Here We Go… Choosing a Strong President for our Children…2020


Not since the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the candidate who would have prioritized our children, and their right to a strong public education….

And Donald Trump becoming President…a staunch supporter of the privatization of schools, and his choice of Betsy Devos…an unqualified supporter of privatization…as his secretary of education…

 

Because of their intent….Our schools are in crisis…Our children and public schools are systematically being dismantled… We have a critical teacher shortage due to unrealistic demands like arming teachers….and poor pay….And our public schools lack resources for necessary programs because their funds being diverted to…

 

Charter Schools…Profit and Non Profit…
schools that do not have the oversight and same regulations and standards that public schools must adhere to…And our tax dollars fund…

With the upcoming presidential election in 2020, we certainly  have a crucial opportunity to change all this for our children!!!

We have a strong chance to save our public schools if we elect a democratic candidate… one who supports our children who count on a public school education…There are now about 24 candidates who are in this race…

It is important to listen to the candidates, and how they plan to prioritize our children…with policies that will strengthen our public schools…And I do have my eye on a few…

One candidate that had impressive educational credentials…yet virtually unknown is Michael Bennet…a former school superintendent and senator from Colorado…

 

He was superintendent of Denver Public Schools from 2005 to 2009…Bennet was closely tied to the education reform movement;

Closing low-performing Denver schools ; changing the district’s merit pay system in a way that favors newer teachers. Both were decisions unfavorable to veteran teachers and some students….but he has since realized these mistakes …

During the Obama administration, as a senator, Bennet did help author the Every Student Succeeds Act, the overhaul of No Child Left Behind….

Bennet is a vocal opponent of Education Secretary Betsy Devos!!!

Where he now calls for preschool for all…

Another strong candidate choice is Joe Biden…former vice president…As Barack Obama’s vice president, Biden is tied to the many education policies that Obama encouraged…

 

Although many of which were detrimental including: evaluating teachers in part through their students’ test scores, the expansion of charter schools, and common standards for what students should learn… President Obama has since regretted these policies, and did enact the Every Student Succeeds Act in December of 2015…

Biden’s plan is to implement more funding into public school education; tripling Title I funding, implementing universal pre-kindergarten, and doubling the number of health professionals in schools…

Biden also said he doesn’t support any federal funding going to for-profit charter schools…However his education platform doesn’t mention charters…

Another concern I had, although happened so long ago, was revealed during the first debate by California Senator Kamala Harris, asking Biden if he was wrong to oppose busing back in the sixties and seventies…

Biden’s answer…“I did not oppose busing in America,”… “I opposed busing ordered by the Department of Education. That’s what I opposed.”

Relating to my own personal experience, as a young teacher during those critical years…I knew busing was the only solution to integrate our schools and federal intervention was most definitely needed!!!

His stance has evolved, and recently expressed in reinstating Obama-era  desegregation guidelines that were repealed by the Trump administration in July 2018…

Biden has stated, the first thing he would do as president is to appoint a teacher as education secretary!!!

I have always thought highly of Cory Booker, the senator from New Jersey…. However he not always advocated for public schools…

 

Booker too has been a leader in the school choice movement.. promoting charter schools, test-based accountability for low-performing schools, and ratings for teachers linked to student performance…He also has supported private school vouchers, a policy few Democrats favor. He is currently a cosponsor of a bill to reauthorize the federally funded D.C voucher program…

However… Booker has evolved too as many of the candidates…. even plans to run “the boldest pro-public school teacher campaign there is,” noting that his state’s teachers unions had previously endorsed him…

Booker now states… “I’m a guy who believes in public education and, in fact, I look at some of the charter laws that are written about this country and states like this and I find them really offensive,” !!!

Booker has also stated he wants to provide better health care access to low-income communities in order to give those children better health care, so they would be more successful in school…

Pete Buttigieg, is the young mayor of South Bend, Indiana and an up and coming… candidate…Who may be lacking in years of experience however an ageless wisdom that accentuates his intelligence

 

He too, as many of the candidates indicate wants higher teacher pay… More Federal funds allocated to Title I schools… Wants debt free college…Does not believe for profit-charter schools as part of his vision…And he strongly opposes Florida’s guardian program, which gives districts the option to arm their staff.….“It’d be such an enormous, condemnation of our country if we were to to become the only developed nation where this is necessary.”

 

Julian Castro former secretary of housing and urban development…is another candidate with strong ideas for children and public schools…and whose wife was a former public school math teacher for many years….

 

As mayor of San Antonio, Castro expanded Pre-K acess, having more children in high-quality early childhood programs…If elected president, Castro wants to create a grant-funded, universal “Pre-K for USA” program…

He’s even created a ” People First Education” platform which will fund $150 billion to grow technology in schools…. ending tuition in public colleges….Raising teacher pay by $10,000…and ideas for safety and policing in schools…

He would promote school integration through efforts to integrate housing and “voluntary busing.” … recalling from his own personal experiences…“Today we’re still grappling with so many of the same issues that we were grappling with 30, 40, 50 years ago.”

One candidate who is one of my favorites...Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor, now a senator from Californiawho strongly advocates for our children and public schools

 

One of her education ideas is to propose federal funding to boost teacher salaries by an average of $13,000…and supports an increase school funding…Stood up for better working conditions in her state when California’s teachers went on strike…She has criticized Betsy Devos and has rejected the education secretary’s suggestion for arming teachers…

She is also proposing more federal funding to boost scholarships, research, and grants to historically black colleges and universities…And as a prosecutor, has prosecuted cases involving charter schools and truancy…

Amy Klobochar, senator from Minnesota…is one to watch…She was a front runner, but has fallen behind…

She too is a strong advocate for public schools….She wants in increase infrastructure by a trillion dollars to repair schools, increase teacher pay, make community colleges free, reduce rates on student loans, and expand Pell grants…

She is against private school vouchers and hold higher standards to charter schools…

Beto O’Rourke has become quite popular…He is a former representative from El Paso, Texas…He ran against Ted Cruz in 2018 for his senate seat…And now a vocal advocate gun reform…

He does support non-profit charter schools; believing they enhance innovation…Vocally opposes vouchers and taking funding away from public schools…

Beto’s children attend public schools and his wife was a former public school teacher…Now recruiter for new charter schools and launched a dual-language charter in El-Paso…

He is against high- stakes testing…Funding our schools with $500 billion that will help close the racial barrier inequities, and increase teacher pay … And for those teachers having at least taught for five years… debt forgiveness on their college loans…

Bernie Sanders, senator from Vermont…is one of the most popular candidates espousing many of the progressive policies for the democratic platform…And was very powerful running in 2016 against Hillary…

 

Sanders has developed a 10-point platform called A Thurgood Marshall Plan for Education… outlining his program will include tripling Title I funding, and spending $5 billion on summer and after-school programs. He also proposes using federal funding to promote school integration…He has proposed making community college free for all…

He too has supported the teacher strikes…by paying them a starting teacher salary of at least $60,000… Restraining charter school growth by eliminating federal monies…and ban profit charter schools (which presidents do not have the authority)…

As a senator he voted against the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001. In June, he introduced student loan forgiveness, expand what Pell grants can pay for, and eliminate tuition at public four-year colleges and universities.

Last is Elizabeth Warren another of my favorites…She is a senator Massachusetts…An advocate for progressive policies… although supports non profit charter schools…

Warren’s platform is progressive…She wants
free community college…and student loan forgiveness…Her Pre-K plan will have a sliding scale for tuition, and those in poverty, tuition will be free… As of yet Warren has not shared her K-12 policy plan… In the past….She formally supported accountability testing…Which Warren now believes an education is not about testing…

She has shared she will appoint a public school teacher as her secretary of education…and has definitely stated her disapproval for the current secretary of education… Betsy Devos…

I have included Marianne Williamson, author and activist to be extremely interesting because of her philosophical ideas and approach to a political run for president

Williamson believes that undereducation is a form of oppression…And wants a change…A whole-person educational system…and less testing…

These eleven candidates may be strong possibilities, and have some beneficial ideas for our children and public education… However there are thirteen more…We have our next debates on September 12 and 13… And there may be changes until those dates…and some may not qualify for the debates…

But the one critical factor I am counting on is …

Our children and their right to a strong public school education…must be that priority… 💙🇺🇸🍎

It will be up to all of us…united to support a candidate that will make that happen…

Be an education voter…

 

2019…When will our Children be that Priority?

When will educating all our children be a priority?

At the beginning of my teaching career in the early seventies… schools were finally integrated and and the funding of federal programs such as Head Start…were in place to provide the necessary resources to help with educating all children that were in need ….

I was so inspired and hopeful to be a part of this moment…We were giving our children opportunities they never had before….

However, progress slowed down in the nineties due to the enactment of “No Child Left Behind”… by then Florida Governor Jeb Bush…

This policy would continue through the millennium and into the present….

Even with the Obama administration, who too, was a proponent of privatization and the charter school movement…Monies that had once been allocated to our public schools were now being funneled back into private schools with our tax dollars;
Affecting many of the necessary resources and programs that had been in place, providing our children… a chance for that strong, public education….

We in turn began utilizing into the curriculum, thanks to Bill Gates and his Foundation… Core Curriculum, a developmentally inappropriate curriculum; which included the use of a sophisticated battery of standard testing…

Trying to bridge this learning gap associated to those children who struggle …

Now resulting in an inappropriate program with more objectives and standards for children to master…With fewer resources to meet those standards!

Then, just before President Obama left office, finally realizing our children in public schools deserved more opportunities to achieve success, he signed:

The Every Student Succeeds Act in December 2015 that governs the United States K–12 public education policy. This new law was to replace , the No Child Left Behind Act, …This was to be that wonderful opportunity for all children…

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“Our Children…New Year 2017”

Be the voice for our children...

Be the voice for our children…

Hillary Clinton advocate for children's right to a strong public education...

Hillary Clinton… advocate for  our children’s right to a strong public education..

Blessings for the New Year 2014

Be open for our truth that all children’s voices must be heard…

 

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All Children need a leader that will provide them with a strong Public School Education..

It is extremely frustrating and challenging for me to accept  that in this brand new year,  with the election over, President Elect Donald Trump’s selection of Betsy DeVos will be Secretary of Education…She has never been a proponent of public schools… Her focus will be on privatization and school vouchers for school choice…This choice for all children will be catastrophic for most children who rely on public schools!

Dedicating my professional life to teaching in our public schools… I know from first hand experience what such an impact will have,  when public schools  lose  resources affecting our children…

Just like it was yesterday; back in the Nineties when Jeb Bush was our governor right here in Florida. It was the beginning of privatization  with school vouchers…”The no child Left Behind” Act began, making testing and accountability priorities… School vouchers and charter schools taking  monies and resources available to our children and public schools….We were required teaching  a more sophisticated curriculum that has been characterized developmentally inappropriate,  with fewer resources…And we teachers evaluated unfairly and blamed for the failures in our public schools…

This loss of necessary revenues has led to overcrowded classrooms, fewer specialized teachers helping our children with issues impacting their learning… We even have had school closings that have caused these overcrowded classrooms with longer bus rides for our children…

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President Obama signing Elementary and Secondary Act on December 10, 2015…

We must thank President Obama for realizing our public schools needed his involvement… We have been dealing with those many challenges imposed from the Bush era…And this act was to put more emphasis on children in those young years, when learning is crucial to a child’s foundation…

Having taught many children from  impoverished homes… Knowing how  they  come to school hungry for what public schools  have to offer…Their families are just surviving, and it has been  up to dedicated teachers providing them with the necessary tools to be successful… a hope for a better future…

What saddens me is that we as a Country could have made a difference for our children… I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer for Hillary in Flagler County, in Florida… a predominately Republican County… I met wonderful volunteers who worked along with me to make that difference… We made calls and knocked on doors… Meeting wonderful people in our community who wanted a better tomorrow… Even with those who did not see the future as we see for our children…

And now we are left with a future very uncertain for our children and public schools… My hope is that we will realize what is right for our children before our public schools become severely affected…

 

 

 

 

February… a Busy Month…

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We love the month of February…We have so much to look forward to besides the stressors of the rigors of curriculum and testing….

With my planning and organization, I do find creative ways to allow time for celebrating Valentine’s Day and President’s Day through creative writing, reading ,and art… Might even utilize math activities,  as well…

The children wrote a Valentine’s Day poem to their family, with illustrations; decorated Valentine’s  bags, and brought in cards for their classmates that were to be done by themselves….We had a Valentine Social sharing our love and exchanging Valentines….

The children loved learning about our Presidents; George Washington and Abraham Lincoln…We learned about the history of our Flag….We will celebrate this patriotic unit with a culminating activity for our parents;  a patriotic program that will include  songs that we learned in our music class….All our first graders will share in this exciting performance, and our wonderful music teacher directing…

Teaching should really be about making learning fun and interesting…. It really is so much more than tests and collecting data….

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Teaching Reading….

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I have loved the joy of teaching young children to read…. It has been such a delight in seeing the   opening of eyes, hearts, and minds of my young first grade students to the written word… I have loved watching them realize they can read….There is such a look on their precious faces of surprise that they can read…

This year for me has been a quite challenging…Our school is a diverse school in a progressive district…We do have a majority of children from poverty…Our school does have a reputation, even with the challenges… We strive to maintain the status quo…  With all the demands of Common Core Curriculum and the rigors of Testing…. These challenges have been added to our many  teaching responsibilities… We struggle with the problem our children face that live in impoverished conditions…

I will always inspire my children to love to read, even with all these demands… I do feel though, no one is listening to our children…They are our future…

Teaching and Technology

Today teachers do need to be proficient in technology; demonstrating their expertise utilizing  all that is necessary to teach children… 

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We have smartboards that have taken the place of the chalk board;white board….  We utilize the computer to communicate with teachers, administration, and even with parents through our webpages ..Lesson plans and grades are all required to be done on the computer where information can be shared….Children are required to learn math and reading skills on the many websites that are available on the computer…along with learning to access information for  research on the computer …Keeping lists of websites and computer resources are a must for today’s teacher…

When I first began in 1972,  all I had to be concerned with was a ditto machine  and overhead projector…Even back then,  I was not comfortable utilizing  technology…And now, a teacher of today must be able to keep up with all the demands of technology…I have had to learn…

I was not a willing participant…I am a Baby Boomer, not savvy in this new technology…When I taught fifth grade, my students helped me boot the system up and access what was necessary back in the “nineties”…I was even known to take out a computer… destroy the Mother Board…My reputation on my faculty was that I needed to stay away from computers;  I was  quite dangerous…

I  am proud to say with the turn of the century in this new millenium, I have learned how to become somewhat computer literate…I am not too proud to ask for help, and I have been determined to teach this “old dog a new trick”….As I have told my children many times: “Never Give Up”!

The Joys of Teaching…

The joy I receive from my children each year has sustained me all these many years; from their writings, pictures, and little notes…

I have many momentoes on display in my home and classroom that the children have given to me …

I can even say that I do have a place setting for twelve, in “teacher mugs”…

I have truly loved reconnecting with former students, and I may still have the momento they gave to me…In fact, there are those special parents I taught, with their own children, at the very school where I am presently teaching first grade…that I feel such joy, they still remember me…

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