It has been a while since our last post. Since the summer, Michela Skelton came VERY close to winning the 50th district. While it was difficult to see another strong friend of public education lose their race, we were impressed by Michela's enthusiasm to begin her campaign again. She has vowed to run again!
We must not give up either. In fact, it is so important for us as teachers AND as members to stay engaged. Why? For our students. Without us telling our students' stories, we will not help our legislators, board members and our community understand what is taking place in the classroom, hallways, playgrounds and club meeting rooms. Our students are counting on us to speak up and share THEIR joys and concerns. If we don't, then nothing will change. Remember, our working conditions are our students' learning conditions.
I hope you will join me in our new political season. School Board race will be here before you know it. Midterm elections are just around the corner. So, rest, relax, conduct amazing Parent/Teacher conferences, eat a little turkey, and celebrate your winter holidays with a flourish. After you brush off the confetti from the New Year's celebration, buckle up! 2018 elections are coming and a band of enthusiastic teachers will be knocking on your door, ready to share what our students need the most!
The confirmation of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education was a signal moment for the school choice movement. For the first time, the nation’s highest education official is someone fully committed to making school vouchers and other market-oriented policies the centerpiece of education reform.
But even as school choice is poised to go national, a wave of new research has emerged suggesting that private school vouchers may harm students who receive them. The results are startling — the worst in the history of the field, researchers say.
While many policy ideas have murky origins, vouchers emerged fully formed from a single, brilliant essay published in 1955 by Milton Friedman, the free-market godfather later to be awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics. Because “a stable and democratic society is impossible without widespread acceptance of some common set of values and without a minimum degree of literacy and knowledge on the part of most citizens,” Mr. Friedman wrote, the government should pay for all children to go to school.
But, he argued, that doesn’t mean the government should run all the schools. Instead, it could give parents vouchers to pay for “approved educational services” provided by private schools, with the government’s role limited to “ensuring that the schools met certain minimum standards.”