Almost 50 years after Dr. King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, I wonder how far we’ve come.
On August 28th 1963, Dr. King said: “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.” “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
In eleven years as a teacher in Title I schools, in several states, I have found some similarities. Two phrases that I have heard in every single Title I school I have entered are “these students “ and “at this school”. I’ve often wondered what was meant by these phrases and why the people using them didn’t say “our students” and “at our school”? Why did they remove themselves from the equation?
I’ve come to believe that this subtle choice of words reveals something that is just under the surface of our societal structure. We don’t believe that all students are “created equal”. This belief is evident in the way that we choose to fund schools, allow Title I schools to be abandoned by talented teachers and implement direct instruction models of learning for our neediest students.
Rising up means not accepting this inequality for any student.
Rising up means changing our belief system. Every student in our public school system is our student; their education is the responsibility of our community.
Rising up means doing what’s right, providing high quality instruction for all students, voting for the funding that will adequately support our public schools and committing to educate every student in Arizona’s public schools.
Rise up Arizona; let’s not wait another 50 years to fulfill “the dream”.
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