Target: Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Goal: Clarify progress and scope of new education reforms and address concerns over its implementation
The latest National Assessment of Education Progress produced sobering results. Less than half of students nationwide are proficient in reading or math according to the federal rating system. The quality of our education still lags behind that of other school systems abroad, while the gap between low-socioeconomic status students and more affluent students continues to widen. Gauging our progress, we find that among fourth and eighth graders, gains in math and reading scores have been only “slight” in two years, according to a recent editorial in the New York Times.
We face the challenge of preparing the next generation to compete in an increasingly globalized work environment. Thus, prioritizing quality education for all is essential. Although the newest education reforms, or teacher evaluations and Common Core standards, have come under fire, they have demonstrated their effectiveness in improving math and reading proficiency.
It is time for each American citizen to enter this debate. The new education reforms show potential to deepen socioeconomic disparities, and their implementation is occurring sans public discussion. By urging Education Secretary Duncan to address the public’s concerns over the new reforms, we demand that quality education be prioritized over all – over partisan politics, over private interests, over ignorance. In voicing our concerns, we reinforce an appreciation for this effort to revitalize our education system. Recognizing that the new reforms do present a challenge, perhaps even a strain, on our educators and our students, we encourage each other to keep the ultimate goal in mind: preparing our students for college and for careers.
By signing the petition below, you can help reinvigorate discussion on this paramount issue and demand equity in education.
Dear Education Secretary Duncan,
With the ambitious educational reforms taking root, I write to you in need of leadership. Partisan politics, private interests, and general lack of knowledge about these changes have fueled public concern over the teacher evaluations and Common Core standards that are meant to ensure quality education for all, above all else. Consequently, these concerns over the reforms alleged oversight, its potential to deepen an already widening socioeconomic gap in education, and its implementation sans public discussion are taking away from the ultimate goal, and hence, impeding us from achieving it.
In this moment, I urge you to address these concerns. Not only do we need you to clarify the progress and the scope of these new reforms, but also to remind the public that above all, our challenge is to prepare our students for higher education and for careers. Now more than ever, we must be united in order to give each student the education he or she deserves and desperately needs.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Carol Ann Tomlinson via eduguide.org