Saturday, November 24, 2012

School Reform Address by Karen Lewis

Karen Lewis on CTU’s Vision for Public Education and the Schools Our Students Deserve

"…So what do our students deserve? They deserve school reform that works, that is evidenced-based; it’s not based on a marketing scheme, and it’s certainly not based on somebody’s wishes who sits in a corner office with a spread sheet making decisions.

"Our students deserve smaller classes and a robust, well-rounded, deep, rich curriculum and in-school services that address their social, emotional, intellectual and health needs.

"All of our students deserve culturally-sensitive, non-bias and equitable education… And they deserve professional teachers who are treated as such, fully-resourced school buildings and a system that partners with parents…

"This is not reality in the third largest district in our nation. What our students often get are under-resourced school buildings, a system that alienates their parents and discounts their voice as noise.

"Our students are subjected to ballooning class sizes, asbestos-lined bathrooms, and windows that refuse to open or shut. And despite the growing neighborhood violence, our students do not have enough counselors, social workers, nurses and psychologists.

"They do not have adequate wrap-around services, and students are subjected to school-reform experiment after school-reform experiment. And when those experiments do not work, our students’ parents and educators face the threat of having their schools closed or turned over to corporate interests with little to no education experience…"

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