My brother, Jay, who would’ve been 50 on October 16, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Sunday. As you can imagine, I was devastated. Losing my brother at such a young age breaks my heart. During my grief, I have dropped everything to focus on my family and the days ahead as we prepare to say our good-byes. But there was one thing I could not drop during this time…my fight to save public education. I pulled it together to have lunch with one of our school board members this week to discuss educational issues with him. I held together as I sat through this week’s school board meeting because I know my attendance represents hundreds of parents who see our public schools being destroyed by legislators who think they know what’s right for MY children.
“Fear” is the only word to describe what I feel when I hear that our schools will soon be privatized. “Contempt” comes to mind when I see corporate entities making a profit on charter schools with tax payers money. “Sick at heart” is what I have become when I see that our teachers have been undermined and can no longer be trusted to know what is best for our children. Instead, I see high stakes tests being thrown at our children that have destroyed their love for learning because they are now being taught to a test.
While my fight has been confined to my state of Indiana, I also sympathize for those others in many states in this country who also are seeing their public schools destroyed, dismantled and taken over by agencies that have only a profit in mind. I beg you: please put a stop to this madness. Please bring back the joy of learning and trust in our teachers that they know what is developmentally appropriate and educationally sound for our children.
Mother to 3 children in Fort Wayne Community Schools, Fort Wayne, Indiana