An Open Letter to Doug Ducey and Arizona Citizens:
Let’s begin by discussing the expectations that the districts of Arizona have for their publicly funded schools. No matter what location the school is in, the expectations are equal. What does this look like? Your school could have a large refugee, immigrant, low income, middle class, special education, or wealthy population and everyone is given the same state and/or district test. The expectation is that these students are prepared rigorously for these tests even if they are monolingual and have just moved here from another country, or are in specific sect of the special education program. The student might have no support system at home and are only thinking about where their next meal is coming from, or if they will have electricity when they get home. Rigor is the only option.
Then, no name politicians without an ounce of educational background come in and take out the curriculum that has been used across the state to support this rigor for the past three years. The students finally have some kind of familiarity and then they want to yank the ladder of support the teachers have been so carefully building. Furthermore, in an already under funded work place the governor is refusing to give money to his public institutions of education. If the rigor was lacking before, it will be non-existent now.
A government cannot expect its people to create something from nothing. They cannot expect teachers to create rigorous readers when there will be no more reading programs. They cannot expect teachers to create rigorous math students when after school programs will be cut. They cannot expect teachers to foster learning when music and sports will be cut. They cannot expect students to continue learning when those counselors and social workers who ensure the safety of the student outside the school will not be around. They cannot expect teachers to continue down the path of public education when the government places no value in an institution that has been turning out some of the United States’ greatest minds over the last 200 years.
Our value is worth far more than the pittance we are paid. Which is obvious in the hours teacher devote in time spent not teaching but doing the job.
The expectation for teachers: to hold a child’s future in their hands. It is one of the most valuable and the most rewarding job in society.
If there was ever a teacher who had an impact on you, then stand against Doug Ducey and the corrupt politicians in Arizona. Secure YOUR child’s future. Do not let them take away your child’s or any child’s rights: to learn, to a valuable education.
Middle School Teacher