Tag Archives | school

The Most Powerful Force In American Schools Today

In August I briefly mentioned and described the “most powerful force to enact change in American schools today”.  Do you know what that force is?  It’s you, “Mom”.

Help me Obi Wan Kanobi you’re my only hope….

Now, I want to elaborate and take this idea a few steps further.  Not only are moms the most able to create change in today’s school system, but I believe are the only force that can lead to change.

Let me back up.  Did you know that out of 30 developed countries, America ranks 25th in math and 21st in science?   Relax, though because Americans do rank #1 in something- confidence…. blissful ignorant confidence.  What this means is that in ten years, American businesses will not have enough skilled labor to fill jobs in the U.S. and will need to look to bring in educated workers from other countries.

If you are among the millions of Americans who have yet to watch the Paramount Motion Pictures movie “Waiting For Superman”, watch the trailer here for a glimpse of how much you may not know.


I’ve Got Mine

I’m blessed and fortunate as a mom to have my children in one of the top schools in our state with some of the best teachers I’ve met yet.  This doesn’t mean, however, that I can sit back and and do nothing about the millions of moms who are watching their children fail in their local schools.

This year’s good fortune doesn’t mean that I haven’t had a taste of the fear and unpleasantness that can come when dealing with the school district as I wrote about last year in, “First Day of School in Sin City”.

I’m not lying when I say that I cried during the scene in Waiting For Superman when children are waiting for their number to be picked so they can attend a descent school.  And, the movie “Won’t Back Down” with my favorite stars Maggie Gyllenhall and Viola Davis, had me in tears throughout the entire film.

But what can I do?  To be honest, I’m still not exactly sure.  I don’t have the answers yet, but I do know that waiting for our education system to turn around on its own is not the solution.

Are You Waiting For Superman?

So while most Americans are sitting back and waiting for “someone” to do “something” about our failing schools, the reality is bleak. Teachers unions have tied the hands of each and every public school to prevent them from ensuring that teachers are doing the job they are paid to do.  And if you think that any President will create change, think again because The National Education Association is the largest union in the U.S. and one of the most powerful political forces in the nation.  I’m sure most people are familiar with “No Child Left Behind”, a victorious attempt at appeasing parents and teachers while maintaining the support of unions.

According to teachersunionexposed.com, former top officers at the National Education Association’s Kansas and Nebraska state chapters summarized their union’s stance on reform in a 1994 issue of Educational Freedom: “The NEA has been the single biggest obstacle to education reform in this country. We know because we worked for the NEA.”

Won’t Back Down

While in New York City this summer I got to attend the movie premier of “Won’t Back Down” with my friends from TheMoms.com.  This movie is an inspirational story of what happens when that inner passion to create the best for our child is combined with the fury for a failing school.

Won't Back Down Movie Premier

Won’t Back Down Movie Premier


Maggie Gyllenhall who plays a tenacious mom says at one point in the movie, “Have you heard about those mothers that lift one ton trucks off their babies?  They’re nothing compared to me.”

Whether or not Won’t Back Down is based on a true story (I hear both), I think it’s an accurate depiction of the change that can occur when just one or two people believe that it’s possible.

Won’t Back Down was released in movie theaters September 23rd of this year, and if you’re a mom, you won’t want to miss it.

Be The Change…..



Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 4 }

First Day Of School in “Sin City”

My twins started second grade today.  With twin sister in one classroom and twin brother in a special education classroom, I’m confident I’ve done everything possible to make sure this school year is a good one.

I know that must sound like a given for most, but I have more challenges than just making sure they have the supplies they need and are in the right classroom.

Las Vegas is home to the fifth largest school district in the country and the second worst.  Out of 50 states, Clark County School District ranks 49.  And if that weren’t enough of a challenge for this parent, Nevada is one of two states in the country with no school for the blind.  Not too helpful if your son happens to be- blind.

I don’t want to sound like I’m just complaining.  We obviously made the choice to live in Las Vegas even if there have been numerous times I wanted to flee the state.

Basically, you have three choices as a parent of a school-aged child in Southern Nevada if you don’t want to home school.  And, I don’t want to home school.

First, you can send your children to private school.  Our girls attended private for preschool and kindergarten, and many like us agreed that the extra $7,000 to $10,000 per child a year was well worth it.

Now, with my husband being in an industry that has been hit the hardest with the recession, the additional $15,000-$20,000  per year isn’t our smartest move.  There is one private school on the furthest side of town that we would consider the financial stretch to be worth it, but we’re not sure the logistical stretch combined to be our best option.

A second choice would be to move.  When I found out there were no services for children who are blind and no school for the blind in Las Vegas I told my husband we were moving to another state like Phoenix or Utah.  Kevin, being a fourth-generation Nevadan and business owner said, “no, we’re going to stay and build one.”    That’s when Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation was born.  More on that to come.

And last, parents can choose to weather the Clark County School District.  And what a storm it was last year.  But out of that storm came a light, and that light was called “zone variance request approval”.  Because Connor was transferred to a more appropriate classroom in a school just a few miles away (after a long and heated battle with the school district), I was able to get his sisters transferred along with him.

And from what I can see this morning, that light is shining on smooth waters.


Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 1 }