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[Susan notes: Yes, lay it at Obama's feet. Let's remind people who's in charge.]

Published in New York Times
03/10/2010

To the editor

Re “A Wholesale School Shake-Up Is Embraced by the President, and Divisions Follow” (news article, March 7):



The president whom I embraced, supported, campaigned and voted for with greater passion than anyone in my 38-year voting life has severely disappointed me with his "tough love" endorsement of a Rhode Island school board’s decision to fire the entire faculty of a poorly performing school.



With all due respect, President Obama inherited an unprecedented mess when he took office, including the devastating effects of the Bush-Cheney administration’s No Child Left Behind, and the Iraq-Afghanistan war budget, public policies that have left every child behind!



To hold shamefully underpaid and overworked public school teachers solely responsible for the performance of students in a poor community with a large immigrant population is reprehensible and shortsighted. In virtually all instances school success in the United States is most closely tied to socioeconomic status, and the only thing that trickled down to poor communities and their schools in the Bush-Cheney years was hopelessness and devastation.



The writer, a social worker, is on the faculty of the School of Social Work at San Jose State University.

Barry Goldman-Hall


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