Letter to Obama Campaign Reference…CTU Strike
Save Our Schools
Obama For America
P. O. Box 803638
Chicago, Illinois 60680
September 18, 2012
Dear Ms. Psaki –
The Steering Committee of Save our Schools: A National Call to Action is compelled to respond to your comments during a recent press briefing regarding the Chicago Teachers Union strike.
SOS is a national organization dedicated to public education as the cornerstone of a democratic society. It is committed to education policy and actions shaped by the diverse voices of classroom, family, and community educators, working together to meet the needs of all children and their communities. SOS requests the opportunity to participate with Obama and Duncan in shaping national education policy that is a sensible proven approach to improving public education in America.
Our four main principles support:
- Equitable funding across all public schools and school systems
- An end to high stakes testing used for the purpose if student, teacher and school evaluation
- Teacher, family and community leadership in forming public education policies
- Curriculum developed for an by local school communities
A reporter posed this question to you during the press briefing: “Is the campaign concerned about the ongoing Chicago teachers’ strike, as to whether that will affect the President’s union support at all . . . ”
You responded, ” No one thinks, including the people who are involved in this, that a local political dispute is representative of the national debate we’re having about education.”
Save Our Schools would like to clarify its position relative to the strike and the national education debate:
- The CTU strike is not a “local political dispute.” The CTU strike represents a national movement to stand up against efforts to privatize our democratically based system of public education. While education “reform” has been politicized, public education and the principles that we stand for represent moral and ethical issues and the foundation of our democratic society. See our attached [linked] Chicago Teachers Union Support Resolution.
- Contrary to your statement, the heroic efforts of educators in Chicago, with overwhelming support of the parents of children in the Chicago public schools, are indeed representative of the national debate we’re having about education.
- While many teachers and their representative unions hold out HOPE that the President will have an opportunity in a second term to respect their concerns and hear their voices regarding the destructive elements of Secretary Duncan’s education reform package, they do not believe that this administration’s “better choice” is an acceptable choice.
Save Our Schools and many of its members have communicated and will continue to communicate our concerns with the administration’s education policy until our voices have been acknowledged and included as respected participants in the national debate.
In an effort to support the President we ask that you pass our concerns on to him and all staff involved in his presidential campaign efforts. We also want the record to show that teachers will not give up on our dream for an equitable and accessible quality public education system for all children and will continue to work in solidarity against any and all efforts to destroy that dream for the children of America.
Save Our Schools: A National Call to Action
Steering Committee Members:
Bob George, Ruth Rodriguez-Fay, Dr. Elizabeth Hallmark, Dr. Sherick Hughes, Dr. Deborah Meier, Becca Ritchie, Ceresta Smith, Dr. Jesse Turner, Dr. Raynard Sanders, Jose L. Vilson, Lee Barrios
Contact: Lee Barrios, M.Ed., NBCT
178 Abita Oaks Loop
Abita Springs, LA 70420
Cc: President Barack H. Obama
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
For more information about Save Our Schools and its endorsers see www.saveourschoolsmarch.org