Pink Slips and Red Faces

I don't think pink is my favorite color anymore.

I can’t help it. The only thing on my mind now is the sad state of affairs at my wonderful little mountain school which is unfortunately ruled by a large insensitive school district and an even larger and cold-hearted State.  The wonderful staff of 16 has been sadly divided into the haves and have-nots.  Those having received pink slips and those who have not.  The pink slips are not pink, and are not slips.  They are cruel white letters notifying my friends and co-workers that they will no longer be employed as of July 1st.  Their classrooms will be vacated and another displaced teacher will move in.  Our school family will be torn apart and all of our work, building community, sharing lives, stories and  commitment to the education of our charges will be forever changed.  These dedicated teachers will move on or move away, their lives forever changed through no fault of their own.  They will possibly change careers, locations, and living situations.  Some will leave to teach in other countries.
Who is to blame for this dismantling?  The same greedy people who caused the collapse of the economy, the tumbling down of the housing market, the elimination of thousands of other jobs and the change of the world economy as we knew it.  People whose thoughts and views do not extend beyond themselves and people with no foresight, compassion or vision for a future that includes prosperity for those outside the circle of  power.
Phrases like “No Child Left Behind” are irrelevant as obviously most children will now be left behind, fall through the cracks and suffer in the silence of class sizes exceeding 30 children.  There will be no winners in the “Race to the Top” because all will wallow at the bottom-teachers, students and parents who dreamed of a better life for their children.  When these parents, elected officials and business people get older, age and depend on the younger generation for medical attention, and care taking, who will be there to do it?  The untrained masses?  Those who have the scars of betrayal left from these decisions to short-change their education?  The red faces of the embarrassed, short-sighted “officials” will not bring satisfaction to those of us affected by today’s actions.
Questions are many and answers are few.  There are, however, the faces of these teachers who are being forced unwillingly out of their classrooms, they are the faces of my friends.
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7 Comments

Filed under Life thoughts, Pink Slips, Teaching

7 responses to “Pink Slips and Red Faces

  1. Nancy

    This brings tears to my eyes. Well said Amy, well said! Maybe you can be an educational commentator for the paper in Topanga (forgot the name – the one that printed the Cici’s review). For what it is worth, send my regards to your co-teachers, your friends.

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  2. Kim

    It’s just so sad and frustrating.

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  3. Nancy

    I agree Kim.
    To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks.
    ~A.A. Milne

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  4. Safoura

    My heart hurts… this is so wrong in so many ways that words can never express it enough. You are amazing Amy for writing and posting this.

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  5. Lee

    This is so sad. It’s all the worse because Topanga is supposed to be a charter school. How can you build the kind of accountable community of teachers, parents and administrators that a charter is supposed to be if the district just unilaterally takes teachers away and forces others down your throat who may have no commitment to the charter process. It’s so wrong!

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  6. Amy, it is even more powerful to read about this situation from you than to hear it from any other media. It is a truly sad, sorry state of affairs – and we are all insane if we do not appreciate the fact that schools and teachers and your place in our communities are the foundations of all our futures. The media are partly to blame, for giving so much attention to banks and finance, which is the world that largely created these problems. “Teach your children well,” went the old song. I think we need to teach ourselves and rethink our priorities. If our children aren’t our collective future, who or what is?

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  7. I love your line: “People whose thoughts and views do not extend beyond themselves and people with no foresight, compassion or vision for a future that includes prosperity for those outside the circle of power.” That captures, in a sentence, what is so wrong with so much of US politics – and indeed world politics. Compassion does not mean believing that charity is the answer for those who aren’t born rich.

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