Who Will Say What Needs to Be Said?

I had a conversation with my friend @thejlv today. I happen to know that he is writing about it right now so I figured I would do the same. It seems there was a party and Jose couldn’t come. Because he couldn’t come and 1 other person of color couldn’t come the party didn’t have the same flavor. There wasn’t much talk about equity, race, ethnicity, ELL, or inequitable funding. No one talked about rural education, no one even talked much about urban education. I am guilty, because I was there. It was so nice being in the pleasant hum of policy talk. I forgot for a moment that my clients were poor African American and Latino kids and families that need me, to make their voices heard though my stories. I’m learning.

Hopefully I can do a little of that here at EmergentLearner.

Here is my first statement of what needs to be said, pre-k is a social justice issue. It is important. It is important in a life or death kinda way for many kids. That importance increases the farther down the financial food chain you are.

If you are a person who works for a person, who bought a share in a company, that has over a million employees, (Walmart, McDonalds, Target) chances are, you need pre-k for your kids. If you are going to work whack hours, for little pay, and still try to give your child all the love they deserve, you probably need some help.

My suggestion? Hey fortune 500 company, if you employ more minimum wage wage employees than a small country you should be investing some of your 500, lets say maybe 3 out of your 500 hundred that makes you a Fortune, in local pre-k programs for access and quality improvement. Whether it is training, facitlities, expansion, I can guarantee that somebody who works for you has a kid who needs pre-k. Of course, you might support yourself out of some future employees but, is that such a bad thing? No, probably won’t happen. As Renee Moore has paraphrased from the bible, “The poor you will have with you always.” Something like that will never happen, unless someone says it.

Go on, say it.

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4 Responses to Who Will Say What Needs to Be Said?

  1. Hmmm…you’ve got me thinking! I was there, and I didn’t say it either. But I think that we spent most of our time talking about the future of teaching and learning and we melted all of our colors and cultures into one equitable pot of “this is what education will look like for EVERYONE.” In the broad vision of things, I think it’s okay to say that everyBODY deserves everyTHING there is to offer. It’s when we get down to the details that we need to really recognize our differences and adapt that vision as necessary.

  2. jmholland says:

    Thanks for the comment Cindi. I agree with you in a sense. Much of what we talked about was idealistic but without at least connecting the discussion to the harsh realities of the present I feel like I should have been more conscientious about the “constituents” I was representing.
    Even if it was “Oh yeah, and the future will have no more institutional racism or unfair schooling based on historic wrongs.” I think what I really experienced was realizing there was some things that should have been said but weren’t and I feel responsible. Sort of like the NBCT process, you have to make it clear, concise, consistent, and not assume that the reader “knows” what you are talking about.

    Super awesome that you commented.

  3. Marsha Ratzel says:

    I wonder if you could explain more behind the reasons why pk is so important. I think it’s one of our greatest gap closer tools. Right? Additionally maybe u could help us think about innovative ways we could fund it. R we thinking pk in the same way we deliver k?

  4. JM Holland says:

    Hey Marsha,
    I have been documenting the benefits of pre-k on Inside Pre-K for the past two years. I will respond to your question at least a little bit in my next post. 🙂
    Thanks for the comment.

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