So, here's an awkward question we have been asked many times:
Where do Momma Bears come from?
We can't answer that. Well, we could, but we won't.
Why won't we? Because Momma Bears are private to protect our kids. We're not doing this blog for publicity or fame. We want what is best for all students in TN. The truth is we're just busy, informed Tennessee Moms who each noticed a problem with our children's public schools. Fate would have it that we met each other. Venting with each other was therapeutic, but it wasn't enough. So we started this free blog and website in July 2013 not knowing what on earth we were doing, hoping some other parents would read it and join us in the fight to support public education. And you did! Since then, we've had well over a million readers a year. Together, we Momma Bear bloggers are trying to help make the world a better place through our writing and advocacy. It isn't Rocket Science. Just plain common sense and motherly intuition.
It is especially encouraging and empowering when Momma Bears find their voices. Let us tell you about this Momma Bear in Tullahoma, TN...
This Momma Bear writes, "My own daughter took Part 1 of the TNReady test. It was an experience that caused her anxiety and lowered her confidence. She spent over 4 hours testing when she sat for Part 1, which is more time than the ACT or SAT. The second part of TNReady would require her to test for 7 more hours! So an eight year old Tennessee student is being asked to be focused, engaged, and silently seated for well over 11 hours, which is the equivalent of taking the SAT four times in a matter of a few weeks (especially for districts whose tests were delayed). Sadly, after all that invested time, TNReady will not provide Claire with any worthwhile data (since scores will be reported after she is already in her fourth grade year). Claire, along with the rest of the students of Tennessee, have spent more time on this test than it deserved."
And there you have it... the recipe for a Momma Bear:
She found out why.
She researched more on the subject.
She saw that the problem was preventable and fixable.
She wanted to fix it.
She talked to people in authority to see what she could do.
She knew the power of elected officials (because she served as one herself).
She knew the power of her own parent voice and in speaking up.
She did something about it!
She created an online petition!!!
The petition now has over 1000 signatures in just a few days. She knows she is doing the right thing because she says, "the amazing comments under the petition being made by parents, teachers, and even a student that demonstrates the need for the TN DOE to respond." Indeed, the comments from people who have signed the petition are powerful. Roar, Momma Bear, roar!!!
The petition clearly asks for Governor Haslam, Commissioner Candice McQueen, the 33 State Senators, and the 99 House of Representative Members to Stop Part 2 of TNReady. She knows they have the power to stop it, and she gives valid reasons why TNReady should not proceed this year. She even followed up with a message to her signors about Alaska cancelling their state tests last week. This Momma Bear is doing her homework!
We Momma Bear bloggers are proud to share her petition with our readers. Please, help this fellow Momma Bear out by signing and sharing it. She isn't really on social media. She writes, "I have a limited social media presence. I am just a concerned mother. I am reaching out to any and all that can help spread the word. I understand that this petition is just a “statement move”, but thousands of signatures and comments will make a powerful statement. I have to know that I did everything I could possibly do to help my daughter."
Well done, Momma Bear from Tullahoma, Tennessee! Well, done! We have heard your roar across the state, and undoubtedly the elected officials who are getting your petition will hear it, too, since that online petition service sends an email to the "target" each and every time someone signs it. Thank you for your courage and advocacy!