Cynthia Liu, the founder of the K-12 News Network and a public school parent in California, urges President Obama to read “Reign of Error.

Liu warns him that he won’t like it, but that is exactly why he must read it. He must listen to views other than the ones he gets from his staff and the Department of Education, which no doubt gives him a rosy picture of the great success of Race to the Top.

Liu writes:

“Those babies and toddlers you kissed grew up some, and are now entering kindergarten and first grade. In some states, children as young as first grade might be taking tests on art instead of actually creating art, or doing worksheets for “homework”. Under such age-inappropriate instruction, the joy and curiosity most children are born with seeps from their spirits like air from a balloon, the sparkle of excitement in their eyes and important questions like “why?” and “how?” stop. And their parents are MAD. Not at teachers, but at unending tests, one-size-fits-all data-driven instruction, forty and fifty kids per classroom, and important things still missing from the school day like art, music, physical education, science, history, and more. You see, that’s what Gen X parents grew up with — orchestra, marching band, jazz band, choir, three school plays a year, wood shop/industrial arts, school librarians and school nurses. ALL THAT IS GONE IN MANY SCHOOLS. Parents are mad because those who went to American public school decades ago know that our children are getting less now than we had then. That’s wrong. President Obama, parents, and teachers, are increasingly mad at YOU.

Liu admires President Obama. She thinks there is still time to get it right.