mom Mandy Barr Lipham discovered her 5-year-old son would not have daily
recess in Kindergarten, she was shocked. And very disturbed. She took those
feelings and turned them into action.
petition and a Facebook
group, forced a meeting with her county's school board and has initiated a discussion on not only the topic of recess but the many
aspects of today's education system parents and educators alike find troubling.
the state and the country, a much needed revolution is beginning.
Florida mom Wendy Bradshaw's story went
viral when she resigned from her position as a special education teacher in
Polk County. She said having her own child made her think very seriously about
the state of education in our country. And she could no longer stand to make
letter is a scathing inside account of the state of public education in the
"Like many other teachers across the nation, I have become more
and more disturbed by the misguided reforms taking place, which are robbing my
students of a developmentally appropriate education. Developmentally
appropriate practice is the
bedrock upon which early childhood education best practices are based, and has
decades of empirical support behind it. However, the new reforms not only
disregard this research, they are actively forcing teachers to engage in
practices which are not only ineffective, but actively harmful to child
development and the learning process."
Above all, research repeatedly demonstrates there is no benefit to homework at the elementary level.
went on to say she could not in good conscious subject her own child to the, "disordered
system" she had been part of.
Bradshaw is also part of the Opt Out Florida
Network, a group advocating change in the standardized testing system. Even
Obama has weighed in on the topic, calling on schools to reduce the amount
of standardized testing taking place in the classroom.
thrilled to see a robust and vital conversation we need to be having nationally
about our public education system. Both women are encouraging parents to get
involved and advocate for change.
Like these moms, I live in Florida and my child attends public school. Quite frankly, if she weren't in the gifted program, I believe we would be researching other options (and I would be going back to work outside the home full time to pay for them).
In gifted, there are no grades. No tests. The students learn through exploration and experimentation. They have recess, lunch and snack time. They work on social skills. My daughter has so much fun she doesn't even realize she is learning.
I wish it was more than one day a week. And that all young children could have the opportunity to be in such an environment. It aligns with all that is known about early childhood development.
For her regular education class, we have opted out of homework. It is not graded, takes time away from other things I feel are more important and is busy work she personally does not benefit from. Above all, research repeatedly demonstrates there is no benefit to homework at the elementary level. And while she is too young at this point to take the state's assessment, we have already decided we will be opting out when the time comes, unless there are significant changes made to the test and the process.
I've joined the mission and am working to build support in my county for a recess bill being drafted for introduction to the state legislature.
times when something is written about issues in our public schools, people respond with comments like, "Homeschool!" or "Put your kids in
am so happy to see these two Florida moms leading the charge to make the education system better for all children. I've joined the mission and am working to build support in my county for a recess bill being drafted for introduction to the state legislature. And it is only the beginning. I plan to do much more to advocate for education reform in a number of areas.
For my child. For every child.
We have to do what is right. Our children need us to speak up and speak out. Before it is too late.