by Linda Moore
How are your children, your grandchildren, your nieces and nephews being educated? Are you happy with the educational options that you have in Bradley/Cleveland? Are you happy with your Board of Education Members? Do you have questions that you would like to have answered pertaining to any facet of education? I have questions; I have options and I want more options.
Dear Cleveland Board of Education Members, Is it not a conflict of interest for Bill Brown to serve the city of Cleveland while he is in the process of bringing a lawsuit against the city of Cleveland? This appears to be contradictory. How can you serve the tax payers while you are in the process of suing the tax payers? I was at a BOE meeting where I listened and watched as y'all voted to cap Mayfield spending at 11.5 million dollars. What happened to that cap? Why do the costs for this school continue to grow? Why can the county BOE build a school for approximately six hundred kids for around 8.5 million and we're touching at 16 million for 400 kids in the city? Explain to me, one more time, how a building is going to educate our children? Why did we not bid this out? Do your guidelines not say that the BOE is supposed to bid? Why do you not follow your own guidelines? We have Metro City status in Cleveland now. Why are we not looking at the option of a Charter school? What are our educational options in the city? We don't have any in the public venue do we?
Dear Parents, Are you looking forward to the mandatory fees and supplies lists that are going to abound at WalMart in about five or six weeks? How many fees are you paying? What do you think of the mandatory lists that demand specific brand names? Did you ever wonder why you're paying fees when you're being taxed for a "FREE" public education? High school parents do you find particular angst with the class and supply fees? Does it not seem wrong for a child to be forced to pay for the "right" to take a specific class? Isn't a public education supposed to be "free" for the child? Have you ever longed for educational options that were not local yokel, rank and file?
Parents, these options exist we just haven't discovered all of them. There is a parent at my husband's work who knocks himself out to keep his children in a specialized magnet school. At the beginning of the year he gets a list and signs himself up for some parental activities. His children blow the top off of state and national test scores. His children do not spend class time on study for a state test. They have already learned the information required to not only pass but to score well. This man earns eight dollars an hour. You don't have to be rich to fight for an education for your child.
I utilize the option of homeschooling. The state of Tennessee mandates four hours a day of actual classroom time. The first bus in the morning goes by my home at 6:30am. The last bus goes by at 4:00pm. Those kids are putting in well over a nine hour day when only four hours are required. For me, homeschooling is a one on one situation. There are no other children that need my educational attention. For anyone that is interested in homeschooling there is a wonderful educational seminar that comes to Chattanooga once a year. This year the dates are Friday and Saturday, July the 21 and 22. It costs less than five dollars to get in. There is a vast array of curricula to choose from and there are folks there to teach you about the curricula and give you a serious network of support. You can visit the website at http://www.csthea.org/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423-266-4663. The purpose of the CSTHEA is to support homeschooling families. The great irony of this educational seminar is that we always see many "private school" teachers attending the teaching speeches and choosing curricula for their students.
With this said, I am a homeschooler. However, if I had a "good" option, I would send my child to a Charter or Magnet school. I cannot possibly afford a private school. The reason I homeschool is because I want my child to have the best education possible. In my humble opinion the "best education possible" is not being served by the Cleveland Board of Education. I eagerly await the day that true education and not politics as usual dictate the course of education for our children.