Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Season to Celebrate

Maybe, at least for a couple of weeks, we can all come together and celebrate the holidays.  From an advocacy standpoint, everyone is clearly taking sides but this is one season where we should all be on the same side!  Please celebrate and spend time with your family and loved ones.

Of course, once we get through the holidays, we find ourselves at odds with those who advocate to dismantle the public education system that has been so very good to so many of us.  I acknowledge that public education is not the best fit for everyone but we owe it to all children to provide access to a quality education that will allow them to fulfill their potential.  While not necessarily anticipating that it will happen (to the contrary, I think we can expect otherwise), it sure would be nice if the discussion about public education started and ended with an understanding of how best to meet the needs of all students.

But we all know that personal agendas will dominate the discussion much more than centering around a discussion about how best to serve the more than 5.3 million Texas public education students and the many more who attend other schools of choice.  Focusing on the 5% of students who are are on a campus that is being challenged to improve rather than the other 95% of students is a disservice to all students.

So at the top of my Christmas list is a wish that we shift from party ideologies and personal agendas to a student-centered focus.  We must start with a common baseline, and where better to start than in the classroom where students strive to succeed every day.  We have a constitutional responsibility to educate all children but what should drive our actions is the moral obligation we have to our students.  We must find a balance in making certain that we address the needs of all children.

My wish for each of you is that you find peace and happiness during this special time of the year.   Thank you for all that you do on behalf of students across the state and thank you for your commitment to ensuring that all children have a chance to succeed.  Best wishes for a joyous holiday season to all of you.  I am proud to be part of such an elite group, those who strive daily to ensure that students can and will succeed, those who make education a priority.

Merry Christmas! 

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