Wednesday, September 14, 2011

EDUCATION and the AMERICAN DREAM.


As long as six years ago, speaking/appearing in schools, I began to hear about librarians being fired. Schools with no trained librarians became the norm in some states--or there might be one librarian serving 6-10 schools, spending half the day driving.

EDUCATION is being gutted to meet budget cuts.

Really?

Do we want to create a low wage-earning underclass? Because this is how you do it.  You make education--even a self-guided/public library education like my own-- harder and harder for people of limited means. You take away the level playing field of good public education. You let the universities charge fees very few can afford. This dismantling of public education and public libraries is underway and growing.  And it is the the worst betrayal of the American Dream I can imagine.

Please, look into what your own state is doing and make some noise. If we don't, no one will.

find your congressional reps here
https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

Find your senators here:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.

8 comments:

Debby Dahl Edwardson said...

You have nailed it dead-on, Kathleen. Thank you. There is also the issue of critical thinking. How can we promote sustained thought when we are teaching reading through packaged, highly scripted programs that only use excerpts of books? We are creating a nation in which only the elite will be educated to compete worldwide and the rest will be ignorant and handicapped.

kathleen duey said...

Debby, We are both writers, good at looking at things in terms of "what would happen next". We seem to have both national and state governments that can't see or imagine anything past the next election cycle.

Renee G said...

Sing it, sister! Very disturbing, to say the least.

kathleen duey said...

It is disturbing, Renee...I wish I knew what to DO. Maybe a book.

linda urban said...

I wish I knew what to do, too. Vermont is managing so far, but when I look back at what is going on in my old home of Pasadena it scares me so much.

All the forecasters suggest that the folks who will thrive in the new economy will be creative thinkers, originators of ideas, start-your-own business types. But by removing trained librarians -- and the arts, for that matter -- and focusing on the most rudimentary, testable math and language facts, we are robbing kids of the ability to create, think, and follow their own ideas to conclusion.

If you figure out what to do, you let me know. Although I do have a book idea just beginning to simmer that might explore this a little further . . .

kathleen duey said...

Thanks, Linda, for speaking out. What I want to do is start a revolution. Today.

I want to live in a country run by a consensus of its citizens, not its corporations. My weapon is the same as yours and every writers'....words.
It's time to write about the wrongs, each of us in her/his own way.

molga_muses said...

It's refreshing to know Vermont is still funding the important things, but the rest of America just doesn't get it. I'm petrified. Just yesterday I heard about half a dozen librarians who have been *laid off* -- whatever the politically correct term of the day is for losing your job -- in the glorious state of Florida, where public education is being beaten down to make room for privately owned charter schools that don't come close to educating our children.

What if we write but the children can't understand? Or what if their parents won't buy them the books? Maybe we have to try to make a difference with the adults? But how?

At least it's comforting to know I don't live in a vacuum. Other people think as I do.

kathleen duey said...

The only possible "winners" in a country that is dismantling public education and libraries (the only other source of free education) are those with a vested interest in cheap labor and an easily manipulated populace.

One thing we can all do: Write your congress reps DAILY. Get people you know to write often and make noise. Tell them they work for US. Not the banks and the oil companies. US! and our kids and grandkids and the dream of equality that began in this country and remains here, in our hearts and hopes.
contact your reps:
https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml