It is hard to know whether to express grief or anger at the impending collapse of our educational system. Perhaps the myriad of emotions that runs the gamut are each in their own space appropriate. The grief for the teacher and student trapped in a relic whose time has passed and anger for the bureaucracy whose blind ambitions have too long and yet still ignored the warning bells of a sinking behemoth pitched up in its death plunge sputtering, hissing to its depths of oblivion. The time for the salvation of public education is nearly passing the cusp into the realm of futility.
Captained by a stubborn addiction to agenda rather than the purpose of teaching, a top heavy education system teeters dangerously as if drunken by its desire for self preservation. As the passengers flee the sinking ship rowing towards a fresh new horizon of choice and freedom, the aging hulk reaches out for them as if to drag them back into the dark cold vacuum it leaves as it sinks beneath the waves. Disaster loves company.
The inevitable shift in the educational landscape is borne out of necessity here in rural Maine. Despite the protestations of Senator Collins that Betsy DeVos did not understand the needs of rural Maine for public education, it is the Senator who is completely out of touch with the changing winds in rural Maine. Blind and bound by financial ties to powerful unions, she instead gives stark example to the reasons rural Maine is rejecting public education in growing numbers and choosing instead to embark in more seaworthy vessels than sieve Collins seems bound to protect.
Despite the ruinous wreckage surrounding it, like a poverty stricken monarch the public school system is still demanding obeisance. A bill, LD 96, sponsored by Senator Nate Libby, Democrat, would require parents to “consult” with school boards before removing children to a alternative educational system or be found in truancy. In other words, the failing school system that has our once world class education standards plummeting in the eyes of the nations wants to consulted before parents are “allowed” to make choices for their own children. Both Senator Collins in Washington and Senator Libby in Augusta are completely out of touch with the people in Maine they represent.
The broad and, yes, harsh characterizations of the failing public school system are not to ignore the great work of so many good teachers who bravely work to educate our youth in this arcane system. It is to paint the over-arching picture of the necessity and reality of change. Many families, and more are coming, have found greener pastures for the education of their children outside of public schools. This is the new horizon for education in this country and in this state.
LD 96 has yet to be debated before committee. The public can go before committee or send in written testimony. I would urge so many who believe in a brighter future for our children to contact the Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs and make your voice be known. Having to consult a school board for parenting choices on your child’s future is like asking Hollywood actors for marriage advice.