I have tried really hard to avoid saying anything further about the “Race to the Top” initiative and the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind because I have been fairly vocal about this in the past. There comes a point when you keep yelling about something that people stop listening. Yet, the arrogance with which Arne Duncan specifically, and the Obama administration generally, continues their efforts to force more federal control over education makes me regret every day my support for this administration in the last election. I realize that we probably should not let one issue drive our selection during an election, but darn it, I trusted this president to change the course of education away from the failed policies of the Bush administration and No Child Left Behind, and instead, educators actually end up with even worse policies that focus on more of the same: Testing is still the salvation of the American education system and the mistaken belief that “free-market” forces will transform education which are also the tenets of Arne Duncan and President Obama.
So where do I go from here? I have tried to contact the Obama administration and any one else who would listen and let them know how I feel. I guess my mere hundred dollar donation during the last election cycle can’t measure up to the thousands donated by the insurance industry and others. Sadly, all I received from my efforts was a call from the Democratic Party asking me to donate more money to fight the health-care battle. Honestly, I am concerned about the state of health-care in this country, but as an educator, I am more frightened of the unproven education policy of this administration and Arne Duncan. Arne Duncan has simply transposed initiatives from his efforts in Chicago to the national stage, and sadly, from what I read, they have not been successful there either. After 2o years as an educator, I am simply tired of education being a political football. Every politician talks about how important it is. This administration even pushed “Change We Can Believe In.” Sadly for me, I bought it lock, stock, and barrel. The Obama administration no longer has change I can believe in. All of my Republican friends are telling me loudly and clearly “I told you so.” They told me that this president would not make a difference in education, and I am afraid they are right. I am sure the Democratic Party really does not care if I go tomorrow morning and change my party affiliation to Independent, after all, there are still plenty others who will remain. But you know, it will make me feel a great deal better. That is “Change that I Can I Believe In and Make Happen.”