California Educator

October/November 2020

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Page 17 of 59

Spotlight misusing hand sanitizer is the least of my worries when my child has a 40 percent chance of a nurse being on site for any given emergency. Amendment #3: Real curriculum, not dusty books on desks Every student in California should have access to arts, theater, health, music and PE programs, not just books. Par- ents in any neighborhood expect the whole child educated, and the fact that reading and math scores are lower in one area should not exclude a child in any area from having access to a full range of curriculum. After checks are put on clipboards about textbooks, investigators should also look at our agendas. They should ask how many minutes administrators are requiring for reading and math instruction. If we can't make time for arts educa- tion — notoriously neglected in low socioeconomic neighborhoods — then it might be important to make a note of that next to the column about whether or not a history book is on a desk. Amendment #4: Parental support, not obstacle courses Every parent of a student in Califor- nia should be able to access student grades, contact teachers and adminis- trators, and find classroom information in an organized way that doesn't change year to year. It is ridiculous to me as a father and an educator that any parent of a student in California should be expected to relearn a new system for every teacher for each and every one of their children. It's time to revisit the Williams case — because it's time to rethink equity and has been for as long as I've put textbooks on desks. Let's make the Williams case what it deserves to be for all kids in California, my daughter, and anyone's child. Thomas Courtney, San Diego Education Association, is a 20-year educator at Chollas Mead Elementary in San Diego, where his daughter Onora is a fourth grader. He is a three-time Teacher of the Year, and advocates for students in low socioeconomic neighborhoods as a senior fellow with Teach Plus California. We invite members to submit stories for this section. Tell us about your experi- ence as an educator in no more than 650 words; email with " Your Voice" in the subject line. 16 Thank you for remaining committed to our students. Thank you for being resilient through all the changes in our education system. Thank you for showing our students what courage is in unsettling times. THANK YOU, TEACHERS.

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