Click the picture and move the slider to timestamp 23:25 to view Lynda’s testimony.
Testimony of Lynda Rubin
March 15, 2018
I signed up to speak about SRC spending priorities, a subject that I and many others have brought to you time and time again, frankly to little effect. Chief among the topics have been the millions upon millions of dollars being paid to private companies for curricula and preparation associated with the testing behemoth that has overtaken our time and effort at the expense of actual teaching and the newer kid on the block – blended learning – because it involves an easy obeisance to the gods of technology and data collection while saving money on the salaries of actual teachers. Concomitant to that is the more recent reliance on private companies, such as Relay and TNTP, to provide the training of our teachers and principals. This may be cheaper up front but that’s because its designed for teachers and principals to follow the script rather than learn about the interconnections of child development, education and the impact of trauma and poverty as they inform our teaching practices. Also connected to this new supposed “education reform” movement is the de-emphasis on the contributions that support staff such as NTA’s, counselors, nurses, librarians, and the arts provide to the culture of our schools as well as the true benefit that stable, long-standing school staffs bring to not only a coordinated staff effort, but also the lives of our students through their on-going relationships with, and earned trust of, our students on a day to day basis. Many non-educators think teaching is easy because adults know more than kids. Educators know better.
I have to admit, that sometimes I get tired because corporate money and the influence it buys both in political circles and influencing the message in news media and marketing their product is powerful. I almost changed my mind about speaking today.
And then as I poured through the accounts of the earnestness of the needs and fears our students, both locally and nationwide, about their sense of safety and security and their feeling abandoned by the adults in this country who choose ideology, business/political interests or just “winning” over our children’s right to thrive, to experience the joys of growing up with the usual childhood and teenage angst instead of the fears of not growing up at all, I decided to speak.
What are we doing? Are we so caught up in making our own imprint on our world and society regardless of whether it’s driven by money, power or sense of self that we forget what we’re supposed to be doing here – for the future of our children and society?
I urge this SRC and the new Board of Education to continually reevaluate whether our expenditures on the “new and improved” education products and methods actually work for our children’s benefit and not just for our own sense of productivity – and to make course corrections before we waste our shareholders’ – read taxpayer’s – money and actually bankrupt OUR public education system.