Tell the President: What’s good for their schools is good for public schools!

Last week, President Obama reminded us all why his election gave many of us so much hope. In plain language, he spoke of how he wanted his daughters, Sasha and Malia, to have their learning assessed. He described a low-stakes, low pressure environment, with the results used not to punish them, their teachers or their school, but simply to find out what their strengths are, and where they might need extra support. He spoke of the need to avoid teaching to the test, and the value of engaging projects that would make students excited about learning. President Obama has made sure his daughters can learn this way. If only Department of Education policies would allow students in our public schools this same opportunity!

(You can view the president making these comments here. Read more about Organizing Committee member Anthony Cody’s exchange with the Department of Education at his blog, Living In Dialogue.)

President Obama needs to understand: those of us who care deeply about our children and public schools cannot support his candidacy if he does not fix his education policies so they align with what he said on March 28th.

We have created a petition asking President Obama to support the Guiding Principles of the Save Our School March and National Call to Action, which are aligned with his words last week. And if he supports these principles, we’d like him to come speak to the Save Our Schools March and Rally on July 30, in Washington, DC. Please join us in asking the President to align his words and policy actions by signing our petition.

0 thoughts on “Tell the President: What’s good for their schools is good for public schools!

  1. Tracey Conrad

    What refreshing words to hear from our president. Unfortunately, Duncan, Rhee, and Guggenheim have it all wrong. We need to focus on great public schools for all children and real learning, not testing. Business models have little to teach us about education systems. The recent international education symposium did have much to teach us. We can create a uniquely American system, but other countries are far ahead of us because they follow different principles. Talk to educators, not Bill Gates and other business people, and stop the takeover of our public school systems by corporations.

    Please, for the sake of our democratic society, change course. Follow your own words, President Obama, and be the leader the education community voted for, not the one who has been scaring the heck out of us for the past two years.

    Thank you,

    Tracey Conrad
    Educator and parent of kids who are proud to attend a small, rural school that is a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools, and that serves ALL students in its district.

  2. Cynthia M. DeNardis

    What’s good for your children is good for ours! Public Schools are the bedrock of our society!

  3. Cassandra Gibson

    All this insanity must stop. No good can come of taking away the pay, the benefits, or the job security of an educator. It does not make sense. I feel as though legislators are blaming the ills of society solely on teachers and that is simply not the case–not at all.

  4. Pingback: Dear Mr. President

  5. Kathy

    Words are words, President Obama. Your words are what every student should experience in their school. Now, let’s see you lead the DOE and Congress to recognize that education is NOT a fill in the bubble activity!

  6. Mary Horsley

    Dear Pres. Obama:
    First, I voted for you. I wanted to give you a chance. I wanted us to stop fighting wars. I want schools to stop pushing children. I teach an adaptive special education class for Richmond Public Schools, Virginia. I just handed in four Alternative Assessment portfolios. Everyone knows that they are more my work than the children’s work. The teachers are the ones being graded. Standards and data driven schools are ruining our children. Kids just skim subjects. Our playgrounds are not fun or fenced in. Kids need to dig and swing and play hard. They don’t. We have accelerated reader, iStation, etc. Anyway we can get them to push a button. Our lunches are pre-cooked. Corn is considered a vegetable. School is not what it used to be.

    Your daughters have a better school. Don’t you want this for all the children?

    • Shannon

      I’m with you. I have two six shelves of VGLA binders that will need to be turned in on May 5th. It’s sad to say, but I often consider the time after I turn in these binders to be the time for me to get down to the real teaching.

      And yes, most of us who are with it realize that those binders are not a real representation of student achievement.

  7. Mary Jo Powers

    President Obama…I have been a huge fan of yours since 2004. I worked harder on your presidential campaign than I’ve ever worked on a campaign. I spent more money on your campaign than I’ve ever spent on a campaign. Now I’m faced with saying…I can’t support your president run next time because of your education platform. Race to the Top is no better than No Child Left Behind. You were on National TV recently admitting that the amount of testing kids are put through in public education today is ridiculous. Your own children are priviledged to be in a private school where they don’t have to experience that. What about the rest of the children in the US who can’t afford what you can afford? Are you suggesting that endless testing is OK for them? That’s what your education platform indicates. I’m, quite frankly, appalled! You need to make some drastic changes quickly if you expect those of us dedicated to the public school systems to support you next time around. Put a STOP to the Billionaire Boys Club…the Eli Broad Foundation…let us know that you mean what you say…public education IS the backbone of our nation.

  8. John

    Mr. President:

    I am a former teacher and now a professor and researcher of education (namely in the area of literacy). I strongly supported your run for President (with money, by canvassing local neighborhoods, and by driving voters to the polls). However, I am–like many other educators who supported you–very disappointed in your K-12 education policy.

    Your Secretary of Education (who as head of Chicago schools, tellingly took on the title of CEO rather than Superintendent) unabashedly promotes a failed policy, one that leads increasingly toward the privatization of schools. His enthusiasm for charter schools ignores a plethora of educational research that highlights the reality that charters are no more successful than traditional schools (and often are worse). He advocates for more charters and curricular/pedagogical freedom for charter school teachers while handcuffing teachers in traditional schools with yet more testing and required curriculum. The sad reality is that our neediest students lose out.

    In my county, high school students spend 52 of their 180 school days taking assessments for NCLB, Race to the Top, and other purposes. When is learning supposed to occur? When will we treat teachers as dedicated and professional public servants? Your administration needs to take the lead on this issue. Though a cliche, it is nonetheless true that today’s schoolchildren are the future of our nation!

    John

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