Save Our Schools; Let Us Never Forget the Mission, March, and Movement

(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)


copyright © 2011 Betsy L. Angert.  Empathy And Education; BeThink or

Near a month has passed since the Save Our Schools storm swept through Washington District of Columbia.  As with all squalls the effects of such an event linger long after the winds die down.  A physical space cleaned-up after a tempest takes place does not erase the memory of what occurred.  Be it a blast of air or an action, the calm does not close a chapter in our lives.   The current, commitment, the cause, and our concern do not wane with time, that is, unless we choose to move on or tell ourselves that that is possible. I believe the notion the past is past is fallacious. Our past permeates the present and is a foundation for the future.  Thus, for me, the thought, and the March to Save Our Schools are strong. It survives as is evidenced by the now named Movement.

I believe the Movement did not begin with the March.  The happening was but a moment, albeit an extremely significant historical occurrence.  The energy exhibited on July 30, 2011 was an expression of what preceded it and illustrates what will follow. Determined not to invite the doom of a forgotten precedent, demonstrators such as I reflect on what was.  Together we will build a better potential for our progeny.  May we begin to extend the journey today?  Ask yourself what you saw, did, felt, tasted, touched; tell your Save Our Schools March story.  I offer mine as a gift to you.

I ask and answer questions presented to me. Whether you were in Washington, District of Columbia for what some characterize as the main event, at another Demonstration elsewhere, or connected only through the tube, YouTube, radio, and papers, what did you perceive, receive, or retrieve?  Please share your personal story!

May our offspring, schools, society, and we, grow greater through our caring and sharing.  Let the past, the procession, and the prospect be our guide.

1. Describe what you saw at the Save Our Schools March, July 30, 2011.

As I approached the Marchers, or where the throng would be, before the actual walk began, I saw only a loosely dispersed crowd.  I looked for familiar faces.  Fortunately, I was made aware of an opportunity to lead the “parade.”

A good friend of mine was selected to escort the procession.  He would chant into the megaphone.   I would be just behind him, or so I thought at the time.  Slowly, people gathered around us.  The Save Our Schools banner appeared, accompanied by those chosen to carry the sign.  The “pilots” took their positions.  I watched it all.

As we Marched, I saw more.  I was astounded.  City dweller and visitors to the nation’s Capital stopped in their tracks.  Cars and cabs stopped.   Passengers took photographs of the event.  Visibly, conversations centered around our appearance.  Thumbs went up.  Frowns turned to smiles as the Save Our Schools protesters approached.  A few applauded.  Many mouths were agape.  Some seemed stunned.  No one was numb.   Even the one dissenter did not stand idly by.  He addressed the crowd and began a tête-à-tête.  Talk is what I observed at every turn.

However, I never saw the depth and breadth of the moment . . . that is not until the March was over.

2. Describe what you heard at the March.

While at the March, as we proceeded up and down the streets of Washington, I heard a harmonic hum.  The voices of two persons with megaphones, my friend’s and another man’s, sang out.  The amplified sounds filtered through the air.  The now massive following repeated the words these individuals sang.  “Our Children.”  “Our Schools.” “Our Voices.”  “Save Our Schools.” These slogans were among the more easily recognizable refrains.  Other odes were also opined.  However, none was more memorable or meaningful to me than the one that I continue to hear in my head.  Aloud, marchers offered an appeal, “Show me what democracy looks like.”  In response, we all trumpeted, “This is what democracy looks like.”  As we did so, I heard and felt my own sobs.  Tears streamed down my face.

3. Describe what you felt (emotions)

Oh my!  What I felt?  Empowered. Energized. Emotional which is not my usual.  Indeed, feelings have never been my friends.  I prefer living in logic. You cannot imagine my surprise.  I was struck by how often I choked.  My first March, or the first time I ever participated in a civic action was long ago, I was eleven or twelve, enrolled in Middle School.  Equal Rights for all races was the issue.  Black Americans had finally found their voice and all those years ago, I mine.  As I marched this July in Washington District of Columbia I realized the connection.  The two topics have tugged at my heartstrings.  Each has torn my spirit into tatters.  They are one.

For me, society, our schools, our students have forever been separate and unequal.  As a culture and a country we segregate.  We speak of fairness and justice, and then act on inequitable simplistic “solutions.”

Children of commoners are seen as scores and statistics.  Even those in the Middle Class and Upper Middle are given few chances for true fulfillment.  I think of my own experiences.  At times in my life, I was poor, comfortable, or well-off.  I was part of every population, all but the most elite.  Yet, in each, as an auditory learner, I was subjected to examinations meant for a visual learner.

The young are often used as a means to serve adults and their silly need for some mythical sense of accountability.

Black and Brown people are treated as slaves. White people may wish to deny this; however actions speak.  African-Americans are also taught to serve.  Rarely does the majority expect much of those forced to live in miserable circumstances. Indeed, I believe for generations we have been taught to fear persons of color.

Lest I forget to mention another thought that troubles me.  I observe that the poor, the impoverished, Black, Brown and Caucasians, who have far fewer means than the affluent do, do not have equal access to high quality education.  These persons too are economically enslaved.  The difference is, traditionally, society does not easily define the paler of these individuals as inadequate to achieve. One is standardized; others are defined as substandard.  Neither is given a chance to truly thrive.

The emotional effect of what I experience as true hit me, hard, as I marched.

4. Describe what you touched (physical sensations)

I touched less, far less, than what touched me!  In truth, other than the water bottle in my hand and perhaps, another persons body as we brushed by one another, I do not think I placed my hands on any object, being, or entity.  All the physical sensations were felt through a mere presence at the event.

Indeed, I wonder; did my feet touch the ground?  Perhaps, my head made contact with the clouds.  Surely, my vision soared far above the skies.  Stars surrounded me!  No, this is not a reference to movie star Matt Damon, who in truth, as a thinker and writer impresses me more than his acting ability does.  The light and luminaries were seen in people; persons who stood strong to support a Movement, Save Our Schools!

Physical contact with individuals’ intent on their work for the cause touched my heart, my head, and helped me to ascend to greater heights.  I will forever feel the climb worthwhile.  I can see the peak from here.

5. Describe what you smelled.

The sweet scent of strong support for public education filled the air as we marched.  I could smell it, taste it. I ate in every savory bite.  The saucy speeches were a spicy brew. Aromatic essences, energy filled the air before demonstrators pounded the pavement.  Hot as the day was, and as long as the Rally might have been, hours in the sweltering sun did not cause us to break out in a shared sweat.  No, the only smell I detected was one of success.  Everyone appeared satisfied.  If nothing more Teachers, Pupils, Parents, Principals, Psychologists, Guardians, Grandmas and Granddads made a statement.  It was obvious to each of us; we were heard. Smells?   How do you describe the indescribable? Delicious!

6. Describe what you thought (random thoughts, consistent thoughts, or anything that comes to mind when participating)

At the time of the March, my thoughts were many.  Indeed, all of the reflections experienced then linger.  In this moment these are no less large.  I could not get my first March ever out of my mind!

When a little more than a child, enrolled in Middle School, I demonstrated for Civil Rights, Equal Justice, and Opportunity for All.  Then, it seemed apt that the chant “Power to the people” would be uttered.  For but a moment, this July 30th, in Washington, the Marchers sang the same tune.  I was instantly taken back or aback.

When we repeated words that spoke to Schools, Tests, and more so the Children, I cried!  So often I choked as we marched.  The fears I feel as I contemplate the future of public education came out in my tears.

My belief is the need for authentic instruction and assessments is great. Yet, I see that in action, as a society, we turn away from these.  The mantras recited reflected the meaning of a genuine education.  My heart melted with most every phrase.

However, for me personally, nothing was as profound as what still resonates within me.  The tune rings in my ears even now . . . “Show me what democracy looks like.”  “This is what democracy looks like.”  At one point, early on in the March, I realized that five thousand persons stood physically behind me. Hence, as I spoke the words, I extended my arm in a sweeping motion.  My intent was to point to the voice [the power] of the people.

I never in my life felt the intensity I did on that date . . . during the Save Our Schools March. Imagine all the people, sharing the entire world and serving our children, society, and future.  I do.

7. What was the March about / what was the message/story being told?

I smile.  The thought that there might have been a single message, a singular focus, or but one story being told fascinates me.  Over the past year, as plans for the March were being made, I had the opportunity to speak with many on the subject.  I chatted with a few on the Save Our Schools Executive Committee.  Conversations with volunteers were also abundant. Interested parties and persons, activists engaged me in discussions.  The apathetic too happily joined in dialogues.  Talk of the subject can be heard on every street corner.

Individuals, who, for a long time did not seem to care about our schools, now, apparently, feel a need to respond to reforms they perceive as painful, punitive or pernicious.  I spoke with parents, pupils, Principals, and those whose guiding principle is privatization.  Each mentioned the error that is, or the erroneous policies that exist within, our current education system.  Yet, even those who hold similar beliefs differ on the message, the mission, and the narrative.

How we might enact any extraordinary plan[s]? This is a question debated endlessly, just as it was on July 30th at the Save Our Schools March.

Some say programs such as No Child Left Behind and or Race To The Top are anathema.  Fix these and all will be well. Others argue testing is the terror.  Were we to teach to children not to tests, life would be good.  Teachers tremble at the thought of merit pay and how this practice might affect performance, or at least the review of these.  Then, there is the issue of poverty.  Tis true; dearth dictates how well a child, a community, and a culture might do.  However, today holes are found on the hearths of the poor and in the hearts of the affluent.  Students slip through all sorts of cracks.

For me personally, the problems are not unique to our generation.  What occurs today is a reflection of shortsighted solutions from the past.  I believe what was and is void from the system, in schools and in our society, is Emotional Intelligence.

In my mind, were we to ever respect the construct, change is incremental perchance we would learn and provide our progeny with this opportunity.  If elders were to honor the invisible, to acknowledge what adults knew in their infancy and adolescent years, that true learning and the love of it is innate, then, perhaps our children would have a chance.

I think if are to teach the young well we must begin with their parents!  Let it be known that Accountability in the form of “facts,” figures and formulas is Arrested Development!

If we are to ever address authentic instruction and assessment, we must remember how we felt when we were young.  All those decades ago we knew that who we were as a whole unique being was being ignored by a system that score us, ranks us, separates and segregates us from our innate creative, curious, and critically thoughtful selves.  We understood that tests did not accurately evaluate our edification.  No one of us had a day when what occurred at home did not have an effect on our school days or daze.

As children, we were as we are, brilliant.  The difference is, then, we did not accept false notions as fact.  “I am not an “A,” “B,” “C,” or “D,” student.” My school is not a “failure.”  “The adults defined me; thus negated me.”  Remember when we begged to be seen as a Whole Child?  Now, as adults, sadly, supposedly “mature” persons do what was done to them.  

8. Were there any villains or heroes presented at the March? Explain

Audibly, I grunt and groan at the thought of villains and heroes. Granted, people seem to seek each.  An adversary spurs them on.  A hero inspires.  Yet, neither can save a school, a system, or a society.

Several saw Diane Ravitch, Matt Damon, or Jonathan Kozol as our champions.  The Department of Education, Arne Duncan or the man who appointed him Secretary of Education, President Barack Obama, were frequently posited as scoundrels.  Any or all might be thought of as Supermen or women, dependent on whom you speak with.

However, to me, each is but a mere mortal.  Humans can do harm and can aid health.  Yet, none are saviors.  Perchance they play these on television or people think they do.  That posture is as false as the premise there is one solution that will Save Our Schools.

9. According to what you heard at the March, who has the voice in public education decisions, i.e., who has the power?

I wish I could offer a quote or two from the March.  I only have my memories.  From what I heard, read, before and after, have experienced, and believe, Big Businesses have the power.  Unfortunately, the Obama Administration, just as those in the past were, is inextricably linked to corporate lobbyists.

[This reality is as it was with the Bush bunch. No Child Left Behind: A Primer for Business The Clinton collective was also well connected to corporations.   Are We There Yet? and Clinton Presidency: Expanding Education Opportunity All have emphasized standards and accountability.  Administrations before these three were also less than friendly towards education.  Many reflect and recall . . .

Ronald Reagan’s impact on education today

From my personal experience the veracity Power Belongs to Policymakers has been true for longer than I can remember.  Educators in 18th century Prussia, precursor to the American education system, were not seen as policymakers..  Autonomy existed only behind closed classroom doors.  Thus, the beat goes on.  Rally speakers, some, and Save Our Schools supporters, several, spoke to this . . . my personal truth.

10. Who do you think will be affected by this March?

I believe, as I did for long before the March, the Save Our Schools demonstration will do little in the immediate to generate genuine education reform, and that “little” is a lot!  The March is but a moment, a necessary moment!  The Walk will bring attention to a problem easily lost in the education legislative shuffle.  Parents, Teachers, Principals, Pupils and the peers of each will be able to vocalize their frustrations, their fears, and even shed some tears.

Our schools are in a shambles and never needed to be.  Students yearn to learn. Teachers chose to inform and inspire.  Parents want their progeny and the offspring’s’ Professors to succeed.  Principals and Administrators, as well as School Boards strive for superior scholarship. Yet, for too long those on the frontline have been forced to stand behind the scenes.  The March ensures that Educators and those who seek an excellent education will be seen and heard!

11. Was this March effective? Explain.

Effective is exactly the word I would use to describe the March.  While it was but a moment in the grand scheme of the Save Our Schools Movement, I think it is, was, and will forever be a vital one.

I trust it was crucial for each of us to connect to the whole, the whole of the frustration, situation,  the possibilities, and the policymakers.  What better way to make the shared angst and our aspirations known than to communicate the love we feel for learning and learners loudly.

Most accept, if education policy and practices are to be truly effective these plans and procedures must relate to those they serve.  Students, Parents and Teachers are the individuals served.  I believe if school children and their elders are to be fully effective in  the realm of education, they too must relate or communicate. Under these circumstances, people of every age must also relate, as was done during the Save Our Schools March.

Common folks showed themselves.  Average Americans spoke with Congresspersons, and the Obama Cabinet about shared concerns.  Our presence and protest reached the ranks of corporate philanthropists, who now design education reform rules.  All this was achieved this July 30th. Thus, for me, the March was absolutely effective!

12. In order for this March to be effective, what will have to happen in the short-term to make it so?

I think what needs to occur has already occurred.  People were energized.  Participants were perhaps more eager to act than those unable to attend.  However, in my own life, I have come to see the power of such enthusiasm.  I have spoken with those back home in a manner that listeners said they found contagious.  Frustrated Moms and Dads who never knew of the Movement are ready to act.  It seems several were only waiting for someone to say Let us come together to Save Our Schools.

Zeal for real and reasonable education reforms were realized.  The broader population viewed videos, read reports, and at times met someone who was there.

From what was said to me once home, everyday people unaware of the happenings prior to the event felt connected once they learned of the Conference, Rally, and March.  Mothers and Fathers felt hopeful; Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles too. Perhaps, was the newer thought, if that many people were willing to speak out and endeavor to Save Our Schools, so too could they.  A few expressed a desire. Please keep them informed.  Next year, or next week locally, individuals who before never knew they could, said I am ready to March, Rally, to work towards real reforms for my children.

13. How do you identify-Ethnically? Gender? Professionally? Politically? Age? (This information helps determine whether there was an underrepresentation or overrepresentation of any of the above categories).

I am an Educator. For near three decades, I was in the classroom.  Indeed, in my youth, I helped my parents teach University students, graduate and Undergraduate classes.  Recently, the realities of our schools, and the sights of our students’ struggles to survive took me to a place that I cannot describe.  Challenged with a change in curriculums and thus, in attitudes . . .  for the young, the love of learning died . . . I realized my spirit too took a fall  What might have began as frustration turned into a distress so deep I could no longer go on doing as I had done for decades.  I am a Teacher turned Author, Activist, and Advocate for real excellence and equality in education reform.

By appearance, I am Caucasian, although admittedly, my own experiences as a toddler and tot are not as those of the White Woman I am. I am intensely aware that this truth shades my reality.  I am equally cognizant that I cannot accurately be classified as being of another race or ethnicity.  My “color” too, be it only skin deep affords me a life that I would not have if my flesh were not pink.  Indeed, I am able to hear and speak to discriminatory commentaries that would never be expressed aloud if a person in my presence knew how I feel about being “White.”

In truth, I do not feel good about being characterized as a “woman!”  Danish Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s words resonate within me; “Once you label me, you negate me!”  Perchance, the intensity with which I respond to stereotypes is the reason I relate so strongly to the notion of the Whole Child, the Whole Being, and the need to individualize instruction.

My age and politics, and political activism speak to far more than my gender and ethnicity.  I grew up during the Civil Unrest of the sixties in a home where current events were customary conversation.

As a child, the Black community cared for me and about me.  Those pale in color were not interested in me.  Indeed, Anglos rejected me, even, if not especially, my blood relatives.  Possibly, that is why I took the path I did early on. I spoke out and marched for Civil and Equal Rights as a Middle Schooler.

In my teens, I became more closely connected to my family,  By then, much had changed, mostly my Mom and my newer Dad were transformed, as was my relationship with kin.  I am a third-generation Peacenik, extremely “liberal” if that word can be defined.  Yes, I was as I am, ready to March!

14. How did/does your biography prepare you to participate in a March on Washington? (Meaning, were your parents organizers or are you a activist; or are you a fed-up teacher, etc.)

I believe my response to question 13 [above] answers this question as well!

15. Did this March change your thoughts, positions or feelings about the public school teacher?

The March was my revival, renewal, a Renaissance I anxiously awaited.  My energy, enthusiasm, and eagerness have not changed.  Nor have my thoughts, positions, and feelings.  These are but enlarged.

I continue to yearn for curriculums comprised of creative, curious, and critical thought.  Now, knowing that thousands stand with me, I will work harder to ensure such excellence  exists for all.

My belief is that to ensure availability and accessibility to the best that is education, public schools must be preserved. Educational institutions must prosper.   Today, with renewed strength, and the visible support of so many, the quest continues.

Authentic instruction and assessment, an equal education for every child, will be my vision and my mission. Today, I realize, the aspiration part of a magnificent and massive Movement.

16. Did this March change your thought, positions or feelings about the American Public School system?

I smile and say no.  The March change your thought, positions or feelings about the American Public School system could not have changed what for me has lived too large since childhood.  In my youngest years and throughout my education, I struggled with test anxiety, evaluations that never gave a hint of what I learned, and pedagogical agendas that preached learning modalities while ignoring these.

As an adult and Educator I came to understand the conventions, controls placed on curriculums.  I saw as I felt, children respond not well to what kills a spirit.  The hunger for creativity, curiosity, and critical thought is not lessened only lost and sought elsewhere.

My thoughts, positions, and feelings about the American Public Schools System are, as these were.  I see reason for hope, glimpses of light, and lots of darkness.  The latter, I believe is self-inflicted by a population beaten down over many decades.

17. From what you can tell, who was at the forefront of this March, or who was leading this March?

Physically, I was.  I was at the front of the procession.  In essence, I think even those who think of themselves as Leaders are not and were not on this occasion.  No one is moved to March because someone else said he or she “should,” “must,” or “needs to.”

Leadership is myth.  This concept denies people their own power.

Perhaps, as a society, were we to understand and accept that change, learning, walking, talking cannot be controlled by an outside force . . . that these are choices, people, at every age, make, then we would stop force-feeding children, their Teachers, School Administrators and even Moms and Dads policies and practices.

I smile as I realize Advertisers and Philanthropists acknowledge this veracity.  That is why these persons spend billions on marketing their message.  “Privatize and standardize education;” that is the mantra the America people have been sold.

Those who led the March are one for all.  We each listened to and responded to “me, myself, and I.” The way we individually feel about issues that affect our family, our friends, and all that is familiar to us promoted us to travel and trek!  No one could have told me to walk or stay at home.  I wonder if all those present would not say the same.

I think of the words Rita Solnet, Co-Founder of Parents Across America, an organization more than twelve-thousand strong, articulated from the stage.  Anyone of us might have been the first to say as Marchers later chanted, “Our Children.” “Our Schools.” “Our Voices.” Each of us uttered the phrases from a heart that belongs only to us, as unique individuals.  No one can lead another to love and work to better the lives of those important to him or her.  

18. In your opinion, how many people attended the March? (If you heard an estimate from the news media, please indicate the source.)

My opinion as it relates to the numbers there changed as I read various sources.  I first read 3500, then 4000.  More recently 8,000 is the total. Thus, I know not with certainty, not that I did before.

I share sources . . .

The Save Our Schools MarchThe Answer Sheet – The Washington Post

I don’t know how members of the audience (UPDATE Aug.9: a Park Service employee on the day of the march told me that as many as 8,000 attended; however, it’s worth noting the Park Service itself does not provide crowd estimates) withstood the heat but they did, and then they marched to the White House, in hopes that someone would let President Obama know about their disappointment in his education policies.

Dora Goes to Washington: The Save Our Schools Rally and March

The number of participants continued to grow during the rally. The Park Services estimated early on that there were approximately 8,000 people in attendance including a contingent of Parents Across America members representing North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, California, Iowa, Colorado, Louisiana as well as our fair state and others.

Education Week: Education Policy Critics March on White House

Organizers estimated the size of the crowd at 5,000, but a rough count by Education Week put it closer to 3,000. Before the event, organizers had said they were expecting 5,000 to 10,000 people.

An Urban Teacher’s Education: SOS March in DC

Although there were a few more events scheduled after the march, participants all but disappeared after the march was over. Anthony Cody estimated about 5,000 people turned up and hoped for 50,000 next year. Education Week suggested the turnout was closer to 3,000.

More than 100 Wisconsin teachers attend education rally in D.C. JSOnline

The Save Our Schools March & National Call to Action in D.C. on Saturday had around 3,000 participants, according to Education Week. The grassroots protest movement featured well-known speakers on education as well as actor Matt Damon.

19. Based on your vantage point, what was the composition of the March (ethnicity, gender, age, ideological position, etc.)?

From what I saw at the Save Our Schools March the crowd was overwhelmingly White. Many, if characterized by the formal Education acquired were bright.  Indeed, those with far less time in a classroom were truly learned.  [I think of the Piece By Peace and ReThink persons!  I loved these persons!!! After their performance I spoke with many of them.]

The leaning would likely be considered Left of Center, “right” without being “Right”  . . . as though a correct or wrong exists.  Even directions such as up or down are dependent on where one stands.  Smiles.

Most at the March would probably be defined as Middle Class and Middle Aged.  I thought of who attends Netroots Nation Conferences.  While countless of every age, near a half a million or more read Daily Kos, Caucasians of a certain age and financial status gather.  Even the more extreme philosophically seem to appear less often.

I think this is a reflection of society.  Mobility correlates to money.  Those who have, can and do.  Those with less do not have the opportunity to be present.  If perchance the poorer find a way to a walk, a talk, or a forum, there will be but a few in attendances.  The reality that lives large in our schools and society, is economic slavery survives and thrives.  Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.  A trip costs time and depletes the dollars put aside to merely live.

20. If you were to summarize the overall impression this March has made on you, what would it be?

Wow!!!!  Not only did the March make an impression on me, one that is permanently etched into my being, I have yet to speak to a single person who did not think the event, the experience was essential!!!!

I trust that every participant was energized and expanded, even those not present on that toasty July 3oth day.

All of us spoke as one, and part of the many.  Indeed, I believe, the sum was far greater than the parts!  The total effect, for everyone will be felt as we walk with others to build a broader movement.  As individuals we will, as I did speak to persons who never knew of the March.  This action will advance further awareness, participation, and conversations . . . The garden created for future generations will grow.

Last week, as I entered a plane, I spoke with the man behind me in line.  I told this stranger about the March.  Possibly, the tune that plays in my head ever since the demonstration prompts me to share what I still see and hum.  “Show me what democracy looks life.  This is what democracy looks like!”  Perhaps, never have I felt so empowered as a citizen . .  and I have been an Activist since Middle School.

Nonetheless, that aside, the gentleman responded well.  As I said, he thought the March vital!!!  As the other passenger reflected further, I learned he thinks Tenured Teachers are responsible for Communism.  He warned, persons such as paid sages and the political philosophy he strong and loudly opposes are coming.

“So true,” said the Flight Attendant who overheard the comment.  The Airline employee expanded the thought.  She offered, “We were just speaking about “Bad Teachers” and how they are the worse!”  The two happily engaged as I expressed my dissent, stored my luggage and sat down.

Thus, my impression, my belief, my thoughts and feelings . . .  nothing I have ever done was as crucial.  I may help a child or children love learning.  I may nurture growth in toddlers, teems, tots, tweens, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty sixty, seventy, eighty and ninety something’s; still, as one person, I can never speak to the masses in the way I might when I am part of a whole far bigger than any I can easily measure.

21. Will today’s events cause a shift, a rupture, interruption, mutation or otherwise in the current conversation about public school teachers? Shift, rupture, interruption, mutation, or otherwise? Explain.

Absolutely!  Shifts, I believe, are eternal, invisible, subtle, seemingly slight, and sensationally huge!  Sadly, most do not realize what occurs.  We are each too close to fully comprehend the changes we create.  However transformations are constant!  Every conversation is a cause.  Reflections, ruptures, interruptions, just as interpretations, are the effect.

I cannot predict what will occur, how, when, where, or why, what will be will be.  However, I am certain, whatever becomes of what we began will also evolve, as will we. Our education system will also progress.  I can only hope that in time the Movement will be a wise one . . . one that opens hearts, minds, souls, and society.

May we see each other as uniquely whole beings, to be honored and revered rather than counted, scored, standardized, and seen as statistics!

22. Reasonably, what will you need to see in the long-term in order to think that this March made a difference regarding the American public school teacher and/or the American public school system?

There is nothing specifically I need to see in the short or long-term to think the March made a difference.  Years ago, I wrote of another frustration, action, and movement, Peace.

I offer that thought to help illustrate why I look for nothing in particular, and why I do not think one moment is the only cause with a singular effect.

Boca Peace Corner Participants Cultivate Harmony

© copyright 2008 Betsy L. Angert

“The heights by great men reached and kept

Were not attained by sudden flight,

But they, while their companions slept,

Toiled ever upward through the night.”

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Peace comes upon us without much fanfare.  Most await an announcement or seek a moment of resolve.  However, the message never comes.  In this country, in our local communities, and perchance planet wide, a small number of people acknowledge goodwill is not created in an instant.  It grows.  The transition from warfare to common welfare is invisible.  Tranquility enters; and no one stands triumphantly.  Buglers do not blow their horns.  Twenty-one guns do not salute.  Serenity is a state of being.  This is true for individuals and for the world as a whole.  Harmony, once achieved will be but a hush.   Peace grows as a tree does, from the roots up.

23. Did I leave out anything you’d like to address?

For me, I have faith that I will ponder all that you asked about further.  Conversations, as the cause, Save Our Schools, have no beginning and no end. If any aspect was not addressed, it is I who was remiss in my responses.

I thank you for this opportunity!!!!  The reflection, inspired by your inquiries, was and is truly wondrous in my life!!!!  The interview is the cherry on top of a glorious growing experience.  May our shared travel live on.  May the seeds we planted be sown eternally.  May our students, schools, and society bloom and blossom.

Huge hugs and infinite kisses.  I thank you !!!!!