It’s time to Vote to Change Schools

During the July AFSA convention, President Ernest Logan said our jobs as school leaders is to keep the light of democracy burning. With all the focus on testing and STEM education, history and civics has gotten lost. In his speech, he called on each of us to start the drum beat for civics and history education. But to bring those subject back, we need enlighten political leaders in our statehouses.

Earlier this year, Texas teacher Ann Madonia Casey wrote in the Dallas Morning News that the work educators do every day is crucial to our democracy, our culture, our future.

In her commentary she said, “like master chefs we take the ingredients present in our classes — bright kids, funny kids, late kids, kids with no pencil, kids with no bed, kids with a headache, a heartache, a trophy. We summon our skills to light a fire under our learners, fusing their sundry flavors, adding piquant spices, until a rich stew of wisdom starts to simmer.

“Then we get up the next morning and start cooking all over again. There’s nothing we won’t do to stir our students to be the creme de la creme. Except, it seems, to vote.

“We get so immersed in our own corner of the kitchen that we fail to attend to the House. And the Senate. And the governor’s mansion.

“This is the time of year when educators can and should pause from the intimate, day-to-day work we do with students and educate ourselves about the upcoming election. With a historic turnout we have the opportunity to take control of what happens,” said Casey.

This is a message we should all take to heart. The election on November 6, 2018 is critical for every school leader. Our industry and our unions our at stake. But more importantly the future of the children we educate is in question. 

“With our students’ and therefore our civilization’s best interest in mind, we must set aside party affiliation and the divisive, splintering issues that affect far fewer people than the quality of public schools,” said Casey.  “We must not be sidetracked by red herrings. No social issue, no moral imperative, no choice regarding life or death is more pressing than the responsibility to prepare our children to think critically, understand history, discern fact from fiction, and creatively solve problems.”