Monday, September 23, 2013

Jersey Jazzman's right: so don't give up

I'd recommend that you go read Jersey Jazzman's post from last week on the meeting the NJ superintendents had with Governor Christie. It's specific to New Jersey, but the point he raises is one we all should keep in mind:
Dr. McCartney has a long and distinguished career as an educator and school leader. He, and the vast majority of New Jersey's superintendents, have forgotten more about public education than Chris Cerf and his Broad-paid interns fellows ever knew. So it's not "kicking and screaming" to challenge the highly questionable policies that have been foisted on to New Jersey's excellent public schools; in fact, I would say that these school leaders not only have the right to challenge the nonsense Chris Christie is pushing, they have a duty to stand up and resist it. 
And so his title: "They only win when you give up."
As I said, this is something that applies well beyond New Jersey. Yes, right now it appears that there are few on the national stage who 'get it' on education. Just this weekend, I was depressed to get a letter from my congressman citing his vote in favor of Rep. Miller's ESEA re-authorization proposal as a mark in his favor; Miller, of course, wants to expand charter schools and thinks that evaluating teachers based on student test scores is hunky-dory. Our state commissioner appears to be under the impression that piling even more test time onto our kids is a) within his purview and b) a good idea. Far too many local authorities of all stripes--management, elected, unions--are cowed by the very idea of standing up and saying no.

But we have to.
Because they win if we give up.
So, whoever you are, don't give up.
Keep writing letters, keep publicly testifying, keep posting on social media, keep having those conversations at work and on the soccer sidelines, keep working for those in public office who DO get it, and whatever you do: DON'T GIVE UP!

Oh, and if you're in the Fifth Congressional District and are eligible to vote in the Democrat primary (you're registered as either a U or a D), go vote for Carl Sciortino October 15 (date corrected). He's been submitting bills in the Mass Legislature that "get it" on education since he got there, and he doesn't give up. 

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