This reader has some ideas for Michelle Rhee and an invitation:

 As a teacher from a small city in Ohio, I resent Michelle Rhee making statements about my teaching based on a small sample set from inner city schools hundreds of miles away. The next question is- What sort of administrative support did these “poor experienced teachers” receive?Dear Michelle- You came from northwest Ohio. Why don’t you come back and talk to some of us? Talk to the many outstanding public school teachers who do great things every day. The one thing we have here is support. We support each other as fellow teachers where there is no or little administrative support. We can identify strengths in each other when YOU and so many others try to beat us down. When, due to your example, administrators tell teachers that, as a building, they are broken, we are able to look at each other and lift each other up again. That is what makes great teachers. We also have parents who support us, in spite of our administrators. Did your sample set have this?

It is disheartening to speak with younger teachers this summer. They are away from each other, and many are not looking forward to the new school year. Why should they? When they come together for convocation day, they will be put down by their administrators, told they are broken, and need to change or get out. Who, in any job, would want to work under those conditions? But they will. And when the administrators are gone, the teachers will again lift each other up, and remember why they are there- for the children. They will squeeze in ‘real teaching’ in between testing teaching, when the administrators aren’t looking. What part of this looks like freedom, or the United States I grew up in?

How different would our country be if all of us and our children saw our leaders complimenting each other rather than bullying each other. What if they could model working together for all of us? And isn’t it sad that this will never be anything but a dream?