Wear red for ed | AspenTimes.com

Wear red for ed

Dear Editor:

On Tuesday, Jan. 4, people around the country will be wearing red to show their support for public education. This event is being sponsored by the SOS Million Teacher March and is supported by people in all 50 states. I will proudly be joining them.

Our public educational system is vital to the future of our country and needs our full support. “Wear Red for Public Ed” is the least that I can do!

The members of my family owe a great deal of their success to the public education teachers who helped them along the way. These teachers reached past test-based curriculum and found ways to apply abstract concepts to real life scenarios. They understood the difference between “teach” and “train” and, because of this, my children learned. Truly learned.

However, these very teachers are being threatened, as the dollars needed to maintain staff and programs are not being made available. We need to insist that both teachers and schools receive the full amount of support and resources necessary for them to complete their mission- for children to truly learn.

Please look carefully at the solutions that will be offered in the days ahead. Do they promise rewards to some schools while draining resources away from others? Are they modeled on success stories that have levels of per-student funding which are higher what can be applied to the general public? When extra money is promised, do they explain where the funding will really come from?

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This year, more than ever, we need to fully understand the meaning of each solution being offered and know if results are actually possible.

It is our duty to ensure that all students have access to a quality public education, regardless of where they live. We can make this happen, but only if we insist that education is made our No. 1 priority, that community-wide supports are included, and that improvement and support is available to EACH school and student on an equal basis. True reform must, above all, enhance and not harm the viability of our public educational system.

The news will be full of interview clips offering change and hope. However, I refuse to accept sound-bite-solutions or Hollywood hype. I want real answers. I need answers that can and will be applied to Middletown America and answers that put the needs of students, parents and teachers above those of corporate America.

Because I do not have these answers – real answers offering real solutions – I will wear red this Tuesday. And I will continue wearing red every Tuesday until I get the answers that I need. Eventually, others will join in and create a giant red wave crossing America. We will be seen and we will be heard.

Until then, I will wear red every Tuesday. Will you join me?

Laurie Murphy

Sebring, Fla.