So we rationalize and tell ourselves that our work is not in vain... Hey, the TDOE is having to actually do fake stuff like this because of the pushback from parents like us, right? And the people we talked to who were also on that fake call sure didn't buy the snake oil either. Still, it is disheartening to repeatedly get the canned, scripted baloney from SCORE and the TDOE. They just aren't listening to parents.
Even worse, there was a parent's council that the TDOE just created. Each principal in the state was to nominate only one parent for this council. There was a lengthy application required, including a letter of recommendation from your principal. Oh, yes, many Momma Bears applied, eager for our voices to be heard. Do you know how many were selected for this Parent Council? Zero. Not a single one. We're pretty sure the TDOE screened applicants on social media and probably even checked the names on petitions. The TDOE doesn't want parents who question their status quo, they want parent puppets. Again, we wasted our time.
And then politicians pull a sneaky move to push through vouchers when certain legislators were absent from a committee meeting. Vouchers don't make sense... They refuse to fully fund schools, so now they are going to take even more money away from public schools to give them to unaccountable private schools? This hasn't worked in any state! This is a disaster for children across Tennessee.
So, "disheartened" is the mood we've been in lately. Sprinkled in with a little "angst" over trying to play by their rules, but realizing they don't play fair and they just want parents to be silent. Maybe we should just homeschool or pay for private school, we think? We hate to harp, but parental apathy gets tiresome sometimes.
But then we get a message from a parent wanting to get their child out of this awful testing mess. And we get messages from readers who are grateful for our blog and website. Or when we least expect it, a stranger strikes up a conversation about testing, and we are able to help them opt their child out. Little glimmers of hope. We know we are doing the right thing. Because we are in this for the right reasons. Not for money, but for the children.
So, we're not giving up. Children are too important. And don't you give up, either, fellow Momma Bears, Daddy Bears, and Grandparent Bears! The kids need you!