Wednesday, May 25, 2011

NUT Report: Parents Head to D.C. in July

Save Our Schools (SOS) was covered in the Washington Post by Valerie Strauss:

Rita Solnet is a Florida businesswoman, parent and education activist. She is a co-founder of the nonprofit Parents Across America.

Why, as a parent, are you involved with the SOS March?

As a business owner and as a 15 year volunteer in the school system, I’ve had a front row seat and witnessed our public education system in decline. I attribute it to NCLB’s fixation on high stakes tests and the obsession with privatizing public education. NCLB has robbed all children of a solid curriculum inclusive of arts, music, literature, language, PE, history along with reading, math and sciences in favor of drills and prep for mindless bubble tests. I’m angry.

Education cannot be treated as a corporate business. It is that simple. Children’s minds are not commodities to be bought, sold, and exchanged. I frankly don’t see policy makers or many legislators grasping the totality of this destruction. With those I’ve met, most have little knowledge of what is truly happening inside classrooms.

As a result of making decisions in a vacuum, they are not making the best possible decisions. In fact, they are illogical decisions.

The past two years I’ve witnessed multi billion dollar testing & technology companies being the sole beneficiaries of policy makers’ decisions — not our children. And I see children as collateral damage in a control struggle, it seems, with unions and political parties.

They must take this conflict into a conference room to devise workable contracts to resolve that situation. They must stop meddling in the classroom with desperate, ill-fated attempts to fix those issues.

As a parent, I’ve concluded that if we don’t step up and take action to ensure we are heard, who else will do so?

I am also a co-founder of Parents Across America. Our motto is: Our children. Our schools. Our voices must be heard. I believe this with all my heart.

What do you think this SOS March will accomplish?

This rally and March will accomplish a few goals.

1) It will open up a candid and genuine dialogue once and for all. No longer can a news network air a week of one-sided perspective.

2) It will send a message to Congress that NCLB must end as it stands today. It failed our children miserably for 9 years. It devastated public education unintentionally but undeniably.

3) It will heighten the awareness that this goes beyond “disgruntled teachers.” Participation of parents and business men and women will demonstrate this goes beyond the worn out rhetoric that this is merely a union issue or a band of whiny teachers. These are real issues facing millions of voters. We are fed up.

4) It will help to raise a red flag on reckless spending of federal education dollars on ill-fated reforms which all research shows have proven to fail.



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