Is President Obama Responsible for the State of Public Education?

BlogHer Original Post

With the school year underway and many states implementing new curriculum, it’s a good time to take a hard look at the state of public education. Cynthia Liu at K-12 News Network isn’t pleased with what she sees and isn’t letting President Obama and his Race to the Top program off the hook.

President Barack Obama participates in a literacy lesson with students while visiting a pre-kindergarten classroom at Moravia Elementary School in Baltimore, Md., May 17, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Here’s some of what she has to say:

“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.”

Cynthia suggests that the President – and others—read Diane Ravitch’s new book, Public Education: Reign of Error. To find out more about Ravitch’s research and why Cynthia disagrees with some of the book’s key points about charter schools, read her Open Letter to President Obama -- The One Book You Should Read on Public Education at K-12 News Network.

News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs about raising an Asian mixed-race family at HapaMama.

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