Dear Mr. President, STOP THE MADNESS 

Dear Second Term President Obama – Part 2

Dr. King wrote: “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

I do not doubt that your intentions and those of Mr. Duncan and others are sincere. I do doubt the intentions of those attempting to profit from education and oppressing authentic learning of our most vulnerable children. You do not lead with “rear-view mirror thinking.”  Please do not lead with “good intention blindness.” Mr. President…


Stop testing the curiosity and imagination out of our kids.
Stop ignoring the denigration and vilification of teachers.
Stop ignoring children birth to five.
Stop consenting corporate profiteering on the backs of unsuspecting children.  

Stop warehousing kids and enabling plantation politics.

Stop endorsing scripted curriculum and regurgitation-via-test as learning.

Stop diverting public tax dollars to private interests.

Stop dismissing academics, educational leaders, and practitioners.

Stop supporting 20th century union/management practices.

Stop letting public schools deteriorate and crumble (literally and figuratively).

Stop regulating things that don’t matter and deregulating everything that does.

Stop funding silver bullets and quick fixes.

Mr. President, I recently wrote that you are in the most enviable position of any educational leader for decades. You’ve got a good three years to affect substantial, meaningful change. You can say whatever the hell you want (it’s time to throw some Bill Russell elbows, Mr. President). You’ve got the microphone, the votes, and the next Supreme Court nomination(s). You’re a dad. You know the roots of all American students, you know what it means to dream, and you went to Harvard.

I reiterate:  The only way you can screw this up is by replacing Arne Duncan with Michelle Rhee.  So, please, stop this madness.  Educating every child is not as challenging as it appears but we are on the wrong course. 

And, until you stop this “conscientious stupidity” we will remain on course toward “a nation of ignorance.” Yes, it is that bad and it matters that much.

With all due respect and hope,

Jere Hochman
Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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