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[Susan notes: Georgia leads the way, with a letter to her state senator. Let's all do the same.]

Submitted to her Congressional representative but not published
03/06/2004

To Member of Congress:

Dear Senator Reid,



There is no use in writing Rod Paige about his

verbage; most teachers have done so, yet, he is still in office. It is time he go. I am not concerned where he goes, as long as he is no longer Secretary of Education.



I write to you as a person who has taught 37 years, 21 of which are in Reno-Sparks. I write to you as a senior citizen. I write to you as a supporter for your re-election, and most strongly so. Make a statement about Paige calling the NEA a 'terrorist organization'. This is no joke on his part. This is his effort to 'test the waters' and see the response.



I insert my letter to him, so that you can see my position in full, regarding Rod Paige:



"Sir,

It's time for you to quit. NCLB is nonsense

enough, and destructive enough, and so obviously so, but to have used the terminology you used referring to NEA tells me that you are basically 'burnt-out'.



And, sir, you are.



Look. I've been around long enough to see

desperation and mistakes made by people who should

simply, retire, because it's time. And, for you, sir,it's time.



Don't give me that nonsense about 'inappropriate

remarks' that you already 'apologized' for--as if that makes everything just wonderful. For crying out loud, murder is inappropriate too, which I link with being called a 'terrorist'. Murderers apologize before they are being sentenced. What you said was far more than simply inappropriate. It was testing the waters to see what would happen. Well, you have seen what has happened.



Thank the Lord that NEA has finally seen the

light about NCLB, about how foolish it is, how useless it is, and how destructive to children, it is. Please don't use NCLB as an excuse, saying it helps children.



It does not. Any teacher worth her or his salt knows that reality.



You want to know what is 'terrorist matter' for

real? Testing at the level and with the meaning given to it by NCLB terrorizes children. That's where terrorism lies in America, thanks to NCLB--in the hearts of children, in fear of failure.



Terrorism isn't something you can fight anyway; it's a tactic of fear used by those who want something desperately. As far as I am concerned, Bush is a terrorist by such a definition. He does his 'terror alert' thing so that Americans will remember to be afraid.

It's his way of controlling situations, which, in my opinion, he sees as out of his control.

NCLB uses fear as a tactic of terrorism as I see it towards the public school system.



Long ago, when I was still in elementary school,

I had pride in my country. I don't any longer.

Thanks to you, and thanks to Bush, and Powell, and

Rumsfield and the rest of those in power--I have

nothing to be proud about. I am ashamed of what you have done to the school system; I am ashamed of what they have done to the image of this country.



The only way I see for things to change is for you to retire, and for 'Anybody But Bush' to win the White House. It can't get worse, that's for sure."




Georgia Hedrick


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