Students should not be used to further political debate
I am the daughter of a Buffalo Public School teacher. My father spent more than 30 years in education because he loves learning. I was aware of union battles and contract disputes as a kid, but all of that was secondary. Learning, discovering history, creating artwork and exploring science is the essence of education.
It is time to get the politics out of education and focus on the needs of the children. Too much energy is wasted debating personnel, infrastructure and test scores. More time should be spent engaging with children and encouraging lifelong learning.
Lifelong learning is not tied to test scores, or dependent on who is steering the proverbial ship. It is about instilling in children a love of discovery, a need to create and a passion for constant exploration. And it is about embracing education as a good, not as a burden or pawn in political gamesmanship.
One way to support learning is through universal pre-K. The question of universal pre-K should not be contingent on long-term reports of economic impact. If we believe that the point of education is simply to get a job, then we have failed. We need to look to learning as the key to education, career and life.
The debate about education, pre-K or otherwise, must shift to advocacy for learning. And that is not a political issue.