Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Success?

From the leader of Long Island Opt Out whose advocacy I admire.  Proud to partner with her and others to form the NYS Allies for Public Education in summer of 2013.


Quote from Jeanette Brunelle Deutermann of Long Island Opt-out:
"I've seen and been asked a lot of questions recently about what to say to someone who says "my kid is fine". It isn't just a question of how many kids are doing well and how many are not, and what the right number is of each. It's about "what do you want your child's classroom to look like?" Do we want rote memorizing, fast paced, test driven, test prepping, uninspired, stress filled classrooms? Or do we want teachers who can create magic in their rooms; being free to inspire our children, use creative play, project based, interactive, authentic learning environments. One in which teachers love what they are teaching and students find a love of learning. Babies can be trained to read when they are two if you use flash cards and drill the hell out of them. But is a 24 month old who can read words really a success story? Or is a baby who learns through curiosity and exploration a success? Again we have to define what success in our schools means.

Is not crying while doing HW the new measure of success? Sitting for over 10 hours of testing without having stomach pains and anxiety- success? Or do we want more? Do we want to see our kids classrooms filled with projects and fantasy. Finding the love of reading from fairy tales and fiction classics. Where social and emotional development is just as, or even more important as a test score. A classroom where our 8 year olds find a love of science that carries with them throughout life. Where social studies can take them right into the time period they are learning about. Where they are challenged rather than frustrated. We need to raise our expectations; and you need to ask yourselves "does my child's classroom look the way I want it to look?" If not, what are you going to do about it?

This is why we opt out.  To save our children's education.