Yesterday at the Boise High School about 100 parents and teachers kicked off their campaign to overturn propositions 1, 2 and 3 of the proposed legislation changes that Tom Luna superintendent of Idaho schools plans to implement. I won’t bore you with the details, you can get a quick refresher, as well as join, by clicking here.
After spending several weeks in Idaho talking parents, teachers, union members and activists, it seems to me the biggest problem is that very little communication is going on between these groups.
The union seems to want to try to push the fight onto the teachers, the teachers are tired of low pay, the parents think the teachers and schools should do what they’re paid to do and the activists are standing on the sidelines saying, “Put me in coach” and none of the rest are willing.
It’s not a sense of ownership — I don’t really see anyone trying to “own” the problem. Rather it appears that every group — except the activists — are trying to stay involved just enough so they can claim victory if “Vote No” wins, yet disavow responsibility if the referendum crashes and burns.
Following the rally yesterday I approached about a half dozen participants and asked them to give me a quote for the story I’m working on for submission to several of the outlets I write for.
Of the six people, only two had anything they’d share.
Adrienne Evans, Executive Director of United Vision for Idaho said,
“There was a day where even as imperfect as the system might have been and still is, there was Chance. Everybody had access to a QUALITY, PUBLIC education to make of our lives what we are capable and for the opportunity most believed they could and should. And now, in this is moment here in Idaho and across the nation we stand at a pentacle moment…We will soon be a country where only those who can afford an education can get one, Where class trumps brilliance. determination and will power are not enough.
Among those attending the rally was Betty Richardson, who is running for the Idaho State Senate in District 15. Richardson said,
“We should not be sending our tax dollars out of state to reward those who funded Tom Luna’s re-election campaign. The “Luna Laws” gamble with our childrens’ future. It is encouraging to see Idaho’s parents and teachers join forces to put the brakes on this unproven and risky scheme.”
For whatever reason there wasn’t more interest in supporting the Vote No movement yesterday and these were the only two quotes I was able to get.
If people in Idaho don’t rally and support the overthrow of the referendum then education will continue to decline.
It’s easy for someone of my generation with no kids in the Idaho school system to choose to focus on other things and say, “Why should I get involved”?
There could easily be another Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates or John Kennedy sitting in the schools today. Without the proper tools with which to learn; and a clean, safe environment to learn in and being instructed by a teacher who is not afraid of losing his or her job — Idaho will never know what future leaders are being short changed.
Again, this is just my opinion.