Dear President Obama,
We assume you know that there are many thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of parents, who are disappointed in your education policies.
We assume you know that some will vote for you reluctantly, some will vote for a third party candidate, and some will not vote at all. Our votes will make a difference.
Given the choice between you and Mitt Romney, who seems to view public education with contempt, we want to help you win back the hearts and mind of teachers and parents.
Here are ways to do that.
Please, sir, stop talking about rewarding and punishing teachers. As a parent, I wish for my children to be taught by a well paid professional, not a piece-worker in some factory. I wish for teachers who are managed by experienced, qualified principals and administrators, not given top-down contrived hurdles to jump over.
Please, sir, stop encouraging the privatization of public education. Many studies demonstrate that charters don’t get better results than public schools unless they exclude low-performing children. Public schools educate all children. Charters are tearing our communities apart, pitting parent against parent and created a “them versus us” situation in what were once tight neighborhoods.
Please, sir, speak out against the spread of for-profit schools. These for-profit schools steal precious tax dollars to pay off investors. Those resources belong in the classroom. The for-profit virtual schools get uniformly bad reviews from everyone but Wall Street. In business, what’s bad for your competitor is great for you. The “competition” your policy is fostering is of the typical corporate “cut-throat” variety. It gives private companies incentives to destroy our public schools. Charter school supporters in my town have fought against funding for public schools because the worse it is for our public schools the better it is for their charter school. This is madness.
Please, sir, withdraw your support from the failed effort to evaluate teachers by the test scores of their students. The American Educational Research Association and the National Academy of Education issued a joint paper saying that such methods are inaccurate and unstable. Teachers get high ratings if they teach the easiest students, and low ratings if they teach the most challenging students. I don’t want my children growing up only knowing how to fill in little bubbles. I don’t what my children growing up never learning the things I learned in school because they aren’t on the test.
Please, sir, stop closing schools and firing staffs because of low scores. Low scores are a reflection of high poverty, not an indicator of bad schools or bad teachers. Insist that schools enrolling large numbers of poor and minority students get the resources they need to succeed. I am lucky and my children are easy–they don’t need as much resources to teach as the less fortunate do.
Please, President Obama, recognize that your policies are demoralizing teachers. Many are leaving the profession. Young people are deciding not to become teachers. Your policies are ruining a noble profession. I don’t want my children taught by “what is left over”.
President Obama, we want to support you on November 6.
Please give us reason to believe in you again.
I am a parent.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
A Parent’s Letter to President Obama
From the Journal of Education Finance , Fall 2012 by Kern Alexander The story goes that tuition voucher schools and charter schools a...
by Robert Slater High-stakes tests and testing policies are now being reinforced with value-added teacher assessment. But gains in te...
B Y J A M I E R O B E R T V O L L M E R America’s public schools can be traced back to the year 1640. The Massachusetts Purit...
Reflections on a Half-Century of School Reform: Why Have We Fallen Short and Where Do We Go From Here?By Jack Jennings, President and CEO, Center on Education Policy When I studied history in college, I was impressed by those few individual...
Local School Boards to Duncan: Back Off! by Diane Ravitch The U.S. Department of Education is not supposed to control U.S. education...
by D iane Ravitch North Carolina is a plum market for the online for-profit charter industry. Today, the state board of education ...
b y JULIE UNDERWOOD (Editor's note: Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), global corporati...
Jack Hassard Source: The Art of Teaching Science Today, a committee in Georgia Senate will discuss the Parent...
Cartoons on Common Core Standards by Larry Cuban For this monthly* post of cartoons, I have selected images about the impending Commo...
Glass, Gene V (2008-06-01). Fertilizers, Pills & Magnetic Strips The Fate of Public Education in America From Chapter 8: Eight Reformi...