"Our hope is that we’ve won the hearts and minds of Oregonians, that we’ve built champions who will help us get the work done. (Getting consensus around education issues from across the state) was more difficult than I think we knew when we stepped into this arena. What is most surprising is that many people are very disconnected from schools; they don’t have anyone close to them who’s a student. That has struck us deeply. We feel like we asked people what they think, they told us, we did the research, and now it’s a question of whether we have the leadership and the will to get it done. There’s an election season in the fall. How often does a legislator get to hear from 100,000 Oregonians? That can’t be taken lightly. I want to end the legislative session thinking we’ve made real change because this is all about making this the place we want it to be for our children. I’m a new stepmom with three kids who’ve gone to public schools, and I want them to have the great experience I had. I want that for my kids, I want that for all Oregon kids, but I’m afraid we are going in the other direction. I hope mediocrity is not OK for this state."
Photo by Leah Nash