MecklenburgACTS.org schoolgirl puppet Rosa, with teachers from South Meck High.
A great crowd turned out for Charlotte Moral Monday. As part of the event, MecklenburgACTS.org co-chair Pamela Grundy addressed the on-the-ground effects of recent budget cuts, and the need for parents to speak out.
In the seven years my son has been in school I’ve watched his teachers go above and beyond for their students year after year, even as they’ve been asked to do more with less at school and at home, while also being subjected to growing numbers of high-stakes tests that impede, not facilitate, learning.
The Republican plan offers more of the same. Step by step, our legislators are following the ALEC education blueprint, which aims to undercut our public education system in order to open the field to private, often highly profitable alternatives that will not prepare our children for the future.
They’ve cut classroom personnel and resources. They’ve increased the stakes attached to standardized tests. They’ve abandoned the steps and incentives of the old pay scale, while promising to someday replace it with a pie-in-the sky “merit pay” system, that has never worked anywhere, and which they’re not backing with any significant funding.
They’re also unraveling the safety net on which many North Carolina children depend. Any teacher will tell you that as children’s lives become more stressful and less stable, it gets harder for teachers to teach, and harder for children to learn.
This approach will harm, not help, our children and our state.
As parents, we need to speak out. No one has a greater stake in a strong public education system than we do. It is crucial to our children as individuals, and to the state and nation that they will inherit.
We need to join with teachers in calling for a rational, research-based approach to education that includes decent teacher pay, appropriate class sizes, a rich and engaging curriculum and assessments based on work done throughout the year, rather than on high-stakes tests.
We need to enlist our PTAs and PTOs, call on our state representatives, send e-mails, write letters and make calls. We need to fight for our children and their future. Forward together. Not one step back.