I’m going to a blogger’s convention. I have a blog. Oh yeah. You’re reading it. I’m never sure who might actually find my blog, but I know my mother enjoys it. And my uncle in Panamá. But I’m going to a blogger’s convention to talk to other bloggers and through them, I hope to find those who might actually find other bloggers’ blogs. I want other bloggers and their readers to know why they should care about education even though they might not blog about education.
Some of these bloggers write about health. I want to talk to them about healthy schools and the air our children breathe. I want them to understand that hundreds of thousands of students miss hundreds of thousands of school days because they stay home with asthma.
So many schools have cut back on custodial staff who keep the ventilation systems running and who make sure floors and carpets are clean. When you cut back on a clean building, kids get sick. I want them to know that one of the major correlations to kids dropping out of school is the number of days of school missed. And the Number One reason kids miss school is sickness. And the Number One common sickness: Asthma. Bloggers who care about health should care about laying off the school custodian.
Some of these bloggers write about immigration. I want to talk to them about our students’ dreams to attend college. I want them to understand that many of our students were brought to our great country by hopeful and often desperate parents. It was not their decision, but they are paying the price of it as they find themselves in an unsustainable and hellish limbo.
They no longer know their home country, but they do have the documentation they need to become full members of the only home they do know. Without a Congressional DREAM Act to give them a path to their papers, they are condemned to the shadows of the economy where they are doomed to be exploited. Bloggers who care about immigration should care about my students who have worked hard and behaved themselves and want to be a full part of the country they love.
Some of these bloggers write about corporate greed. I want to talk to them about what the National Education Association and our state affiliates and local school district affiliates are doing to bring attention to the unfair tax laws that allow big wealth and big business to get away without paying their fair share of taxes – taxes that are needed to fund a community’s schools.
I want to talk to them about what’s going to happen if we abandon the solid, middle-class supports of Social Security and Medicare and turn them over to our failed financial and for-profit insurance industries. I want to talk about why billionaires care about gutting the collective bargaining rights of ordinary teachers in Wisconsin and other states. I want to talk about why billionaires want to silence the last organized voices standing up for the middle-class against corporate greed.
Bloggers who care about reining in corporate greed should care about attacks against my union.
I’m not sure there’s an aspect of today’s world that does not touch the lives of our students from preschool to graduate school. I want to network with bloggers who understand that, but even more, I want to network with bloggers who do not yet understand that. Bloggers have followers who care about so many things. Education is about so many things.
At the Netroots Nation convention in Minneapolis, we’ll find each other.