I read a quote from President Abraham Lincoln today that I think we can apply to our current situation fighting for sound education policy. He said, “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”
Some of us feel discouraged about the House approving H.R. 5, the Student Success Act last week, and the U.S. Senate yesterday passing S.1177, the Every Child Achieves Act. We need to “have faith that right makes might.” Our message is going out. It is resonating. Even if the votes didn’t go our way we are still making a difference in the national conversation. We are forcing our leadership, candidates, etc. to discuss federalism as applied to education.
Our opposition to Common Core was cited numerous times, that is something we didn’t see even two years ago. Notice also that three of the four presidential candidates in the U.S. Senate (U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio) voted “no” on S.1177. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) didn’t vote at all. We are making a difference, politicians are feeling the pressure we are bringing to bear as grassroots
So we need “to the end, dare to do our duty.”
Take heart. Even this fight over No Child Left Behind is not finished. The U.S. House and the U.S. Senate agreeing on a conference report reconciling their two bills is not certain. President Obama may not yet sign any reauthorization.
If the bill does become law we will have to hold our elected officials accountable to what they promised us – greater local and state control. If that does not happen we must hang them with their talking points.
Also, as far as the fight against Common Core is concerned, nothing has changed. The battle has always been at the state level. We need to continue to fight, but now we can not let legislators use the excuse of waivers or grants to do nothing (provided this bill passes). We’ll also continue to encourage and support opting out of assessments as it is a parent’s natural right to decide that for their children.
Take heart, you are making a difference. Let’s take a collective breath, put some dirt on it, get back up and get back into the fight. Our kids are too important for us to drop out.