Sunday, August 9, 2015

Everyday Advocates - Stephen Eric Bryden

Why is public education advocacy important to you?
I was raised to stand up for what I believe in. I am a teacher who happens to be an optimist in denial of the status of public education. In spite of constant reminders to the contrary, I need to lie to myself that things will change. People in positions of power (and, more importantly, the dollars of those who influence and back them) could care less about what is best for children. The rage and frustration I often feel would eat me from the inside if I were not to use it as fuel for external actions. I refuse to stand by as developmentally appropriate education gets chipped further and further away by a system of global businesses whose interests lie in mining children for data in the name of profit, gutting the livelihood of public schools with vouchers, and brazenly wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on charter schools. This is David trying to fight a Goliath who owns not only the ever-shrinking battlefield, but also the slingshot store. Until we can play by rules not instituted to destroy what we do, educators will keep spending more disheartening time concerning themselves with compliance over learning.

What do you want parents to know about public education issues?
School reform is a hoax presented to reap profits. Standardized tests are a great measure...of socioeconomic status. The people telling us how and what to teach send their kids to private schools with none of those expectations. Follow the money. Inform yourselves. Vote.

Why are public schools important to everyone in a community?
Unlike charter schools, we accept everyone. Unlike voucher schools, we don't take taxpayer money and use it to rebuild churches. We teach children.

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