Monday, September 07, 2009

The speech kerfluffle

There is so much more to be upset about in our public education system than a 20 minute speech by Obama and some badly prepared lesson plans. Instead of taking children out, parents with children in public schools should go into those schools for this event. The system can easily work around your child’s absence for this speech. They can easily marginalize you as a reactionary nut for withdrawing your child. By being there you make it clear that you support efforts, from the top down, that encourage your children to value their education. You also make it clear to the system that you're watching them and will hold them accountable.

And then plan on returning over and over again. If you're in the school regularly you will discover so much more that needs your attention and you will have your first person testimony as evidence of the real problems. It’s more important that parents spend time learning what goes on day-to-day than react to a speech from the supervisor of the US Department of Education. When you find excellence reward it, point it out, and encourage it. Otherwise, reveal those teachers and staff that obviously need to be in another line of work. Find the incompetent management of resources. Attend school board meetings and out the regular rubber stamping of the administration. When was the last time your school board actually asked about anyone on the tenure list before approving it? When was the last time they asked a serious question about a contract, a textbook, a new policy? Read your child’s textbook and do some googling about its inaccuracies and/or bias. Find out what’s in those daily lesson plans. What organizations with what POV are your children subjected to while in school? Whether to have uniforms or candy in the lunchroom are such minor and foolish issues to waste the finite educational lives of children on when in loco parentis has allowed the government so much control over children, their minds and their hearts than parents realize.

Parents, if Superintendent of US Schools Obama’s speech caught your attention—great, but don’t waste your time focused on that. Don’t major in the minors. There is real work that needs to be done. Start in your child's classroom and don't quit until people who believe like TN House Rep. Tommie Brown (D-Chattanooga), featured in the video above, are no longer in charge of your family's life.

(Hat tip: Rep. Stacey Campfield for the video.)


Ellen said...
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Eric H said...

That is Rep. Tommie Brown in the video. It's also a Michael Moore editing job on the sentence. If I remember correctly, she said something like "It has been said the state is truly the parent of the child".

Maybe it is just political expedience, but her language toward homeschoolers changed a lot this session (I'm thinking mainly about Rep. Mike Bell's bill and her discussion of it).

Kay Brooks said...

Thanks for the correction, Eric. My apologies to them both.

Brown talks the talk but she votes against us. She did every time on the diploma bill. HB)431

Eric H said...

I don't think that is correct. I'm pretty certain she supported it in full education committee and then was absent from the later (many) floor votes. Seems like another Rep. was hospitalized the night before and she was with them? Interesting how she voted all those times from the hospital and then abstained on the final one isn't it?