While teachers around the country are severely disappointed that we now have a secretary of education with no experience in the public schools, the silver lining is that opposition to Betsy DeVos has inspired many to stand up and draw positive attention to public schools.
Just last night at the Oscars, Westport Public Schools alumnus Justin Paul did just that. Paul used his precious seconds on stage after winning an Oscar for Best Original Song to thank not only his wife, daughter, family, and God, but also his Westport teachers and public school education.
Paul, a 2003 graduate of Staples High School, and his songwriting partner Benj Pasek won Oscars for “City of Stars,” the song they wrote for “La La Land.”
Watch his remarks below.
Fed up with continuous budget deficits, Connecticut voters want their state legislators to take action and create a budget that works for all of us—but not on the backs of our children and families.
According to a new survey, voters say improving Connecticut’s future means investing in public schools and creating a new, fairer tax system that keeps taxes low for the middle class and asks corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share.
“Voters want to protect public education, children, the economy, and jobs, and they do not want these priorities to be undermined by the next state budget,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “This is the first time we have heard directly from voters regarding how they want Connecticut to handle the state’s fiscal crisis, and their concerns should be used as the foundation for moving forward.” Read more
Many parents who have the resources to send their children to private schools or homeschool them choose public education. Why? Why do you send your kids to public school?
I highly recommend this Huffington Post blog entry in which a father explains why he sends his children to public schools — and makes a strong case for public education. Robert Niles’ reasons for sending his kids to public schools?
- Public schools work.
- Private schools aren’t inherently better.
- Public school students score better than charter school students.
- Public schools are for everyone.
- Public schools are under attack.
The first four reasons are self-explanatory to teachers. Of his fifth reason Niles’ writes, “I’m sending my children to public schools because I don’t believe in the people who are attacking our public schools. Sending my children to public schools is the ultimate sign of support, and helps keep me more deeply involved in a precious public resource that needs, and deserves, our support.”
Those who attack public education would likely argue with some of Niles’ reasons, especially the first: “public schools work.” Niles’ acknowledges that there is a huge gap between students in our country, “But that’s not because we have an education problem in America. It’s because we have a large, and growing, child poverty problem in our country.”
My daughter won’t be starting school for several years, but Niles’ reason that most resonates with me is that “public schools are for everyone.” He writes, “Attend a public school, and you’re getting to know people from every corner of your community, not just people of the same religion or social class. In public school, you’re part of the, well, public.”
There are few, if any, other places in American society today where such a broad cross-section of the public comes together. And it’s one reason why I hope to send my daughter to schools that educate children from a diverse range of economic and ethnic backgrounds.
Why do you send your children to public schools? Do you share Niles’ reasons?