Monday, January 19, 2009

Dear President Obama,

You have the whole world to think about after tomorrow's inauguration. Every person in America, and in the entire free world, will watch your swearing in and will pray for you. We will gather with friends, in front or our television, on the web, and will let everyone know that we are proud of the person you are, and the president you will be. We are proud of what you stand for, and what you hope for all of us to accomplish. We are all on board.

Every person will hope for something to change in their lives. And we know deep in our hearts that you are the person who will deliver the change.

Most of us who grew up with no hope for success, were able to conquer our fears and our conditions because of teachers and educational opportunities that came our way. Without public education, those opportunities will disappear, and only a few will continue to nurture hope for a better future.

Do not let the rhetoric and the politics of accountability change the conversation. Every school needs to be saved and improved; every student and every family need to feel that the local school will prepare students to face the future proudly and prepared. Some people will tell you that some schools are too broken to keep open. Question their motives. Are they trying to stop supporting local schools? What have they done to solve the problems? Have they volunteered and rolled up their sleeves to keep the facilities clean and safe?

We know you have a full plate of challenges. But Melia, and Sasha, and the other millions of children cannot wait.


R.W. (a.k.a. Lakeviewer) from a small hamlet on the Oregon Coast


Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Lovely, simply lovely. As a fellow educator I too am aware of the desperate need to get our education system fixed. I fear it needs a major overall. It has been my experience that when someone comes along who has the energy, intelligence, & leadership to lead schools & faculty in a positive direction someone comes along and halts the drive or changes the direction. Being in public education is frustrating as I am sure you have experienced over the years. I could go on & on, but will just leave it with the thought that Obama will effect the changes that are needed.
Thanks for your great letter.

Angela said...

I like your thoughts very much! I wish I knew a publisher for you, but I think the way is to get an agent and then apply at publishers who who have done similar things. SJW at "Novellessness" has mentioned (only a few posts ago) that there is a private publishing possibilty, maybe you can check that out? Your experience and wonderful thoughts sure deserve to be spread! I`ll write an extra mail now!

Stray said...

Wonderfully well said.

Education is the silver bullet.

It also has the potential to level the playing field by compensating those who have been dealt a hand otherwise lacking in opportunity, or to compound the gap between the privileged and the ignored. Working to make sure that it does the former is the most important job a society can undertake.

Good schools and good teachers (for there are certainly some exceptional teachers working in struggling schools) change lives.

At the moment I'm writing a math book which I hope will change lives too. People ask why Geometry matters, and the real answer is not the hundreds of practical applications, but that kids who feel positive about learning and realise that they have potential are less likely to find themselves trapped in poverty, drugs and crime.

In many ways I also believe that education and healthcare are two sides of the same coin. Good schools and good teachers are lifelong healers.

I am excited about Obama - sitting here in the UK I genuinely feel like the US has elected a president that the whole world will be better served by.

Thanks for your contribution to - we're thrilled by the depth and sincerity of the contributions we've received.

Enjoy today - the start of a new adventure for all of us, but especially for you who elected him,

Stray x

janis said...

OH this is wonderful! Made me tear up. I hope you sent this to him.
You spoke from the heart, it felt like my heart. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Mei Del said...

we are liberated! and here at the road to somewhere household, we gathered in front of the tv and marveled again, a truly gifted speaker and looking forward to the content that must follow such ringing words

thank you for coming by my blog

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