Monday, August 15, 2011

A Letter to President Obama

This morning, Mary Ann Reilly prompted me to write a letter to President Obama regarding our current education policy.  As you will note from my letter, I want to see education policy take a new direction that creates what Diane Ravitch refers to as "conditions for excellence" in every American school.  This is the letter I wrote.  I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Dear President Obama,

Thank you for your service to our country.  Thank you for supporting "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" for every American.

I write to you today regarding our country's education policy.  I call you to support "conditions for excellence" in every American school.  Education is the foundation our country stands on, and currently there are many who want to weaken that foundation for their own gain and fame without evidenced-based knowledge and research. 

Similar to the mortgage crisis, when profiteers sought to use the American people, particularly those without great voice or choice, for personal gain, education demise and quick fixes (like too-good-to-be-true mortgages) will cost our country excess dollars and weaken the American spirit of innovation and change.

Now it's time to build "conditions for excellence" in every American school by streamlining standardized tests (saving misspent dollars), and supporting a broad criteria for excellence as noted in this blog post I wrote:

I see the promise our country holds for a bright future.  I know that an optimal, well-rounded, child-centered education for every child, the kind you and I afford our own children, will pave the way for that future.  I believe that government has the role to regulate private industry so that its gain is not the people's loss.  

It's time to turn the tide in education from NCLB to "Excellence in Education for All."  I implore you to seek the consult of outstanding, experienced educators and researchers to learn the truth of what matters in education and lead the way to a bright future for all of America's children.

Thank you for listening.

With respect,
Maureen Devlin
Fourth Grade Teacher
Wayland, MA

Cc: Secretary Arne Duncan, Governor Deval Patrick