Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Politicians and journalists have been dumping the blame for our education system’s failings on teachers. Now it’s time, apparently, to hurl accusations at parents. The news media reported last week that an Associated Press-Stanford University poll found that 68 percent of adults believe that parents are responsible for our struggling schools. I’m sure students will be the next target.

It’s easy to blame teachers, parents and students for disappointing achievement levels. But the truth is, there’s very little teachers, parent and students can do when the federal and state governments are slashing education funding, focusing on useless standardized tests, hammering out misdirected reform plans, ignoring and disrespecting teachers, and overlooking disturbing inequities.

It’s time for teachers, parents and students to join forces to Save Our Schools.

A group of concerned citizens is organizing the Save Our Schools Million Teacher March on Washington, DC, from July 28 to 30. The mission of the SOS Million Teacher March is as follows:

“To unite teachers, students and concerned citizens across the nation to create respect and support for teachers in order to do what is best for students. We would like to speak up for all of America to say that our education system is heading in the wrong direction and needs to be fixed immediately before it creates an even larger national crisis.”

SOS Million Teacher March is rapidly gathering support from teachers, parents, students, and concerned citizens nationwide. The goal of the march is as follows:

* Respectful reform that makes sense. The founders of SOS Million Teacher March agree that our nation’s schools need to be reformed, but they disagree with the current methods. They advocate reform that respects the people who are most involved in the public school system: teachers, parents and students.

* Fair funding for all schools. Schools are currently set up for success or failure depending on their location. The Race to the Top program awards grant money only to states that demonstrate a commitment to “reform” based on the federal government’s criteria. SOS Million Teacher March calls for equitable funding for all schools, regardless of their locations.

* Quality classrooms with safe environments. Some schools have abundant resources while others lack the bare essentials. Curricula are designed to address the requirements of standardized tests, rather than to ensure students are learning information, acquiring knowledge, and adopting skills. In addition, some students are afraid to walk to school, to walk home from school, and to be inside their school buildings. SOS Million Teacher March advocates supplying the resources, curricula and staff necessary to provide all students with the education they deserve and a safe environment that’s conducive to learning.

Thank you to the organizers of SOS Million Teach Million Teacher March for giving teachers, parents and students a voice in Washington.

For more information, visit SOS Million Teacher March.

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