There is a kind of relief that comes from hearing your own boiling anger and unshakable sadness echoed back to you. If there is anything positive to be said in response to the report on Providence schools released June 25th, it is this: yes, you see now, we all see now.
The report (available in full HERE) confirms what parents have been saying to us all year about exceptionally low academic expectations, students and educators feeling unsafe, teacher absences, too few educators of color, poor communication, and the constraints of the collective bargaining agreement and a convoluted governance system. It is no wonder one of the findings is that parents feel demoralized and marginalized. What each of us has experienced as an individual turns out to be reality all over the city, in many cases far more devastating than we may have imagined. The report stops short of saying that the system is racist, but that is exactly what is painfully exposed.
So we’re calling on all our members to lean in. Take the passion and commitment you bring to advocating for your own kids’ education, add to that the energy from anger and frustration the report generates, and use this to power the hard work of building a more just public education system. We can’t be just parents anymore. We need to be activists.
You can start by attending one of the public forums hosted by Commissioner Infante-Green (details HERE) and making clear you are invested in what comes next and are there for all of the children in our city.