As Jenny said in Part 1, we were kept waiting for nearly five hours before we heard from the public. Our public education advocate friends from Fort Wayne, Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education, had to leave without speaking (read their powerful testimonies here). Highlights of those 5 hours-I-will-never-get-back-of-my-life:
Somewhere in these five hours, our state superintendent Glenda Ritz presented the position of her Blue Ribbon Commission on the teacher shortage and refreshingly stated that they were going forward on the assumption that there IS a teacher shortage and looking into solutions.
After seven hours of waiting, my friends Michelle Smith (a teacher) and Jenny Robinson (a fellow parent) and I were able to speak. When I got up to the mic, I told these men that they really needed to change this procedure. I was speaking to a now-empty room with maybe 12 people at 8:40 pm. I said something like, "At this point I have missed after school time, dinner, and now tucking him into bed-time. If you need your consultants, they should be in a separate meeting or something.There were passionate voices that should have been heard." And then, fully angry at this point, gave this speech:
I am a mother of four children in public schools.