February 8th, 2017
Soooooo….it’s all over my Facebook timeline. Frustration. Disgust. Desperation. There’s no way you can miss it. And it’s all in response to Betsy DeVos’ election to Secretary of the US Department of Education. So why all of the controversy you ask?
The Secretary of the DOE is responsible for the overall direction, supervision, and coordination of all activities of the DOE and is the principal advisor to the President on Federal policies, programs, and activities related to education in the US. Sounds like typical political jargon right? Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?
My google search shows three interesting facts about Secretary DeVos.
- Prior to her current position, she was a wealthy donor and supporter of charter schools and vouchers. Vouchers allow students to use taxpayer dollars to pay tuition at private and for-profit schools.
- She nor her children have ever attended a public school.
- She nor her children have ever had student loans but she now heads the department of the country’s largest provider. How ironic!
What does this mean to me? It says that she has a clear disconnection when it comes to the public education system.
My point is not to help you form an opinion as to whether or not she was the best choice. But I will say this, IT’S DONE. She was elected and there is not much we can do at that level. We can, however, begin to make some changes at the personal/local level to make some waves.
As a coach, it is my goal to empower parents and educators to effectively advocate for equal education rights. I am a mom first, and a school counselor by profession. Much like you, my “expertise” comes from experience as a parent. More specifically, as a parent of an ADHD child.
Here are three quick tips to get you started with being an effective advocate……
- Be Involved– PowerSchool is an awesome tool to keep you up to date on your child’s grades and the content s/he is learning in the classroom.
- Show Up– Impromptu visits can have a big impact on your child and leave an impression with the staff.
- Be Heard– Email your child’s teachers periodically to let them know you are interested and are an active part of the team to make sure your child is successful.
It’s never too late to play an active role in your child’s educational journey. Take notes and be intentional about your next steps. I’ll leave you with this, SIMPLY START and START SIMPLY.