What does it feel like to have the rug pulled out from under you? All of us know this feeling to some extent. And when you thought the rug was your rug – and someone claims it is not, what do you do?
I have had the rug pulled out from under me many times in my life. But I have never experienced a school closing as a teacher or a parent. I wonder - what would I do? Now I sit here in Denver seething, then crying, then seething, then wondering who I can punch or what choice words I might email to the judge who upheld the closing of The Project School or the dictator mayor who first recommended it. Who the hell are they? What the F&%$ do they know about TPS and the fearless and dedicated parents and teachers? Nothing.
This isn’t their rug – and they took it – without warning, without due process or any intelligent reasoning for its closure – two weeks before school starts.
Now where will the TPS family sit and gather as a community? Their rug is gone. Teachers, parents, children now reeling.
And what do we do about it? Don’t tell me we need to dialogue with those who negotiate with children’s lives. Don’t tell me I need to vote for candidates who represent the lesser of two evils in the hopes that this will get better. This isn’t getting better. This is getting worse. We have children going to schools with 75 to 1 student/teacher ratio, other children attending schools in former banks next to pawn shops, children re-routed on the school bus to find their home in motels, children segregated in schools that look more like prison and parents hoping they get their CHOICE of school for their children, yet the reality is there is only choice for a few. And we are paying for all of this – we pay for the destruction of our schools and our communities.
I am told TPS is planning to open their doors this August and commence the 2012-2013 school year some how, some way.
And while TPS attempts to pull their community back together, we have got to be louder – locally and nationally. We have to be more strategic. We have to fight against common core, high stakes testing, value-added measure, turn around and charter/choice. Spend your time wisely. I have grave concerns regarding time spent analyzing the “test” – why analyze? We know the tests don’t improve student achievement so move on – I don’t give a rat’s ass what these tests look like – we don’t need them. Opt out of this insanity. I have concerns as we flurry around signing petitions, posting on FB – are we just rats in a cage – do they watch us with amused fascination, then yawn and walk away? I have serious concerns when anyone asks me to venture into dialogue with corporate reformers in the hopes of coming to some sort of “agreement.” Don’t be fooled. These people already have agreed to a plan – it’s simple - dismantle public education and profit as quickly as they can before we figure out we are being screwed. No need to waste your time blabbering with them.
They know what they want.
They want your rug.
If they don’t have it yet, they will come for it soon – and they will yank it hard – because they don’t care about your well-being or your fall as your head hits the ground – they care about their ideology, their money and they protect their own.
In solidarity TPS,
Stand tall and I look forward to the day that I can walk in your doors and sit with you, on your rug, with your beautiful community. See you this school year. United Opt Out National is headed your way.