You’re doing it again, Mr. President. You’re jumping into new projects without completing any that you’ve begun. Oops, I apologize. You did push through the health bill that will not only drive the deficit higher, but also dig deeper into the American pocketbook. Oh, yeah, the stimulus—that will-of-the-wisp dream that stimulated hundreds of CEOs to award themselves obscene bonuses. Good job there.
But look at where we are today. The economy is sputtering along like an old Model T. Of course, the old Model T usually got where it was going. I have my doubts about your economy.
And yes, despite your fervent insistence that it is all ‘George’s’ fault, after almost two years, it is your economy. With the firepower you have in Congress, you’ve had ample time to make things better—like you promised over and over.
You were voted in because many wanted change. In their eagerness to make their lives better, they grasped at straws, and you were the straw they grabbed. So desperate, they never thought to ask what kind of change you had in mind.
I voted for the first time back in the fifties. I always voted for that individual I thought best for the job. When I looked at your record and when I listened to your speeches, I didn’t like what I heard and saw. That’s my right. The majority disagreed with me.
You know something, Mr. President. The majority doesn’t disagree now.
In a way, I hate that for I don’t believe you’re a despot like many say. I don’t believe you want to rule the world.
I think you sincerely believe all you say. I think your advisors believe that they say.
The problem is, you and your advisors come from another planet, that of Academia where cute little theories tossed around in the upper atmosphere in the tea rooms of Harvard and Yale seem Utopian, but actually pale in comparison to the harsh realities of hardworking people struggling day in and day out to put food on the table, educate their children, save a little, and perhaps enjoy life on the weekends.
And now you plan on reforming education in America.
I suggest you listen to people who know education. I have news for you. Three-quarters of the superintendents, chancellors, and commissioners to whom you have spoken are as inept as some of the teachers you are blaming for failing the children.
Other than you’re both Chicago boys, I can’t figure out why you chose Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education. If I handed out report cards to school district CEOs, Mr. Duncan would get a bright red F.
Greatschools, a nation wide non-profit organization that provides K-12 information about all private, public, and charter schools, ranked Chicago schools as a 4 out of 10 while rating Nederland and Port Neches, Texas as sevens and eights. A sobering comparison, huh?
If after eight years as CEO, Duncan couldn’t even get Chicago to a passing score, why listen to his ideas on how to better American education? Get real, Mr. President.
You talked about longer school days. You have no glimmer of what is going on there. You get an F also—also in red.
According to the Associated Press, Duncan’s rationale for longer school days was ‘Young people in other countries are going to school twenty-five, thirty percent longer than our students here.” He added to the AP. “I want to just level the playing field.”
Sounds noble, you think?
That’s B.S., Mr. President. That’s just another of the many fabrications to make your administration appear as if it cares.
In fact, according to the AP, U.S. kids spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours yearly) than kids in Asian schools who outscore us in math and science.
True, Japan and Hong Kong, said the AP, have longer school years by up to twenty days, but only spend 1,005-1,013 instructional hours yearly—less than our schools.
I predict this reform of yours will not succeed.
Why? Because the last two years have been eye openers for many of us. We might not have Harvard degrees, but we ain’t dumb. And we learned a long time back what B.S. smells like.
We’re doing okay down here. We’ve got a lot of bright kids graduating and going on to college and into the work force.
Sure we have problems, but our communities are working on them. We don’t need outsiders with completely alien cultural beliefs running our schools for us.
By the way, while you were enjoying your vacations, over five hundred Southeast
Texas teachers were in summer school working on advanced degrees and honing their skills as teachers.
Just thought you and your people might like to know.