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Monday, November 12, 2012

Over the Educational Cliff

Washington D.C. - In an unusual moment of candor for a politician, U.S. Senator LaLa Verdad of New York sent this letter to her constituents yesterday:

"Louise, no matter what happens, I'm glad I came with you."
Lately my office has been receiving communication from constituents about the state of education. Some of you have expressed annoyance over the frequency and length of the tests your child has had to take. Some of you were surprised to find out that the teacher you and your child love has been deemed "ineffective" as determined by value-added measures. A few of you were worried that the government maintains decades of data on your child. Some of you are angry that the unproven Common Core is forcing teachers to robotically deliver lessons and demanding six-year-olds read oodles of non-fiction. My question to you is: where the hell were you people as our children went over the "educational cliff?"

I know, I know you didn't realize all these "reforms" were effecting your kid or your school district so you didn't care. Well now that it's dawned on you that it is your kid and your district perhaps you will wake up and force me (and all your political leaders) to do something about it. I am, after all, largely your puppet. I display very little leadership on my own, preferring instead to form my opinions and choose my battles based on public opinion and advice from generous campaign donors.

So if I hear from Michelle Rhee and her well-financed political action committee (I mean 501(c)4 organization) Students First more than I hear from you, guess who I'm going to listen to? And if you are so uninformed that you think Students for Educational Reform is actually run by a grassroots band of students then you won't mind if I have a few drinks with their hedge fund-, charter school-affiliated, no hidden agenda here board of directors.

Our country drove over the educational cliff years ago with Michelle "Thelma" Rhee, Wendy "Louise" Kopp and a host of other bad drivers taking turns at the wheel. So if you'd like to hoist them from the driver's seat then you must act. Dear constituents, get your panties in a twist and let me know how No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and now the Common Core standards have negatively altered the playing field for your American schoolchild. Because otherwise, I just don't give a shit.

To contact any member of Congress: Contacting the Congress

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