Sunday, January 27, 2013

10 Executive Actions "To our posterity"

Dear Mr. President:

re: Education, please...

1.      Remind Americans that the Constitution and Declaration of Independence do not include the word “education;" whereas words like life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, created equal, unalienable rights, general welfare, blessings of liberty, justice, and domestic tranquility appear often. Those words pretty well cover education (so you can skip right to #4)

2.     Headline Supreme Court decisions and legislative action of Brown v. Board of Education, PL 94-142 (IDEA), Title IX, Plyler vs. Doe, and the core values of your Inaugural speech that (finally) launched the 21st century "to our posterity"

3.      Make a statement revising every-year testing to testing only English and mathematics in grades 3, 6, 8, and 11 (transition years as benchmarks of school and district progress), dismantle remnants of NCLB, eliminate RTTT; and then…

4.      Shut down the Department of Education and resuscitate the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW)

5.      Maintain departments that monitor and protect Civil Rights, IDEA, and the Supreme Court rulings and legislation noted above and collaborate with content professional organizations (NCTE, NCTM, and others) to lead educational development

6.      Focus HEW on health and welfare (root factors in student achievement), research, convening and educating state leaders, and using its bully pulpit to advocate for Parents As Teachers and other birth to five readiness programs, addressing poverty, knocking down real impediments of every student achieving.

7.      Confront every corporate CEO with their academically demeaning and counter-productive tactics which make money off the backs of kids

8.      Leave teaching to career professionals (not teach for awhilers) and collaborate with every union to formulate professional 21st century contracts

9.      Call out every self-proclaimed quick fix reformer and politician to let them know the '50s called and wants their factory model of education back; to encourage them to spend days (not a photo op) in rural, urban, and suburban kindergarten classrooms and maybe give them 125 junior English essays to grade in one weekend. 

10.  Re-establish the WPA (Federal Works Project Administration) that built our parents, grandparents and some of our schools, provided opportunities in the arts, built highways and bridges, and created jobs.