(By Rodolfo Aguilar)
As 2018 rolled in many of us have many things we did not get accomplished in 2017.
Year after year I hear people committing to new year’s resolutions, some put as a priority going to the gym to get fit and lose weight, some want a new car, others want to buy their first home and the list goes on.
I do not know what your new year’s resolutions are but if you have kids in the Boston Public System I hope that you have included their education at the top of your list.
All of us think our kids are the future of this great country, we have high expectations for each one of them to succeed in their lives, the reality is that in order to get there we need to provide them with a worthy education to reach those dreams.
When I say worthy education I mean rigorous curriculums in the classrooms, the ones that challenge those young great minds and make them great citizens making great contributions to our society.
As a father of 2 young boys and a bright girl, my wife Dora and I have made promises to our kids and are committed to our kid’s education, we want them to be successful individuals and triumph in whatever they put their minds.
My oldest son Daniel wants to become an entrepreneur and own his business, David wants to become a surgeon, and my daughter Ashley wants to be an art teacher. I am fully engaged in the education in the schools in my neighborhood, I attend to most meetings by the BPS board held every Wed. between 6 to 8 PM.
I was dismayed to learn that the STEM (science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Program was eliminated from the BPS curriculum in 2017, this move sets back public education in the schools in my neighborhood and subsequently the future of every kid who attend these schools in BPS. This information I am sharing with you is not only alarming but is appalling to learn the schools in our neighborhoods are in levels 3 and 4 on average, this means our kids are attending failing schools and the achievement gap is getting wider when compared to schools in the suburbs.
In December 10, 2017, Dr. Tommy Chang held a meeting in East Boston to talk to Latino parents on the plans they have to improve the quality of education in our schools, I had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Chang, in our conversation he is well aware our kids are not getting prepared to go to college. He told me personally that he needs Latino parents to be involve the conversation in making schools more efficient for our kids.
The birth of Massachusetts Parents United came from the frustration of many parents who were not included in the conversation of education of our kids. Dr. Chang might have great ideas in improving BPS educational system but some of those great ideas have falling short in fulfilling the needs of my kids and your kids.
The biggest example, the change in start and end time of all the schools, they were catering for the needs of the most affluent parents from Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury, our needs were taken for granted. The MPU director Keri Rodrigues speaks from the heart when she shares her story of feeling hopeless when she tried to advocate for the education of her 3 young boys.
As I said at the beginning, 2018 is already 2 weeks old and it is time to get to work. I don’t know what your resolutions are for this year but if you feel your kid or kids are trapped in a failing school in the BPS and want the curriculums to change and challenge those great minds academically.
I challenge you to get involve in your kid’s education by attending a meeting at the Bolling Building located in Dudley Square on Wed. January 10 and January 24, 2018 night between 6 to 8pm. I also invite you to become part of the MPU family, for details on our mission and our next meeting visit www.maparents.org.