[Susan notes: Of course, I think these letters are terrific. Can you imagine? Someone wishes my voice were louder!!
Published in The School Administrator
The Critics' Refrains
I would like to thank Susan Ohanian for her article
Refrains of the School Critics in the August issue. She intelligently articulated and refuted what I have perceived for a long time as an erroneous assault on the institution of public education by a corporate-media alliance.
I grow weary of the corporate elite pontificating on the illus of public education. Students are learning more useful information faster and better in public schools by the 5th grade today than some of these privately educated "elites" were in the 8th grade. We need more articles and viewpoints like Ohanian's rather than the usual negative claptrap emanating from the corporate media machine.
GEOFFREY M. THOMAS
Madison School District 321,
Susan Ohanian's article on the unfair criticism of public education gave me a boost of adrenaline and renewed hope that I am doing the right things.
I just wish her voice were louder and listened to more carefully by those in the business world and others who believe the business world knows everything about teaching and learning.
JOHN W. SULLIVAN
Westbrook School District,
Susan Ohanian's masterful summation in your August issue of what is really going on today in public education serves as a powerful rebuttal to the absurd charges made by business leaders.
The outrageousness begins with the blatant accountability double standard. It seems that in corporate America nothing succeeds like failure. Those at or near the top walk away with more money in one year of driving a corporation into the ground than 100 teachers make in a lifetime of demonstrated success with their students.
So what is the risk for them? Maybe their egos get bruised a bit when they are asked to resign. BUt in the short time they're at the help calling the shots, they take home perks and cash beyond the wildest imagination of most teachers.
The no-longer-so-hidden agenda, of course, is to create a two-tier society, reminiscent of Latin America. By scapegoating and eventually destroying public education, the goal becomes easier to achieve. The evidence abounds. The middle class is becoming an anachronism, as both parents work full time and still can't support their familes. Three-quarters of personal bankruptcies are the result of medical bills that individuals can't pay because they don't have health insurance. Unions are being emasculated by court decision and hostile lawmakers. And the hits just keep on coming.
When the American people finally wake up to what is happening, it will be too late. It's a frightening scenario.
Los Angeles Unifified School District,
Los Angeles, Calif.
Geoffrey M. Thomas, John W. Sullivan, Walt Gardner