community and common sense
I believe special interests do not always have the greater good in mind.
When I serve, I will serve everyone. Teachers AND small business owners, AND police and firefighters. We are ALL on the same team, and we will win or lose together.
When legislators are seeking information they traditionally turn to the lobbyists to tell them what they should think. These lobbyists will even provide research to support their ideas. Heck, lobbyists actually write most of the bills that are put forth in the legislature.
This serves a purpose. I mean, think about it...legislators need to be experts in literally everything over night, and after 6 or 8 years (when they have finally learned something) they have to move on. But not all research is good research, and just because something is supported in research, does not mean it is viable.
As a published researcher, I can tell the difference. If a lobbyist tells me, "It is supported in research," I will ask them to bring me the article. Then I will read it critically and determine if the methods, math and outcomes are valid and reliable. I will let you in on a secret...there is A LOT of really BAD research out there. You need a representative who is knowledgeable enough to actually
read the research, and then determine if it is worth making a decision over.
Oh, and by the way, if there is not research to support it, then I'm not going there. I've been the victim most of my professional life of the "great ideas" from non-educational professionals who like to write laws about education for political gain. When I talk to nurses, city managers, social workers, police, family businesses and small manufacturers, they have had these experiences too.
I believe that politics has made enemies of neighbors, when we are actually ALL on the same team! The answer to unfilled manufacturing jobs is in our schools and community colleges. The answer to supporting small business is by creating a community where wages allow you to spend the extra dollar to support that business. Do you know who shops locally? Teachers, social workers, nurses, and members of the skilled trades who LIVE in that community! It is not unusual that the largest employer of a small town like Davison, Ortonville, Clio, and Montrose IS the school district!
Henry Ford understood this when he paid his workers a living wage. Who do you think bought the Model T?
Middle School Principal of the Year
This acknowledgement by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences in Washington, DC was a tremendous honor from a community of educational innovators.