Janet Van Lone left a comment on the blog, sharing a letter she sent to Campbell Brown, who advocates for charters and vouchers and for eliminating teacher due process.
I was really annoyed at Campbell Brown the other day, so I wrote her a letter:
Dear Campbell Brown,
I used to like you. I remember watching you on the Today Show and CNN awhile back. To me, you felt like a friend, someone I’d like to have over for a cup of coffee or as a member of my bookclub. I see now that you have joined the ranks of school “reformer” and “child advocate”.
I have two kids who attend public school. I am a former special education teacher. I’ve spent years working with children who are living in poverty, dealing with it’s disastrous effects. Currently I am pursuing my doctorate in education, in an effort to continually work on the real problems we face in this field. I have enormous respect for the teaching profession, and I want to do everything that I can to recruit and train great teachers to put in all types of classrooms across this country. I want them to stay in their jobs for many years, and once they become master teachers, I want them to inspire and mentor the next generation of educators.
Teachers, unions, and tenure are not the problem with public education. It seems that you have waged war on teachers because of all of the “teacher sexual predators” who are apparently running rampant in our schools. Let me be clear. The very large majority of teachers are hard working people who decided to teach for the love of the profession, to inspire youth, and to make a difference in society. If a sexual predator makes it into our ranks we would be the first to be outraged and disgusted. Our job is to protect children and we take that very seriously. To my knowledge, I have not met any teacher sexual predators in the almost 20 years I’ve spent in public schools. Teachers, unions, and tenure is NOT the problem with public education.
YOU and your corporate billionaire funders are the real problem. You provide no significant data to support your claims, you refuse to address poverty (the real issue), and your goal is to dismantle the public school system, all in the name of more profits for you and your greedy billionaire donors.
You are not a school reformer, nor are you an advocate. Child advocates spend time with children. Advocates are voices for those in need. They act on their behalf to ensure they receive adequate nutrition, healthcare, education, and they work to help each child meet their own individual potential. Advocates fight tirelessly against poverty. They fight against predators who seek to personally profit off of the most vulnerable children in our society.
Diane Ravitch, a real hero for public education and the teachers and children it serves, has offered to talk with you about the actual problems with public education. Please do that. You are misinformed and misguided. She can help.
In the meantime, I’m going to pay attention to who is benefitting from your scheme, both financially and politically. And I’m going to tell everyone and anyone who will listen.
Please reconsider your actions so that you and your friends don’t destroy public education.
Janet Van Lone