Beauty and Boldness

Stargazer Lilies...could there be anything more beautiful? I spent some time at Lowes today, browsing the garden section, for the express purpose of snapping pictures. Can I tell you how much I love this digital camera? Seriously, I love the freedom to snap away randomly with the commitment of film. It's awesome!!

Go HERE for the black & white version. It's cool too.

Kay Brooks, creator of the invaluable website (Tennessee Home Education) and long-time home school mother has a new job. Last night, by the margin of a single vote, she was appointed to the Metro School Board. (Yet another instance when a single vote made all the difference.) Mrs. Brooks was appointed to fill an abandonded seat on the board until the general election can be held in August.

The Tennessean--perhaps the south most heavily agendized newspaper--has picked up the story, running a piece about the appointment of a home schooling parent to the board on the front page today. The article hardly made any sense and I won't waste your time linking it here. It was drabble-ish and contained almost no backstory. It contained very little actual information about Kay Brooks. The author chose to use snipped up quotes from all sorts of other people, without providing the needed information to connect the thoughts. If I had to guess, I would say it was written for no other reason than to get the attention of the anti-homeschooling crowd. Sad. There is such a cool story here but The Tennessan reporter can't see past his own adgenda to actually write it.

One of the local homeschool group leaders was called by the reporter and asked if this was a conspiracy by the homeschool community to "infilltrate" the board. Come again? Luckily, the home school group leader had the presence of mind not to laugh said reporter off the line. I probably would have. This is not an "us vs them" deal.

The truth is Kay Brooks is (and has been for a long time) an advocate for quality education for all children, not just her own. She lives in a school district that has some very needy schools and she saw this as an opportunity to serve her community and the children in it. It's a temporary job--only 4 months unless she wins election to the seat.

Other school board members are parents and grandparents. Many have children in the metro schools but many have children and grand-children in private schools. How, I wonder, is that any different than Kay's choice to home school? The Brooks pay taxes, are reasonably well-educated on the subjects of education and most importantly, Kay cares about finding solutions to the problems Metro Schools is facing. She brings a unique perspective to the table. Perhaps the freshest perspective they've ever seen. She faces a challenge and it will be interesting to see what impact she can make in this short time, given the apparent hostility of so many unenlightened souls serving on the board with her.

I've said it before and I will say it again: One-size-fits-all may apply to clothing but it should NOT be applied to the education of children. There's more than one way to successfully educate a child. In fact, there are many ways--public school, private schools, home schools, charter schools, on-line schools...the goal of each is the same--a quality education for the next generation. If the education communities could stop bickering over pettiness, perhaps those with experience inthe different styles could learn something from each other. Novel concept. Educators learning. Ya think.

Congrats Kay. Your willingness to serve your community in this way is a light in the night, boldly going forth.

Happy Friday!!


Mimi said...

Congratulations to Kay! What a refreshing perspective to bring to the School Board.

TracieClaiborne said... seems a little odd to me that she would want anything to do with Metro Schools but I guess I'm more uncaring in that regard. I see the public school system as so far gone from what it should be that I feel there's little help for it at this point. That's mainly based on the fact that I think it's been so influenced by liberal agendas.

I admire her tenacity and concern for her community. She's a better woman than I!

Sarah said...

Tracie, I agree that in many instances the public school system is "too far gone" but it is still a part of our community (for better or worse) and I don't see that changing. It's not working really well, but not everyone will choose to home school or go to private school so if a person can help (or can at least try) I think she should.

Being a hs parent does not (or should not) disqualify her from serving her community. Letters to the Editor of the Tennessean have been interesting lately on this topic. HS has come a long way but there are still so many people who have so many misconceptions about home schooling.

If no other good comes of this, perhaps Kay will at least be able to get people talking about the options and alternatives.