One thing rings true in every local in every school: members are not content with our voice when it comes to speaking up for public education. They want a president with the ability to challenge voices with agendas we know don’t have students’ best interests at heart.
Candidates can talk about what they will do once elected on this front, but I’d rather share what I am doing right now.
The Atlantic Institute of Market Studies consistently funds Paul Bennett to publish position papers on public education. They’re soundbite friendly and resonate with many who want schools to function more like business does. Most importantly, they shape the thinking of political parties and their actions. Stephen McNeil’s Liberal education platform is founded upon ideas that spring directly from Bennett’s past papers.
The problem is that these papers are shoddy and recommend change that has been disastrous for students and communities wherever they have been implemented.
So, how do you challenge ideas and ideologues? Through debate and exchange:
I was proud to attend the roundtable hosted by Mr. Bennett on March 15. I prepared for this exchange by working with members of Educators for Social Justice. This video is only one piece in a series of exchanges at this event, and it was amazing to share this process with others passionate about equity in public schools.
On May 23, members have to decide whether they want to elect a president that will need to develop the skills and attributes necessary to navigate challenging exchanges, or whether they want one who is already doing so with intelligence and effectiveness. I hope you’ll stand #withwozney as a step towards reclaiming a voice the public trusts and those with agendas have to reckon with.