—His main point was about changing schools and our power in that process. The people that criticize public schools mainly say fear, fault, and blame as their main points. Five trends in America that undermine public support are:

1.) The population is getting old – less than 25% of tax payers have kids in schools. They have forgotten about the public good because everyone benefits. For example, when student achievement rises, teen pregnancy falls.

2.) The media is most generally negative towards the public school districts. It is so important because it can spread like wild fire.

3.) A rights revolution has begun in America. It all started in Iowa – 1972 Tinker vs. De Moines. After that case, many different due process rights have come into effect.

4.) Parents think they have the rights to create the schools anyway they wish them to be specifically for their children.  People want their schools to be exactly their way, and all of these rights are putting schools in a bind because they are not that customized.

5.) The melting pot of America. The core function of the school is to melt all the diversity, politics, ethnicity, and races all together, but a lot of parents don’t want their students to be with “them”.

—People want to strip away all local control with public schools and get the control to the state government or even the national government. (It’s the worst of times)

—We now have to unfold the full potential of every child. Back in the old days, students weren’t looked down upon if they did not go to college and just got a job right out of high school, yet today, it is the completely the opposite. People used to not need a decent education in this country, but now all of those jobs are gone and we have to unlock all of this potential. (It’s the best of times)

—“The blueberry effect” After a Q&A session at a public school in-service, Mr. Volmer learned that teachers have to take all kinds of “blueberry kids” tall, short, English as a second language, slow, curious, creative, etc. etc. etc. and he learned that schools cannot be businesses for that reason.

—The schools are specifically designed to leave certain kids behind in the past, but now the schools need to change and make every child successful. The system needs to change. The curriculum that was set in 1892 is basically being taught now too. Even the fundamental schedule has not changed for 80+ years.

—To change schools and prepare students, you must go through the community and build a conversation:

1. Community understanding 2. Community trust 3. Community permission 4. Community support

—The five important S’s Stop trash talking and bad mouthing schools. Shift your attention from the negative to the positive. Share something positive. Sustain the effort and do not stop. Start now and get into the habit of being positive.