Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

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


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.