Dream the American Dream
I have been involved in education since 1999, when I began working as an ESL teacher for immigrants in Minneapolis. I became a home schooling mom in 2007 and continue to home school today. Over the years, I have sent our children to public, private and charter schools in the USA and abroad. My experiences in America and Russia have allowed me opportunities to also teach English, Russian and music at private and charter schools, teaching American kindergarteners on up to elderly immigrants.
Education can be handled in so many ways, and what I know to be true is that a student's parent and teacher know best what a student needs in order to achieve. I believe policy on educational standards, methods, and curriculum ought to be decided by the local taxpayers. Teachers and parents, those closest to the students, ought to be the decision-makers for our schools-- not federal bureaucrats, not out-of-state activists, and not political parties with their own agendas to fundamentally change our nation.
Many parents I've talked to are concerned there is less focus on educating our children to prepare them for the real world we live in and too much focus has been placed on how the school can qualify for monetary aid. The focus needs to be on students, period. Our school district can do better in promoting academic excellence, producing tomorrow's leaders, preparing students for entering college or a trade, and providing a safe and healthy school environment... all while being resourceful with taxpayer dollars.
Long Prairie students need to be encouraged to dream for their future. Dreaming the American dream has always included certain elements: beating the odds, pursuing virtues over vice, speaking up/living with and for freedom, and finding yourself accepted as an American. Long Prairie students, with over 50% not speaking English as a first language, has incredible challenges but also incredible potential. The school board must be bold to address our unique district challenges, steer the quality of education while not handicapping students, and help all students--your children-- be inspired to dream and achieve their own American dream.