I don’t usually write about political issues but during this time of great decision making for our Presidential office and Supreme Court appointees, it’s difficult to remain quiet. I’ve been making the rounds to a few private schools, and I am always amazed at the luxurious facilities and technology-laden schools I have the privilege of working with. Some schools have amazing working and learning spaces with moveable furniture, iPads on stands for student access, as well as successful 1 to 1 technology plans. There are beautiful libraries with roaring fireplaces and cushy places to read, collaborate, and study. I walk away in awe. In fact, sometimes I just want to have a cup of coffee, find a book and stay. At around 5 I might hear, “um, Ma’am, its time to go home now.”
You see, I come from the public school sector and have been conditioned to accept what is given and not complain. Teachers in the public sector spend time coming up with ways to purchase basic necessities and fundraise for extra projects and programs.
So its no wonder I drool over some of the, shall we say, well-endowed places I have seen. I shared a few pictures of a private school I visited with a retired teacher of public schools. Without missing a beat, her response was that all children should have that kind of education. Her statement struck a chord with me and after thinking it over, I have to agree. Why doesn’t our country provide outstanding educational facilities and educators to everyone? Why is it only the wealthy get to experience facilities loaded with everything you could imagine; from access to the latest technology to healthy foods to sporting facilities and outstanding educators? How did we become so accustomed to discrepancies of access to high quality education and outstanding facilities for kids across our great nation?
In the midst of these thoughts we have a water crisis that speaks volumes to our nations infrastructure and we have students who attend schools that are unclean or unsafe. How can our country boast its importance in the world when we are failing to take care of our children’s basic needs? Schools should be equitable, safe, and yes, even luxurious. Students spend approximately 18,000 hours of their life in k-12 grades. Why wouldn’t we make those places beautiful? We’ve become complacent and too accepting of the status quo. Every child deserves an amazing education, clean water, technology, great educators and healthy food. It is disheartening to say the least. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you walked into a school and couldn’t tell if it was a private or public school? I don’t have the answers but remain hopeful that the next wave of public servants will impact our country for the better and improve public education.