PSAT for 9-6-11: Commit to valuing all children

Today is the traditional first day of school across the US. That tradition has eroded in many places due to so-called year-round school schedules, experiments like Paul Vallas’s short-term effort to game state tests by adding a few weeks in at the beginning of the school year, and a host of local variables.

Another tradition that seems to have eroded (if it ever truly existed) is that of valuing all children. These days, politicians and media types are boldly yammering on about “saving” some children from failing schools, allowing them to “flee” via vouchers or charter school creaming.

One Illinois politician notably explained his support for school vouchers last year by asking his fellow legislators to imagine they were on a bus driving by a body of water where children were drowning. They would have a responsibility, he said, to stop and try to help some of those children.

Some of those children??? Or, maybe more accurately, some children, but just not “those” children?

Anyway, for Public Schools Action Tuesday today, please take the time to read and share this excellent (as usual) annual letter on public schools from the United Church of Christ Witness and Justice Ministries program. If you aren’t religious, you will still find that the information is quite useful and well-researched, and the issue is appropriately placed in the larger context of our current economic and job troubles.

The overall message is that we must commit to valuing all children, and valuing them more than we value competition and profit. I’d add that we need to elect public officials who share those values….

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Uncategorized

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