|photo by Ed Pawlowski|
Nationally, there have been several student walkouts protesting cuts to education. There have been boycotts of high stakes state testing too, and parents are exercising their right to opt out of useless testing. Recently, there was a huge student walkout in Newark, NJ.
Budgets are about priorities. Students must be the priority, and parents must hold the state accountable for equitable funding, but they must also hold the ASD administration and school board accountable. The ASD administration, with school board approval, has implemented curriculum changes that are not in best interest of students. I want teachers to teach to the students, not to the test. I want teachers to have autonomy in the classroom. And I want a return to developmentally appropriate practices. I cannot believe what has happened to Kindergarten and primary grades. Young children learn through play, the arts, and hands on activities-not worksheets or testing.
Students must have full related arts taught by certified specialists. All schools must have recess and a full time librarian. Parents are NOT happy. Parents want a well rounded education with full arts and humanities.
Cuts to vital programs and teachers will result in unsafe class sizes, where educational needs of all children cannot be met. ASD children will be denied the opportunities that children attending neighboring Parkland SD enjoy every day. This is more than an injustice, and a disservice to students and community- it is educational malpractice, and child abuse.
Photo is of the Save Our Schools Rally at Cedar Beach Park, organized by the AEA (Allentown teacher's union). Around 200 people attended. Speakers included Ed Pawlowski (mayor of Allentown), Ray O'Connell, and Julio Guridy (Allentown City Council) State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, State Rep. Dan McNeill, school board directors Joanne Jackson and Ce-Ce Gerlach, teacher Deb Brobst, parent and ASD Foundation board member Ed White, Debbie Tretter from the AEA, and several other great speakers. It was nice to reconnect and see the dedicated ASD art teachers and many fellow teacher activists! Hopefully more parents will attend the next rally. Maybe it should be held downtown where most families reside, since many may not have transportation to the west end.