We aren’t anti-district

September 14, 2022 | Sharon Sedlar

We aren’t anti-district. 
We aren’t anti-district.
We aren’t anti-district.
I get so tired of making that point over and over again.

Some district schools suit and serve students extremely well – but others most definitely do not due to a variety of factors.  Changing times and technology demand an end to the factory model of education – as must the system to which it is tied.  That doesn’t mean that we hope for the end of public education and those that it serves well, but rather remake it to suit the 21st century.

“Chicken Littles” have long aggressively defended the current education system (and employment machine), orchestrating hearty and disingenuous attacks on programs of choice, but parents are striking back and those stubbornly entrenched in the status quo are failing – just take a look at the backlash directed at AFT’s President Randi Weingarten or NEA’s President Becky Pringle, especially as of late.  

We parents are our own specialized demographic.  We don’t like to tell other parents what to do in their own households out of respect.  That’s why the majority of parents don’t turn on each other when it comes to the conversation about education options.  We reasonably believe in the integrity of the family and the rights of parents to make decisions for our own children.  And the respect for those decisions supersedes any allegiance to an education system that we all agree is in dire need of not just reform, but remake.

The “Chicken Littles”, who are stubbornly entrenched in their own insecurities and dedicated to the protection of the system with its buildings, employees, administrators, and school boards, perceive success as the production of neatly packaged and prettily bowed graduating cohorts.  But it cannot be considered “success” when only 34% of 4th grade readers in the United States (40% in PA), and 32% of 8th grade readers (35% in PA) demonstrate at or above proficient levels (which are lower than 2017 levels, by the way, and are reflective of the pre-COVID era).  And math scores aren’t much better, with only 41% of 4th graders, 34% of 8th graders, and 24% of 12th graders at or above NAEP proficiency levels.  The most recent NAEP scores foretell a return to decades-past proficiencies.

We can clearly see that the system is failing.  It is dying and it is taking our children with it.  Those most attached to and dependent upon the system seem unable, or unwilling, to effectively change it.  But that’s what it needs, from all sides and with all stakeholders.

Regardless of the delivery method or location of education, PaFEC continues to focus on placing the children in the center, not the system.  We are not anti-district education; rather we ARE:

Pro-parent rights.
Pro-educational freedom.


It’s not a choice, it’s a necessity.

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