This just in from a teacher in Nebraska. The state did not get any Race to the Top funding, and therefore didn’t “win” money that would cost them more to implement than they “won.” It is taking a “wait and see” approach to Common Core standards. It doesn’t want the U.S. Department of Education to tell Nebraskans what to do. It doesn’t have any charters.

The state is trying to do what is best for children. Imagine that! The public schools are supported by the public.

Is Nebraska still part of the United States? How did we overlook the amazing common sense that still exists there? Good luck to Nebraska in keeping the privatizers at bay.

I realized when I read this letter that Nebraska belongs on our honor roll as a champion of public education. It supports its public schools. It lets teachers teach. It has not rushed to do the latest thing. It has thus far ignored the privatizers.

Welcome to the honor roll, Nebraska! Stay strong!

Come to Nebraska. A state led by a common sense dept. of education and a smart, reasonable teachers’ union. We don’t rush to jump on every new educational bandwagon (Nope, we didn’t get any Race to the Top money and the verdict’s still out on Common Core–we’re one of the few ‘wait and see’ hold out states) and try to comply with mandatory standards while doing the least amount of damage to our kids. We aren’t averse to change–indeed, we’re always looking to be on that cutting edge, however, if we’re going to spend hard earned tax dollars, it had better be worth it. I’m a high school special education teacher and co-teach algebra and geometry. I work with a tough population and my school isn’t perfect. Lots of hard work. But the difference is that public education is supported in our state. We have no charter schools. I feel appreciated by my students, my co-workers, parents and administration just about every single day. Now, it’s not a Shangra-la…I DO work with teenagers, many with behavior dsorders, and don’t always agree with administration or co-workers. Our state legislature passed a law and implented a state-wide test many educators aren’t crazy about. We are under the same gun to improve test scores as any other state and that can be stressful. However, we are encouraged and celebrated whenever we infuse creativity, active learning, and technology into our classrooms. In a nutshell, we’re held accountable, the state testing is a pain and possibly a waste of time, but overall I feel the higher ups try to stay out of our way as best as they can. The biggest threat to our educational system here is out of state money with an agenda to privatize education and run it like a business–a fate experienced by other states. I only hope we can fight them off and maintain what we have.