Every day there are serendipitous moments when retired and active educators are able to reach out to community members to help them understand the issues facing public education today. Just this past Monday, my wife Sylvia and I found ourselves in just that kind of situation. We were sitting in our insurance agent's office updating our information.
When the agent realized we are retired teachers, she told us with some pride that her husband was a high school teacher AT A NEARBY CHARTER SCHOOL. We gently enlightened her about the growing threat to traditional public education schools and their students in states like Arizona. We now live in New Mexico. She opened up and told us about the growing fears of her husband concerning misuse and the disappearance of funds.
We continued to chat in a very amicable basis. She become an ally who told us she would discreetly spread the information about the lack of accountability and the draining of funds for public schools that we shared.
We now have a new friend and spokesperson for TRADITIONAL PUBLIC EDUCATION. All I can say is, "Wow!" The lesson learned was - don't be afraid or embarrassed to speak up for our esteemed profession and the students who are out there being shut out of CHARTER and private schools. Sincerely, Daniel Barlow, proud member of Arizona Education Association Retired. (Danny represents AEA-Retired members on the Arizona Education Association Board of Directors.)