Words like ‘time to fight’ inspire me

The rhetoric of education policy has been something to admire. During my studies, it became obvious that certain phrases and wording structures anchored the rhetoric of education. While these articles were inspiring, acting on those inspiring ideals was rare. Lately, the rhetoric of education has changed to something that requires action and movement. The time of deliberation is over. It is time to move.

Whether or not teachers have students with more needs in the classroom, or teachers who do not have necessary resources like books, or who do not have enough time to focus on the lesson and 40 kids in the classroom, or who can’t seem to help students increase their grades, we are very good at distinguishing which things aren’t working. I remember asking one teacher if he had ever spoken about these issues to anyone other than teachers. He remarked that he didn’t have time to go to town hall, PTA or legislative meetings that often made decisions on education because he was inundated with trying to keep up with his students.

While I understand that a teacher’s job is to dedicate their time to their students, I also think that there needs to be time dedicated to movement. How are policymakers or school administrators going to make necessary improvements if teachers, parents or communities do not act. I am not saying that teachers needs to start advocacy groups or anything, but they should find groups that support their issues and partner with them and the community to spread the word.

Recently, I pledged that I would help StudentsFirst fight to improve education by spreading the word about what they are doing. Here is the response I got from Michelle Rhee (former Chancellor of the DC schools districts):

Lindsey,

President Obama asked a very important question of the American people during last night’s State of the Union address:

And so the question is whether all of us — as citizens, and as parents — are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed.

As a member of StudentsFirst, you have already said “yes” to the president’s call for action. And I bet you know other parents, teachers, and concerned citizens who also want to do whatever it takes to put students first.

Invite your friends and coworkers to join our movement to transform public education. Spread the word through email, Facebook or Twitter now:

http://studentsfirst.org/spread-the-word

In his speech, the president echoed one of the core principles from our policy agenda: the need to elevate the teaching profession by valuing teachers’ impact on students. He said,

Let’s also remember that after parents, the biggest impact on a child’s success comes from the man or woman at the front of the classroom. … We want to reward good teachers and stop making excuses for bad ones.

As you know, this will not be easy. There are powerful adults with vested interests in stopping the reform movement — people who continue to put the needs of adults before the needs of children.

That’s why we must continue to grow our movement to put the needs of students first. Take just a minute to help by inviting your friends to join:

http://studentsfirst.org/spread-the-word

Working together, we can give our children the opportunities they deserve.

Thanks for your support,

Michelle Rhee
Founder and CEO
StudentsFirst

Spreading the word is half the battle. Words like “time to fight” and “call to action” inspire me to spread the word. And so with that, I invite you to join this cause. Don’t just quietly support it. The time for deliberation is over. A new education wave has begun, and you can be a part of this movement.