Education advocates come to Harrisburg

More than 100 members of the PA State Education Association came to Harrisburg this month for PSEA's Lobby Days to meet and talk with policymakers about their schools, students, and professions. Here are a few of their stories. See more at PSEA's Facebook and Twitter pages.

Sheleta Camarda-Webb, Director Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Education, California University of Pennsylvania

"State colleges and universities are here to provide a high-quality education for any student who wants to attend — even if they can't afford high tuition. We serve students, families, and communities, and the lack of state funding can make that difficult.

"My colleagues and I came to Harrisburg because we're passionate about helping the students we serve. We want to see them walk across the stage at graduation. Legislators know the facts. We know the stories. I want my legislators to see the people, the stories, the families behind the facts, and support the work we're doing."

- Sheleta Camarda-Webb, Director of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Education, California University of Pennsylvania

Carol Dibeler, Harrisburg School District

"It's so important for legislators to hear from educators on the impact of standardized testing. Testing takes time away from teaching and learning, and it essentially shuts our building down. Our counselors, reading specialists, and other staff are pulled away from helping students so they can prepare to administer the tests. My first-graders lose these valuable supports. When students take the PSSA, we have to take all of the posters and decorations down from our hallways and classrooms where tests will be administered. Our school no longer looks like a friendly place. Students are stressed and anxious. We teach our students to use what's around them to learn, and during testing we take all of it away."

- Carol Dibeler, Harrisburg School District

John Tintera, Student PSEA, Millersville University

"I'm here today to support my future students and my future colleagues. We need to do everything we can to strengthen our education system. I believe it's the best way to resolve so many of the other issues facing our society.

"I want to be a teacher because it's the best way to ensure a better future for the country and for the world... 30 kids at a time."

- John Tintera, Student PSEA, Millersville University

 

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