Adult Learning

Educate Yourself and Vote

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I do not endorse any candidate.  I honestly have not made a decision about the presidential candidate.  My research and evaluation is not over.  Monday night we may or may not learn more.  The media has a responsibility to cover news in an unbiased fashion; but we all know that responsibility is no longer the reality.  So we must go beyond the sensationalism and “politics” of the election.  We much each learn about the candidates that are running on our own.  Their job is to represent you.  Your job it to decide who best represents you and vote.
My bias is education. Click To Tweet
Bias is having a prejudice in favor of, or against, a  person compared with another.  Any site or resource you use to educate yourself on the Presidential issues will contain some bias.  As I teach my students, it is important to determine the source when researching.  My bias is education.  I have been a teacher for 20 years in a small mid-western town. I know how my students learn, what they need, and what our state government has done to take money from our schools and support big business.  I look through the lens of one who is watching the family unit change and the impact this has on our children.  I see how technology has changed and therefore impacted our children.  I understand the push for testing and what this has done in classrooms.  I am looking for someone who is open to the opinions of the experts, especially in education.  Are you sharing your expertise with those who need to understand education?
Common Core Standards:  Our students are more transient than  ever.  We have students moving from school to school, state to state during the school year.  With state control and local control, school districts can set their standards as they see best.  With a national curriculum (common core), there is a framework for schools to connect. This does two things for education.  It establishes a curriculum to allow for fewer holes in knowledge for students.  It also allows teachers across the nation to collaborate.  Using the same standards at the same grade level allows for shared knowledge, resources, and a global community among learners.  Common core sets standards by the national government with a percentage of control to local and state government.  Removing common core allows standards to be set by the state or local level.  This piece has to do with the curriculum and objectives schools are teaching.  It is one piece of control in an education system.
Charter Schools:  Students and families have more diversified needs than ever before.  We have students in elementary grades suffering from mental illnesses that were once only identified in adults.  We have families living in poverty.  They need basic support before their children can begin to learn.  Traditionally public schools have filled the need for public education.  Private schools are often available at a cost to parents.  Charter schools are set up to be run by teachers while still being offered for free with support from the government.   Public schools are funded by the government and accept all students.  Charter Schools are funded by the government and have an application process.  Allowing charter schools sets up a need for more funding in education to support more schools.  It provides options to parents.  This piece has to do with the atmosphere in which children are educated.
Teacher Tenure: Educators are required to be licensed.  They must continue their education with professional development to retain that license to teach. Teacher tenure is a policy that restricts the ability to fire teachers without cause and instead requires a “just cause” rationale for firing. Education is a very personal field.  Parents, rightfully, want what is best for their child.  Teachers, to further learning, must some times make decisions that are best for a student, but are unpopular with parents.  Tenure is a system set up to allow educators to make best practice decisions in their classrooms.  This piece has to do with being an educator and using best practice, it does not provide for academic freedom.
Education is only one piece of the puzzle.  There are other issues that you should look at and consider as you decide where you vote will be cast.  It is not always a simple piece, either.  One candidate may support your education views while another support your views on a second issue.  Your candidate may support your views on education and oppose your views on a second issue.  Democracy is a system of government by the people, for the people typically through elected representatives.  Throughout the next month, my fourth graders will be learning about this system.  You have a constitutional right to vote and a civic responsibility to educate yourself and cast that vote.  May the best win.
You have a constitutional right to vote and a civic responsibility to educate yourself and cast that vote. Click To Tweet

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