Unless you’ve been hiding in a bunker, you may have noticed that we are in a heated election cycle. Debates, town halls, primaries, caucuses (I can’t be the only one that giggles when I say that word!)…we are fully involved in all things politicians and elections. And while I can’t tell you who I would like to vote for or who I think you should support, I can tell you what I’m looking for in a leader. I’m searching for a candidate that puts education on the forefront.
As far as I’m concerned, the state of our public education has an effect on every other part of our lives. From the future of climate science, to our children’s mental health, to our ability to compete on the world stage, it all comes down to education. And where will our education system be without the backbone of it all- our teachers?
So, this election cycle I’m paying attention. I’m paying attention to how schools will be funded. I’m listening to how politicians talk about our failing and under performing schools. Do they view them as something to avoid or defer money from, or do they have strong plans to repair them? Do they speak as though teachers are deserving of respect and living wages? Will they appoint cabinet members who actually have experience in Public Education? Do they truly get Nelson Mandela’s words, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children”?
For the sake of our kids, our schools, and our teachers, I’m paying attention. I don’t see any perfect candidate. And some of my favorites have already dropped out. But, there are glimmers that some on the horizon are starting to understand what we in the teaching world have known for a while…our country is nothing without a strong education system.