Jessie B. Ramey attended a meeting at the White House with a delegation of Pennsylvania educators.
Ramey wrote an open letter to Roberto Rodriguez, President Obama’s education advisor, asking the White House to stop berating educators and public education.
Based on the story in The Atlantic claiming that Michelle Rhee is “taking over the Democratic Party,” it becomes imperative for President Obama to distance himself from Rhee’s anti-teacher ideas.
Does President Obama support charter schools, like Rhee? Yes.
Does President Obama support for-profit schools, like Rhee? He hasn’t said.
Does President Obama worry about a dual school system in American cities, with charters for the haves and public schools for the have-nots? We need to know.
Does President Obama want entire school staffs to be fired because of low test scores? He said no at the Convention but he supported the firing of the staff at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island and his Race to the Top turnaround strategy supports mass firings. Does he approve or disapprove?
Does President Obama truly want to stop the odious practice of teaching to the test? Will he explain how teachers can avoid teaching to the test if their pay and their job depends on student test scores?
President Obama must let the nation’s teachers know that he is with them. He can do so by disassociating himself from Rhee’s anti-teacher agenda, as well as from policies pushed by his own Race to the Top.
And he could go to Chicago and tell Rahm Emanuel to settle with the teachers and do what is right for the children of Chicago.