Wednesday, May 24, 2017

We ain’t begun to work yet.: Ruminations on the "Every Student Succeeds Act" (ESSA)

I wrote this in 2016 shortly after the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Read please, if you will. Some things remain relevant. Different day. Same. Old. Crap. Thanks for reading. I'm out here gettin' it done. Wishing the same for you.

Chief Justice Thurgood Marshall admonished those celebrating the victory of Brown v. Board, Justice Marshall said it best with his prophetic response to the victorious glee after the unanimous Brown decision. While at a celebration party that evening, he warned, “you fools go ahead and have your fun . . . we ain’t begun to work yet.”

Simply put, steadfast dogged determination continue to be bulwarks against systems that deny every child the ESSA's promise of a well-rounded education.

Let's not be deterred by this policy, the president's pen, getting lost and caught up in the excitement of the moment.  The journey continues. As we have seen in other policy-driven reforms, behavior, ideology, supremacist ideals, privilege, entitlement, etc. undergird systemic designs which can and do impede the mobilization of equity.  Face it. Too many of our colleagues do not want to rock the boat and unless systems of accountability are implemented in sustainable ways,  and protocols are in place to evaluate these systems, nothing really changes.

So while I am encouraged by this re-working of the ESEA into the #ESSA and while I plan to do my part in my city to ensure that we get the resources promised by the #ESSA to those who need them the most, I remain with a healthy dose of skepticism that keeps me awake and honest. I'll have fun teaching and learning music with my colleagues, students, and community; keeping eyes on the prize of a vibrant, well-rounded, music-laden curriculum.

Oh, and while we're at it, we need to be working to ensure that dance teachers in California get the single-subject credential mandated instead of the only option being what presently exists, a crendential in Physical Education.  What kind of nonsense is that?

We've got so much work to do. Let's get it done.

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