups, to include scare tactics and misinformation, in order to encourage them in the strongest possible ways to vote for this referendum and to get them to get others to vote for this referendum.
As my morning went on I came across Bob Krumm's comments about NCLB. And I found myself completely agreeing with his comment:
I hope that the lesson learned is not that federal government control is a good thing for education, but that local government control and accountability would offer even better results.I've always believed that it was local control of schools (and I mean neighborhood) is best. Maybe, I begin to think, what may be bothering so many and what has them in a bit of a panic, is that the public is becoming more involved in public education. They seem to have had pretty free reign for a long time. I dearly hope that the public is becoming more involved. I think that it ought to be so and I hope my efforts here make that involvement a bit easier.