Putting the Public Back in Public Education

As a Chicago Public School parent for the past eight years, I've felt more and more disenfranchised from decisions that affect public school children on both a federal and a district level.

No Child Left Behind has destroyed more about what's good about public education than any other single force today. Schools have cut their arts, music, physical education, recess, time enough to eat and digest lunch and anything doesn't pump up test scores. Critical thinking? Not on the test. Little wonder the dropout rate is so high.

Illinois lawmakers and power brokers are falling all over themselves to pat each other on the back over Senate Bill 7 reform, yet the very same legislators and friends sat back and permitted $171 million to be cut from an already bottom-of-the-barrel state education budget.

Common sense has left the beltway. And beyond.

So fellow parents, if you haven't come to this conclusion yet, it's time to hang up the bake sale, head to Washington DC and tell policymakers to put on their listening ears during the "Save Our Schools" rally, co-sponsored by Parents Across America on July 28 to 31. Let it be known that public education is broken, and untested policymaker "magic bullets" are sabotaging American student chances for success far more effectively than anything that came before it.

Don't make me wait a generation to say I told you so.

Can't go? Don't let your local legislator off the hook. Make your voice heard by contacting your representatives and letting them know where you stand on education issues, bills and budgets. Use noto37.org to make your voice heard.