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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Education Rally in Everett

Last Tuesday at Cascade High School in Everett, educators and those in support of public education gathered to hear their representatives speak and to speak with them.  Well, those representatives who showed up, at least.

It was neat to see District 21's Roberts and Lias.  It was heartening to see Stanford and Moscoso representing District 1.  I give props to District 38's McCoy and Sells and, finally, to Hope of District 44.  That guy was a rockstar, by the way, drawing the most applause and cheering.  But, I have to draw attention to those who were invited and did not show up: Kristiansen and Pearson of District 39.  For shame!

If you are imagining some tired old town hall sort of format, you are lukewarm.  You are blazing hot if you are imagining over 1,400 fully pumped up adults of various ilks hooting and hollering for the most molding of public institutions: public education.

There were teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, students, and friends and family there that night to share thoughts with our representatives and to beg for a bare minimum of educational support.  Most people merely wanted to keep the teachers we have and maybe to lower class sizes or at least keep them at the over-stuffed levels they are at.  Some argued that we need to go further, to tax the rich and get the money we need to make our education even begin to compare to most other countries in the world.

The best idea, being a biased teacher myself, was to do away with the type of standardized tests that we have to purchase from a company, not knowing what will even be on the test, give to our frightened students who bear the weight of representing their entire school with their results, send it back with billions of dollars in order to be scored, and then not even get individualized, specific feedback from.  Feedback that any teacher could really use in order to help each individual student achieve even more the following year. I mean, come on, you have to see the absurdity of this system.  We can do better ourselves; we don't need to pay millions of dollars for this crap.

In the end, I'm sure this rally did nothing much beside preach to the choir, bolster support for those representatives who did show up even though we would've voted for them anyway because they are the ones who give a crap about education, and let us all feel good and warm and fuzzy about ourselves.  Still, it was nice to see 1.5 thousand people in solidarity for such a good cause.



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