A little over a week ago I found myself in a meeting called by our state Rep. Janine Boyd that allowed the State Superintendent of Schools for Ohio, Paulo DeMaria to meet the new superintendents from CHUH and Shaker. The CEO of Cleveland Metropolitan Schools attended as well as our State Board of Education Member from this region and good friend Meryl Johnson. State Senator Williams was also with us. Rep. Boyd's aide Ethan Goodman attended as well as two aides for Supt DeMaria. I was the only other attendee.
When I got into teaching this is not the type of meeting I ever expected to be attending. Luckily, because I have been working closely with Rep. Boyd she knew that I would be a good addition to the meeting so we could discuss how EdChoice is hurting CHUH. I tried to delineate our concerns around unpredictable budgeting and how CHUH is different from other communities. How our enrollment went up instead of down when we "lost" close to 600 students to EdChoice vouchers who were mostly students we were not going to serve in the first place.
Politics matters because education policy drives funding and what we do in the workplace. I represent you at these meetings, but am only able to do this when we have a voice that is heard. One of these mechanisms is through the Heights Coalition for Public Education - a loose organization of over 1,000 endorsers that agree that high stakes tests need to be banished and privatization is against the common good. The Coalition sends out an email once in a while and has steering meetings that are open to anyone. We have a few events every year that teachers should attend. Consider endorsing our position statement if you have not already signed up in the past. Sign online and help us have a louder voice in this ongoing battle.