Time to Stand Up and Be Counted

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Displeased with the direction of the educational reforms sweeping our country? Or, perhaps you support them. Whatever the case, write a letter or an email to President Obama on October 17, 2012 to explain your thinking. I read about this date in a blog: http://dianeravitch.net/2012/10/05/this-teachers-letter-for-october-17/.

Personally, I am going to either write about alternatives to using student test scores as an accountability tool or explaining how well the middle level program at his daughters’ school addresses the learning needs of young adolescents. I will then ask him to energetically advocate for these kinds of programs, organizational strategies, and class sizes in every one of America’s middle grades school. (http://www.sidwell.edu/middle_school/index.aspx).

I think it is important that our letters do not sound whiny. They should be articulate and concise. State the issue, give 2 or 3 pieces of evidence to support what you are saying, be specific about what action you would like him to take, and explain the positive outcomes of such action.  (Sorry folks–once an English teacher, always an English teacher–just have to give you an assignment.)

It’s tempting to think–my letter will not matter.  One letter–maybe not.  Imagine, however, 1,000,000 emails/letters pouring into the White House on October 17 from all across the country–from teachers. parents, students, administrators, librarians, custodians, school counselors, etc. This isn’t about the election or political parties; it’s about providing our students with the learning experiences that will empower them to chase and capture the American dream.

If you read the post I mentioned above you will see a letter from Rick Davidson from New Hampshire.  I met him this summer at the Middle Level Education Institute.  He is passionate about teaching and learning, and his letter explains just what he stands for. I think it is time for many more of us to take a stand…in writing.

I hope you will choose to join me in writing to President Obama on October 17 to express your vision of education and to make one or two concrete suggestions on how we can improve learning for all of our students.  Thank you!

 US mail: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 20500

 email:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments

Here’s more info on this campaign: http://dianeravitch.net/2012/10/06/spread-the-word-about-october-17-campaign-for-our-public-schools/

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