Monday, July 23, 2012

Is Occupy Education saying I was wrong to send my child to a charter or private school if that’s what seemed best for my child? (by Peter Brown)

NO.  It’s not wrong to do the best you can for your child.  However, if we can agree that Public Schools have been badly damaged (that’s why some parents send their kids elsewhere, right?), and that it’s part of a much larger crisis, then we all need to look at a couple of things. 

1. Lots of folks right now are just seeing and dealing with what’s right in front of them: “how can I get my child in the best school?”  In a crisis, it’s far better to have a strategy than to just follow our noses, dealing with what’s right in front of us.  Any firefighter will tell you that just following your nose in a burning house can kill you.  We have to go beyond that now, to defend our children’s future

2.  Any strategy needs to be based on the current situation, not some situation from past periods.  We’ve been told for decades that if we send our kids to the right schools, and if they work really hard, and if they go to college, they will have a good job and a secure life doing productive work.  That’s no longer true.
Students who did all the right things are graduating from college deeply in debt, unable to find work other than temp jobs, and moving back in with their parents or worse.  It’s no longer possible to guarantee a good future for our children separately from a good future for all people.  We need new strategies to build a new and better future. 
No matter how we’ve made the difficult decisions we’ve had to make in the past, we can all help defend public education now, if we come together with a clear view of  what’s being done to it.  Occupy Education Northern California is committed to defending the future of education for all. (For more information, see our Mission Statement.)

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