Saturday, October 25, 2014

Privilege and the Common Good

Privilege = a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.
Common good = the benefit or interests of all.
It is fascinating to watch how the two merge, or do not, as we move forward to reclaim our public schools. There are folks with privilege who opt out, not only just for their children, but for the common good. There are other folks - with privilege - who have made the executive decision, without sharing information with members of the community, that opt out is NOT the way to go for THAT community - and therefore, have denied the community the education to determine what they think about opt out. Finally, there are others who have decided that it's essential that they can compare their test results with test results in other districts to prove that their school system is failing DUE to privatization movements in that district - therefore opt out is not the way to go for their district - the ability to "compare" only comes from those who are in a very privileged position to do so - they still believe these test scores mean something.
And then, there are folks who are just trying to stay under the radar because no one in their district has been harmed yet - these are the folks who only give me an FB  thumbs up on my chicken photos or my family photos...they don't want to be noticed because right now, it's just not in their backyard, and they are okay with just protecting their own and allowing their children to test because the kids get good results and the district looks good, and real estate values stay high. Finally there are districts so harmed, so broken, that opt out is the way to go and they know this and understand it - but the fear, the high stakes and the lack of resources and the lack of support are so great, and the time is so short to figure out HOW to move forward, that folks aren't sure what to do - they aren't sure how to arm themselves ever so quickly with education and tactics to salvage and reclaim.
I watch each of these groups try to move forward, and I just keep thinking - if these groups worked together - for the common good - the truth would be clear - so crystal clear - that we would win. Opt out is a guaranteed win. No data = no profit. Money is the end goal here. Without the data, politicians, unions, chamber of commerce, school boards, EVERYONE would be required to listen - it would smack them in the face - and it would be clear who truly holds the power - WE DO. So, I put this post out to my Colorado friends - and I ask you to consider once again, how opt out - everywhere - will shut this down. And how we can support one another - in Adams 12, Adams 50, Aurora, Cherry Creek,  Denver, Dougco, Jeffco, Littleton, Pueblo, and more - to reclaim our public schools for the common good. Please consider that, as you use your privilege to make decisions, decisions that affect all children, decisions that others without privilege, cannot make.

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