A Cloud Over Back-to-School

PASS Parents and Friends –

Tomorrow begins a new school year for SCPS, and normally PASS would be a source of upbeat messaging conveying best wishes for the upcoming year. And it is certainly true that we hope students, parents, teachers, coaches, administrators and the broader community take joy in the annual rite of the educational process renewing itself.However, this year a cloud hangs over that spectacle. For the first time, we return to school with two of our schools facing probable non-accreditation. We have learned of unprecedented levels of turnover among our teachers, to the point where 60% of our teachers have been in their classrooms for four years or less. Perhaps most importantly, the chances of obtaining the resources to correct these problems will probably turn on the outcome of elections which will occur in about three months.

We at PASS hope that the joy of parents watching their kids get on the bus tomorrow is salted with a grim determination to take control of public policy developments that affect our children’s future. About two years ago, I wrote a commentary piece in NV Daily entitled “A Call to Arms for Our County’s Parents.” It (along with our first report card) was PASS’ original public statement of ourselves and our mission, and it is even truer and more urgent today than at the time it was written. (It is linked below.)

As we look forward to sporting events, school plays, choral and band performances, and other trappings of a new school year, as well as the studying and learning that underpin it all, I hope parents also anticipate immersing themselves in the political and public policy issues that affect all these profoundly. We have emphasized this from our earliest days: if parents won’t stand up for our kids’ education, we can’t expect anyone else to.

Dan Walsh

Here is the link to the NV Daily Column: http://www.nvdaily.com/opinion/2015/09/commentary-a-call-to-arms-for-our-countys-parents/

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