by Beth Povlo
They organized the Coalition for Quality Public Education.
In this post, Beth Povlo explains their origin and mission. As groups like these become active, their voices will be heard.
GENESIS AND COMPOSITION OF THE COALITION FOR QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION
Beginning about six months ago many who care deeply about education became increasingly concerned. School board meetings had devolved into argumentative spectacles of disruption getting in the way of the legitimate function of the Collier County School District, which is to provide high-quality education do its 44,000 students.
In early March I attended the Collier County LWV luncheon, which featured a speaker who had spent 35 years teaching in Collier public schools, after which she moved to Tallahassee, and was speaking about what was going on in the legislature regarding education. On my way out there was lots of buzz reflecting frustration with our local situation. On the ride home I decided that I was uncomfortable continuing to be a complainer; I needed to try to find a solution. I contacted some people who were also solution oriented and set up a meeting several days later.
My thoughts were that we had to counter the other side’s public position that they had a lock on caring about families, children, and education. We needed to set up a coalition of individuals whose commitment to those things could not be challenged. There were about half a dozen attending that first meeting. Each left committed to bringing in a broad swath of individuals including faith-based, parents, educators, and interested ethnically diverse people to form our as yet unnamed coalition.
Although some of these civic minded people were affiliated with organizations, they came to us as individuals who happened to have other affiliations. While it may happen that some organizations may choose to become sponsors in the future because they see their values aligned with ours, we came together and continue to be individuals concerned about high-quality education for the children of Collier County.
President, Coalition for Quality Public Education (C4QPE.org)