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Guest Commentary | Everybody’s an expert

By JILL PELLIS - | Feb 2, 2024

Jill Pellis

Why is it when it comes to educational decision-making, everyone is an “expert?”

Why do parents, residents and anyone else with a grudge, who have absolutely zero expertise in educational methodology, practice, curriculum, evaluation or policy, feel they can demand change based on personal or religious beliefs? Would those same individuals challenge their physicians and demand to perform a specific medical procedure on their child without medical training or the doctor’s assistance? How about flying a commercial plane, with absolutely no training? Would you want your family on that plane knowing your lives are in the hands of someone who has never sat in a cockpit before? If loved ones are critically hurt in a car accident, would you allow someone off the street, who has no training in law, to defend them in court? Of course you wouldn’t.

Then why, when it comes to educating our most cherished and beloved children, do we allow anyone and everyone with an opinion and hidden agenda to make essential decisions for all students? It is time to correct the insanity, injustice and chaos presently occurring in our schools and return to sound educational practice.

All citizens have a right to collaborate with educators. They have the right to participate on committees. They have a right and a moral obligation to speak up on behalf of their own children if the school has failed them. They are welcomed into schools as partners and volunteers to contribute to the improvement of the overall program.

Citizens do NOT, however, have carte blanche and absolute power to determine who, what, when, where or how the instructional program must be presented or practiced.

It is high time we leave school decision-making, based on sound, student data-driven evidence, to the educated, certified professionals in our schools. We trust all other professionals. How about putting our faith and trust into the hands of our hard-working, sincere, highly trained experts in the field?

You want a say?

You want change?

Step up to the plate, put in your time and effort, attend and speak at school board meetings, volunteer, speak to your child’s teachers and guidance counselors, write letters to your legislators and do your due diligence to make Lee schools halls of excellence, not vaults of shame.

Jill Pellis is a retired public school principal and member of The Purple Group.