A Chance For School Success

And while Mother’s Day is typically a day for you to be showered with gifts, it’s also the perfect chance to remember the greatest gift of all – reading aloud to your child.

I am fortunate. I reap what my brave, financially-solvent, well-educated, intellect-valuing parents planted. Others are less fortunate; harvesting instead the anemic crops of poverty, ignorance, and intellectual starvation. The roots of both crops grow deeper with each passing generation.

When I was a child, I believed that the principal’s job was to terrorize everyone in the school. When you overheard the teachers speak of the principal during their playground duty, it was quite clear that they didn’t want to be in the presence of the principal any more than the children. It was almost like he was the head security guard that kept law and order in the schools. He was the “gotcha” man.

Now, those unconstitutional fees parents pay to their local school, they’ve decreased, or better yet, have been eliminated. Oh, wait, no they haven’t. Superintendent Stevenson has stopped purchasing high end entertainment for herself and her best friends. Oh, wait, no she hasn’t. Student achievement has become a serious conversation. Oh, wait, no it hasn’t. Enrollment is increasing. Oh wait, no it isn’t, but costs certainly are increasing. The district has had a meaningful evaluation for efficiency in spending. Nope, that hasn’t happened either.

The best approach is to think about others who ARE worse off than you are! Studies show that children are the poorest population in the us. Children need attention, role-models, and heroes. Where can you find them? In schools! Call the school and volunteer. It will only cost you time and caring – assets of which you have plenty.

Last week’s debt ceiling votes by Indiana lawmakers had me scratching my head, especially when it comes to the Tea Party movement in this state. They blasted U.S. Senator Dick Lugar and U.S. Representative Larry Buschon for their votes in favor of lifting the debt ceiling, but said nothing about Mike Pence and Todd Young who also voted the same way. There is also talk the Tea Party will try to run a primary challenger against Buschon in the 8th Congressional District.

As I survey my Facebook wall, I am struck by the high percentage of my progressive friends who are fed up with the Democrats, fed up with Obama, and fed up with being yelled at for voting third party. Why, they wonder, can’t we have some candidates who actually espouse progressive values? Why can’t we propose real universal healthcare? Real Wall Street reform? Real education reform? In short. real progressive politics that reflect a secular government respecting the rights of all Americans?

Romer, nearing 80, is running a non-stop road show trying to make education a top issue in the 2008 election. He heads a well-funded, blue ribbon group named Great American Schools that tells anyone who will listen that our schools are failing and we’re falling behind the rest of the world.