Supporters of public schools are happy in Pittsburgh!
The sky may be falling in other cities and states but not in Pittsburgh.
Blogger Jesse Ramey (“Yinzercation”) explains why the citizens of Pitttsburgh are enjoying “sunshine and happiness.”
They have been organizing and building grassroots alliances for a long time. And it paid off with the election of a pro-public schools slate of candidates in the recent election.
Testing resistance is strong and growing, inspired to a large extent by English teacher Mary King’s refusal to administer the state tests to her English language learners.
Newly elected Governor Tom Wolf has proposed more funding for the public schools, as he had promised. He is turning out to be the real deal, not a politician who relies on hedge fund money and dances to their tune.
The public school advocates (“Great Public Schools Pittsburgh”) are now working to reduce suspensions and push-outs, which have a disparate impact on students of color and students with disabilities. They have a forward-thinking plan to help the students who most need help, not suspension from school.
As you see, there are many reasons to celebrate in Pittsburgh. The lesson for the rest of us is the importance of grassroots activism and coalition-building. When parents are informed, they don’t want to lose their public schools to entrepreneurs. Getting the word out and organizing is the work before us.