Saturday July 30th, I will be heading out to the California Capitol building in a statement of solidarity with others about current education policy. It sounds like a small thing, since I only live about 2 miles away, but given the odds of it being a triple-digit temperature day (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit), it will not be without sacrifice on my part. Why go? Why participate? There are a number of factors that have pulled me into this march, but the thing that I think is critical is that it is a coalition.
We SOS Marchers are a mixed lot. We have parents, teachers, and students. We have public school educators, charter school educators — yes, there are good charters out there concerned about what is happening because it is affecting them too, teacher education faculty, parents, union members, folks in right-to-work states — I think you get the idea. This is a coalition. Whatever our differences, in our hearts we are all concerned about how current education policy is affecting not just the adults, but how it is affecting our most vulnerable citizens, our children.
It means we have to leave behind our knee-jerk reactions to those who are the “other”. I’ve had to temper my language, and reach across the aisle. I look at this as an opportunity to develop my own interpersonal skills. Frankly, if we’re to craft a feasible and inclusive solution to all the false “solutions” that have been forced on us over the last decade (and more if you go back to Nation at Risk) it will involve getting together a diversity of folks.