Last week the Alachua County school board faced some harsh realities. The teacher shortage has hit home. We now have long term substitutes for positions we cannot fill. Board members attended the Rally in Tally to support our schools and teachers. They announced that 4,000 people were there.
Perhaps the most hopeful moment at the board meeting came when a parent, Kanh-Lien Banko spoke.
She said: “We are in a dog fight for the soul of public education.” She and others are doing something about it. They are rejuvenating a district wide PTA council. The group will work toward helping all, not just some, schools and children.
Kanh-Lien is also a founder of the 5forChange.com effort to support the Citizens for Strong Schools lawsuit. I would like you to meet Kanh-Lien. She spoke at the board meeting, and you can see and hear her introduce the goals of the PTA Council here. You can advance the video to 54.00.
We all need to know that parents are coming forward. The OPT OUT movement has made a clear case against the abuses of over testing in the schools. The PTA Council here is also concerned, and they are making the case that the legislature and its appointed officials are neglecting the real needs of our children.
The Alachua County schools are wrestling with how to build consensus on the way forward. Just the fact that these issues are now so public is reassuring. Hearing about the successes and challenges ahead keep us all motivated. David Brooks’ column in the New York Times about the Anxieties of Impotence is our biggest threat. If we believe we can make a difference, we will.