A week ago I sat in your audience during the taping of the show- WAITING FOR SUPERMAN- the Reaction Show. You were very gracious as you opened up an opportunity for the approximately 300 educators and parents to watch history unfold before their eyes.
I know that you couldn’t allow all the attendees to contribute during the taping of the show or the “after Oprah show” segment. But, had you chosen me, this is what I would have said….
1. Please lawmakers, shakers and movers- DON’T FORGET ABOUT SPECIAL EDUCATION. I know that many of you are under the impression that serious laws are in place and will “protect” special education- but that simply is not true. Programs and teachers for special education still can be cut. New technologies are available to help so many of our exceptional children develop and attain academic success, however cannot be purchased due to serious budget restraints. This needs to change. Children with learning challenges are part of our country’s future, too!
2. I heard a lot of statistics that indicated that our schools are failing. However, I did not hear that perhaps our schools may be failing because we have not fully grasped, recognized or factored in the impact of bilingual and bicultural children have on our schools. Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE when schools are multicultural. This enriches our schools beyond measure. However, due to the ever changing demographics in our communities, bilingual/bicultural children are coming to our schools in droves and our system is not yet prepared to tackle the challenges that a multi-cultural neighborhood can bring to our classrooms. Often their parents do not speak English well enough to understand the documents and homework that flood their children’s backpacks. Many are too proud to ask for help or too scared. We need to recognize and factor in to any school improvement equation multiculturalism.
So Oprah, thank you for allowing me the ability to now voice my opinion. I would welcome being an active part of the solution to our educational nightmare.
Louise Sattler is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, Owner of Signing Families and a national presence in the media. She will be starting her new radio show- The Louise Sattler Show- Where Learning Meets Laughter this Fall 2010 on soon to be launched network-HerInsight!