Divided we fall….

Christine Marsh Current Affairs, Education, Education Policy

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Where has civil discourse gone? There’s a divisive issue that’s hitting the ballot box in May, and people are actually fighting about it. I don’t get it. Most people will be choosing the lesser of two evils, not choosing something that is clear-cut or awesome or a long-term solution to inadequate funding.

The problem is that people have different opinions about which option is the lesser degree of evil.

However, most people have the same goals and motives—namely that they want a properly funded education system. Most people do not want to have the worst funded schools in the nation or the highest class sizes or a teacher-exodus (that’s due primarily to low pay).

I hope that, after the election, people are able to unite around their common goals. I hope that they can present a unified front and demand adequate funding.

But I wish they could see each other’s common goals now, instead of bickering and breaking each other down.

One of my friends belongs to a 12-Step recovery program and she always talks about “principles before personalities,” which means that in her program (and in the rest of her life, I suppose), she is supposed to focus on the principles of an issue and not be swayed by who might be advocating those principles. If a person she loves and respects is advocating for something she knows is damaging, she is not supposed to be swayed by the fact that someone she loves is saying it. And vice versa….

I wonder how many people are against the upcoming proposition because they dislike the state’s elected officials; I wonder how many people are swayed by the notion of punishing the state’s political leaders. How many simply can’t agree to something because “so-and-so” likes it?

It’s divisive and destructive and, collectively, we need to knock it off.  We’re all in this fight together, and if we allow divisiveness over one issue to impact our ability to work together, we will lose this battle (which is really a war about the future of public education in this state).

Even if people will be unable to see clearly between now and May 17th, I hope that we can all agree to come together on May 18th—no matter what the outcome of the election is.

We’ll need that unity to win the war, to beat the blatant attacks on public education. We’ll need that unity to change dynamic at the Capitol to a more education-friendly majority.  

That’ll be no small task, and it will require all of us. Together.



Christine Porter Marsh

Scottsdale, Arizona

My favorite thing about teaching is watching the lights go on in students’ eyes, watching them getting passionate about traditionally boring things like reading and writing well. This is why I keep coming back. I am in my 24th year of teaching in the same high school from which I graduated, and I still feel like it’s the best job in the world.

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  • Donnie Lee

    I have gotten into so many debates with friends over this issue. They keep asking me what I think. Several times the conversation has got quite heated. You are correct in reminding us all that we are all working towards the same goal. We may just disagree with how we get there. Once we are there or if we fail to reach it, we must remember that we still need to work together.

  • Danielle Brown

    Christine! This is so important to realize when having conversations around this topic. The sad thing is that we do want the same thing, but often disagree on how to get there, concerned about the aftermath no matter the outcome on May17th. Thank you for reminding us what is at stake when we get in the way of ourselves. We have the same goal, let’s be kind, be willing to listen & learn from both sides.

  • Beth Maloney

    Well said, Christine. I’ve even seen the uncivil discourse bleeding over to the middle school playground. United we stand if we focus on our goal!