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Teacher of the Year Declines Invitation to DOE Event

Susan Notes: Three cheers for a teacher who acts on principle. May his breed go forth and multiply.


The following e-mail was sent to a U.S. Department of Education official who had invited all state Teachers of the Year to an event in Washington on March 1. The e-mail is from the Massachusetts 2003 Teacher of the Year.


Dear Ms. Jacobs,

I wanted to thank you for your gracious invitation to the conference of Teachers of the Year that is scheduled for next week. I was hoping to attend, but I am sorry that, considering Secretary Paige's recent remarks about the NEA and the teaching profession, I no longer feel that his invitation is sincere; neither do I feel that he will be providing a healthy and constructive environment in which to enhance the education of our young people. I am sure that you, Ms. Jacobs, are a sincere and well-intentioned individual, and I am sorry to send these words through you to the Secretary. I do believe, however, that the Bush Administration is hostile to public education and that the No Child Left Behind Act is a disingenuous, cynical plan by which to attack the poor and the non-white. Again, my comments are in no way meant to be uncivil to you. I do not see, however, how I can justify leaving my own students in order to attend a meeting with a gentleman who seems to harbor nothing but ill will and contempt for us all.

Thank you for the invitation, and please accept my good wishes for a peaceful, fulfilling springtime.

— Jeffrey R. Ryan, Massachusetts Teacher of the Year 2003
Education News
2004-03-01
http://www.educationnews.org/teacheroftheyeardeclines.htm


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