New Year's Advocacy Resolutions
The New Year is always a time to set goals - many of them for self improvement. Looking at a broader picture, I believe there are resolutions we advocates should embrace to improve our schools, our nation and our future. My advocacy goals for 2013:
- Adequate Funding for All Public Schools - Our elected and policy leaders must stop thinking about this funding as expenditure and recognize that it is a critical investment - and that we must invest now!
- Safe Schools for All Kids - We must do everything in our power to ensure our schools are safe havens for our children.
- Building More Respect for Our Teachers and Having a High Quality Teacher in Every Classroom-- If we are to become a country whose education system is at the top of the international scales we must restore the highest respect for the teaching profession. We must all advocate to stop the teacher bashing and replace it with support!
- Increased Support for Schools with the Greatest Needs - In America we do our best to educate all children. That means we must increase support for schools that have the greatest needs.
- Better and Increased Use of Technology in Our Classrooms -We cannot allow the valuable tools that technology offers to go unused. Today's kids learn best from using the latest technology.
- Continued Support of the Common Core - We must continue to advocate for high standards and support the Common Core. Without these internationally benchmarked standards our kids will never be able to compete successfully at the global level.
- Expansion of Early Childhood Programs for All Kids - Pay now or pay more later! We must invest in early childhood education programs.
- Increased Opportunities for Meaningful Parental Engagement - A missing piece of successful reform is providing for meaningful parental engagement in our schools - the kind that goes beyond fundraising and the usual volunteer tasks. Parents must be fully engaged in their children's educations and have the training to do so successfully.
- Significant Increases in Teacher Salaries Across our Nation - I continue to believe that we must significantly increase teacher salaries if we are going to attract our best and brightest into the profession. We must advocate for ways to make this happen so income is no longer part of the decision-making process for our college graduates as they consider teaching.
- A Strong Principal in Every School and A Strong Teacher in Every Classroom - Keys to successful schools are successful leaders. Principals make all the difference in whether or not a school is successful. We must have strong leaders in every building.
- Increased College and Career Readiness with Increased Degrees and Certifications in Every Community - We won't be successful - we can't declare victory - until every child is prepared for success in college or career. We can - and must -- make this happen!
- Strong Accountability Systems with a Focus on Student Achievement - We must demand excellence through high standards and robust accountability systems at all levels. We must also advocate for measures that address the individual performance of students, teachers, principals, and the performance of postsecondary graduates.