This teacher wrote a great letter. Please write your own, to help the President see what he needs to change:

Dear President Obama, I am a teacher, and I’m concerned about what’s happening in American education today. I’m not sure what I can say that will help you listen to me, but please do. Does it help that we share the same birthday? Does it help that I’m a supporter? Does it help that I qualify for Mensa? Does it help that I’ve been teaching Japanese for 21 years in public high school? Does it help that I am for the most part not directly affected by the majority of the testing craze that has engulfed us? Do you not understand that the testing madness that started with NCLB has now morphed into a full-fledged attack on public education? Now the fight has been joined by big money, hoping to cash in billions on education services and products. My school district spends millions on testing contracts and curriculum systems to support it, yet I have to buy my own board markers. Moreover, we are being evaluated (well, not me because I teach Japanese, but that’s another story on just how messed up this is), on our value added scores, but no one is scrutinizing the private companies, the K12s, the charters who are siphoning money off of the public system. Their failure to reform or improve is swept under the rug, or hidden in statistics that may sound good, but don’t stand up under real scrutiny. Have you not read ANY of this? Do you not know what Wall Street did to the housing market? Do you not understand that they cannot be allowed to do the same to public education in this country? Do you not realize that they ARE? Mr. President, this stuff keeps me up at night. You should really see it from the ground. It’s bad out here, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a bad teacher who wants to keep her job and doesn’t want to be evaluated. I’m Mensa. I AM the best and the brightest. But let me tell you, we do not need only the best and brightest in education. Being Mensa gets you exactly nowhere. It takes much more than being smart to be a good teacher. It takes intuition, compassion, willingness to go the extra mile for a kid and a geeky personality that gets a tremendous amount of satisfaction out of helping someone learn. This job is hard, has always been hard, no matter how smart you are. This is a job in which you could always do better. There is no upper limit, just daily reflection on how you could improve next time. Satisfaction comes in small doses, and sometimes in big ones when you see the success of your former students. We do not need to beat up teachers. Nothing at all good will come of it, but several very bad things will. I believe you will have another four years to turn this around. Let’s make it happen. Linnea Bradshaw Appoquinimink High School Middletown, Delaware