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Kindergarten Teacher is Running For Congress

Kindergarten Teacher Is Running For Congress

Note: This article was previously published by Education World and we're running it again on Election Day. Link to a local story about Garrett.

 

After 35 years of teaching, Ohio native and kindergarten teacher Janet Garrett is leaving her classroom and running as a Democrat for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Garrett is concerned about what is happening in kindergarten classes today and the amount of testing given to 5 and 6-year-old students.

“I have taught for 34 years,” said Garrett in a recent article on The Washington Post. “This is the beginning of my last year of teaching. I know young children. I know their families. I have been in their homes. I see their struggles and I suffer because I see the struggles getting worse.”

On Garrett’s campaign website, she numbers "education” at the top of her list of issues. Garret said she has seen the “destruction of our educational system” first hand.

“Big business, especially the testing industry, has turned education upside down to serve the profit motive. We need to turn our schools back over to local control. Parents, teachers, and administrators are better judges of what our children need than any test-producing company.”

There have been other teachers who have closed their grade books and decided to run for congress. Tierney Cahill, who taught sixth-grade in Nevada, also ran, and beat the other Democratic candidates. According to speaking.com, Cahill was in the middle of teaching a civics lesson when she told her students that anyone can run for political office. Her students disagreed, and said that “normal Americans did not have a role in government.” She then decided to prove them wrong. 

Garrett said when people ask her what she thinks of the state of public education, she said that the country is in "desperate need of education reform."

“What children need is not to be taught how to pass endless tests," she said in her article. "They need to be taught problem solving, creativity and, most of all, a love of learning."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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