Autism, bipartisan, education, parenting, pencils, politics, special needs

Here is a pencil, please accept it.

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 Here’s a pencil. Please accept it.

Unless you live under a rock, it has been impossible to escape politics.  I’m going to go with the trend and voice some concern. I regularly follow and yes, even enjoy politics. I respect everyone’s political opinion even if I don’t agree. I’m all for voicing concerns and disagreements as long as they are done in a peaceful NON-Judgemental way.

The extreme left and the extreme right, are just further driving a wedge in our deeply divided country. I want to see more elected officials crossing party lines to work together respectfully. The constant fighting and reality TV like drama that has become Washington isn’t helping anyone. We have our elected President, I feel we need to give the President and his team a chance to succeed.

I’m gravely concerned as are many special needs parents and educators about the newly appointed secretary of education Betsy Devos. Mrs. Devos’s position on education could prove detrimental to the many students in our country who have special needs and require more support and services to be successful in the public school system.

I’m all for shaking things up and bringing some new blood into Washington. However, I don’t think Betsy Devos is shaking anything up, she is under-qualified and seemed rather ill prepared during her Senate confirmation hearings. In theory, some of her positions on  Charter Schools and School Choice, seem appealing. I’m all for giving families more options in regards to education. Given Mrs. Devos’s track record with charter schools in Michigan, I’m not currently overly optimistic with these ideas especially in regards to the special needs community.  

According to Mrs. Devos’s website “Betsy has been a pioneer in fighting to remove barriers, to enact change and to create environments where people have the opportunity to thrive.” I can only hope that this quote is accurate and that Mrs. Devos takes the time and effort to make the special needs community a priority in her administration. Her role can literally make or break so many special needs children in our public education system.

Children, similar to my two boys, my niece, and nephew need Mrs. Devos to improve our current education system especially in regards to special education. I agree with Mrs. Devos that the status quo isn’t acceptable. I hope she will take note of the thousands of parents who called their elected state officials in opposition to her appointment and reach out to them to see how she can help and work successfully with the special needs community.

After Mrs. Devos’s first day on the job, she tweeted “Day 1 on the job is done, but we are only getting started. Now, where do I find the pencils? 🙂 “

Mrs. Devos, I hope you found your pencils, please when you need more in the future, Ask those with the experience and knowledge that you are lacking. Please, reach across party lines, reach out to the families you represent, reach out to the educators who are gravely concerned. I know as a special needs parent, I would be happy to discuss my concerns in a non-judgmental proactive way. So, the next time you need a pencil, please ask us we are here to help.  

I really want Mrs. Devos to succeed because if she succeeds our children will succeed.  Obviously, she is not the typical highly qualified educator we are used to seeing and I’m ok with that, as long as she works hard to make common sense changes to our public school system without sacrificing the many needs of our children.

Many, of us,  are obviously concerned and will continue to closely follow Mrs. Devos and when necessary oppose her because our children’s success is dependent on her actions.

I wanted to thank, Melissa,Writing, Momming, Living for inspiring me to start writing on the blog again! I really didn’t want the pencil photo to go to waste 🙂

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