I follow Diane Ravitch's blog, as I am sure many of you do, and get email notifications whenever she posts. I am often amazed at how late and/or how early she has posted, and wonder when this amazing woman sleeps!
When I read the title of an email from 7:04 this morning my heart stopped.
A New Jersey Mom: Another Hero of Public Education
When I read that it was about me, I cried.
I read it to my girls, and they beamed. They may be the only 6 year olds in New Jersey who know Diane Ravitch by name.
I have missed out on lots of time with my girls these last 18 months or so, and when I head off to a meeting or event, I try to tell them not only what I am doing but why I am doing it. Last May I had the opportunity to sit on a panel with Diane after a lecture she gave in New Brunswick. When I left to go to the event I told them how excited I was to be on the panel with Diane, and all about who she is and what she does.
Diane comes up often in our house, yet still, my girls can't seem to get her name right.
They call her Diane Radish.
When I got involved in my town's battle against an unwanted charter, the fight was well underway. People in our community were meeting, planning, and strategizing, but I noticed that similar conversations were happening not only across the state, but across the country. I dove head first into those state and national conversations, and in the end, I think that perspective is what galvanized our opposition. It gave us a strength in numbers we did not have before.
I have heard Diane say that they have money but we have numbers. She's right. It is the power in those numbers that saved my town from an unwanted charter school backed by a hedge fund demi billionaire and the United Stated Department of Education.
Diane not only gives all of us the chance to get our voices heard, but to come together and gain the wisdom and courage to go out and make sure the schools our students and children rely on are not completely dismantled by profiteers and privatizers.
Were it not for her (and Jersey Jazzman too) there would be no me.
At least no Mother Crusader me.
And for that, my girls and I thank you Dr. Radish.