The Pediatrician and the Artist
Sue and Suzette met through their online advocacy. After becoming friends and trusted allies in the fight for public education, they discovered that they shared much more in common. It turns out, they are close neighbors in the sunny Florida Keys. So beneath the illuminated sun and beautiful palm trees, they talk education, high stakes testing and issues of accountability. By nature, they are not complainers; they are problem solvers. They became increasingly concerned about the state’s exclusively test based, Education Accountability system. They knew the quality of their children’s education could not be completely evaluated on the basis of a few grade level test scores.
Sue and Suzette would like educators and schools to be held accountable for providing a high quality, engaging education to all of our public school children. They also feel that legislators should be held accountable for their part in enacting failed education policy. The Florida Legislature has layered policy over policy, creating an Accountability system that is not just “fragile”, it is completely broken. The unintended consequences of poorly vetted education policy can not be corrected by more “policy bandaids.” Sue coined the phrase “accountabaloney” to reflect they lack of common sense and reason in our current system. If parents are to regain respect for this broken system, Sue and Suzette think Florida needs serious, state wide, discussion regarding the basic framework of the current system. Rather than enacting new laws, existing laws with unintended negative consequences should be repealed and replaced with policies reflecting current education research, not political ideology. REAL education experts should be involved. Step 1 in fixing the problem, is acknowledging we have a problem. In Florida, we have an “accountabaloney” problem and Sue and Suzette are here to call it all out.
Sue Woltanski is a public school advocate, retired pediatrician and mother of two public school children in the Florida Keys. She is a charter school board member and serves on multiple committees in the Monroe County School District. She is the founder of the grass roots effort Minimize Testing Maximize Learning. After writing hundreds of letters to legislators and editors, this is her first attempt at blogging.
Suzette Lopez by day is a graphic designer running her own business, by night a public school and special needs student advocate. She is a mother of 2 middle school children that both are “divergent/gifted” learners in Miami Dade County and she loves that about them. She is currently an admin to the following online groups: Out Out Miami Dade, Special Needs Advocates to Stop Common Core & Moms Against Duncan. As a graphic designer, while she has designed many sites for others, this is the first site where she appears as a blogger.