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[Susan notes: Let the NY Times know Winerip is on target. Maybe someday Brent Staples and Thomas Friedman will read Winerip. ]

Submitted to New York Times but not published

To the editor

Thank you Michael Winerip, for turning President Obama's State of the Union hogwash on its ear ("Teacher, My Dad Lost His Job. Do We Have to Move?" Jan. 31, 2011) and presenting the heart-wrenching reality of middle America in meltdown.

Ever astute at finding that telling detail, Winerip shows us Shelley Smith, the teacher who replaced a child's glasses. This teacher knows what teachers across America know: She has to ignore the insults of corporate-politico flim flam about standardized test scores and see to the immediate needs of the children in her care. Today.

This telling vignette from Worthington, Ohio shows us that it's poverty, stupid. Poverty. We can't fix anything else until we fix this.

Susan Ohanian

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