Most importantly, I want parents to be aware of what their politicians are doing to education in Indiana. If they are like me, they always vote for people based on moral issues. As a teacher I discovered that the single most important moral issue facing us right now is public education. We have to take a good look at who our politicians really are. When they vote to expand vouchers and grade our schools based on unfair data, they are doing great harm to public education. Their catch-phrase is "choice." We have to ask ourselves whose choice is it really? Do public schools and their students have a choice when their budgets are deeply cut? Do they have a choice when their class sizes are large? Do they have a choice when their arts, counselors, aides, and teachers are cut? Do they have a choice when they are under constant stress and forced to be taught to a test? Do they have a choice when their teachers are stressed because their jobs are the line with these unfair test scores? Do parents understand that every child regardless of any disability in a public school is required to take these high-stakes exams because of their school grade? Our politicians have created a recipe for disaster. Publicly funded private schools are a complete contradiction to equity for all. The "haves" have more and the "have-nots" have less.
2. How can parents get involved in advocating for public schools?
Parents can get involved by talking to their friends, neighbors, and families. The world needs to know that this is not a one-party issue.
I've voted Republican almost my entire life but in Indiana many in my own party are responsible for the harm done to public schools. I had to wake up to the reality that this is not about the party anymore but about the person and their integrity. I worked very hard to help get Superintendent Ritz elected because I knew she was best for our children and our schools. Parents should not be afraid to get involved and speak up and defend their public schools. They can form advocate groups, write letters, make phone calls, and so much more. Social media is another great avenue. Share the truth because so many people are sheltered from the real issues. They only know what they see on the news and read in their local paper. That is why grassroots building and word-of-mouth communication is so incredibly important!! We have to unite as one big team for this harmful legislation to be reversed. Together we can move mountains!