I was also aware that very few people gave a damn.
Educational Outcomes Are Now Front Page News
Mentioning any of the above prior to 2016 typically provoked the response that everything was generally fine—sure, there were a few trouble spots here and there, but that was due to poverty, not instruction or curriculum. There’s nothing you can do to educate poor kids. Or kids who didn’t speak English. So what if it took the average NYC English Language Learner (ELL) four years to move into a general education classroom? It’s not like they were missing anything.
Too much testing! Tests don’t measure true learning! It’s too much pressure on the kids, that’s why the scores are low! You can’t judge teachers based on student performance! Our public schools are stellar. Why else would an “A-” be the average grade? Saying otherwise is just politically-motivated teacher bashing!
Under Trump and DeVos, America’s terrible educational outcomes for all children—especially the poor, of color, and new immigrants—is front page news.
Voters who couldn’t be bothered before are suddenly all up in arms. Look at what’s happening in our schools! Someone should do something! This can’t be allowed to continue!
I hope it does continue. Not the terrible educational outcomes. But the outrage and the attention.
We might even be able to get something done. Especially if those marching for families’ rights to immigrate to America might also be convinced that the same freedom of choice in where to live might be extended to letting those same parents choose where their children should attend school.
As long as it’s on Trump’s watch, every action his administration takes—including education under DeVos—will be scrutinized and judged, with citizens demanding action, accountability, and equitable, quantifiable outcomes for all.
Alina Adams is a New York City mom of three school-age children and a New York Times best-selling author of soap-opera tie-ins, figure-skating mysteries and romance novels. She is a contributing writer to TODAY Show Parenting, Mommy Poppins, BlogHer, Red Tricycle, Café Mom and Kveller. After going through the New York City school application process with her own children and realizing just how ...