But first, before continuing with the narrative of the events that occurred after my resignation I would like to clarify what this blog will be to my readers. America's Future: The Inside Story will be a place where, as a Citizen of the United States, I will practice my First Amendment Right to express my thoughts publicly regarding the twists and turns of today's policies on education, social services, and the rights of those impacted. My own life experiences and how my family has been impacted by poverty and mental illness will be intertwined.
Reflecting the exact nature of its broad title, my blog will explore the challenges that the future of our country faces behind the closed doors of various institutions. In this time of struggle for so many people, students are reduced to test-score numbers. Teachers are--almost literally-- gagged. The amount of any type of public assistance (food, heat, electric, medical, housing, you know, basic needs) --if any--a family receives depends on ambiguous formulas based on "income, family size, and expenses". All numbers. People that live in poverty and/or have a disability are the stepping stools for billionaires.
The relationship between poverty and education will continue to be explored as well as the impact of Standardized Testing and The Common Core Curriculum. Any form of enlightenment, unique expression, or independent thought is being completely squelched by numbing curriculum. I now substitute teach in a smaller city north of NYC, and have implemented Common Core Curriculum myself to at-risk students. Needless to say, my previous years of experience as a teacher in NYC helps me immensely in my current position.
For the life of me, I still am trying to make sense of why those in power who create policies upon which the success and survival of America's Future depends refuse to address the relationship between poverty and academic success.
The connection between hunger and the ability to focus in school.
The direct link between homelessness, abuse and violence in schools and on the streets.
The school-to-prison pipeline.
It doesn't take a genius to see these obvious problems, but it takes a greedy politician to not just ignore them, but actually perpetuate them. The darkness of greed has driven the politics regarding the "business" of our children and families. It's a glaring fact at this point.
It is understood that many of us have become fearful and apathetic adults, because almost half of us are solely focused on survival and nothing else, which weakens our resolve to plant the seeds of progression. How can we, as struggling parents and teachers, affect any change if all of our energy and time is dominated by "taking care of our own"? That's no accident.
My promise to my readers is that absolutely no names, places, or otherwise identifying information will be disclosed unless granted permission. I will stay as raw and honest as I have always been. I will describe my personal experiences colorfully, with or without fear of judgement.
If you're not interested in the truth, stop reading and retreat back into your ignorance, but don't complain about your child failing school or your empty bank account.
I've never known of a great writer to tiptoe around the idea of controversy. Ducking under a blanket of literary safety, which I have done for the past six years, has gotten me nowhere. A true writer never ceases to express themselves based on shame or fear.
Great writing is brave writing. Great learning happens when the mind is open to that which may be intimidating to understand...and act upon. So I'm gonna jump back into the Blogosphere...despite my fears. Thank you for reading, and I hope you decide to continue, comment, and share.