Monday, February 10, 2014

Making change

I spent last Friday at a PTA sponsored Advocacy Day. It's a day put together to ask questions of our elected officials, to network, and hear about what is changing in education in our area.  This year, it was less a a clear call to action and more an exchange of information.  In California, education is a huge state of flux. How our schools are funded is changing. Curriculum and methods of teaching are changing, and our population is changing.

A midst all this change, our elected officials don't seem very interested in dealing with it.  The general attitude of the elected officials was ambivalence.  They feel that they have had great successes "fixing' education, but they don't see our perspective- things are still in trouble. Teachers and administrators and parents are doing all the hard work while politicians pat themselves on the back. Nothing changes this way.

On a less depressing note, one high school student showed up, paid attention, and even got brave enough to ask some questions, which was refreshing and inspiring. She's 17, and she's not taking their word for it, she's looking for ways to make a change.  I happened to sit next to her all day, and the opportunity to chat with her and hear her perspective made all of it worth it.

I'm thinking we all need to start dreaming bigger, speaking more often and more publicly, and we need to pay attention.  We need to look towards tomorrow as we deal with today's problems and we need to remember that change is possible.  If we all stop accepting the "gridlock is meant to be part of the system" rhetoric (Yes, Eric Swalwell (D- CA15) said that to my great disgust) and demand that things change, we can't be ignored forever, and as that lone teenager in a sea of parents showed, we all have the power ot question and speak up for ourselves.

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