Dear President Obama and Governor Romney,
I have sent this letter to both of your campaigns and I am also publishing it openly and publicly in an effort to express my concerns for the state of affairs for what is, in my opinion, the most important government structure that exists in America: the public school system. At this late stage in the election, with the poll numbers so close, it is very difficult to ascertain which one of you two will inevitably become the President of the United States for the next four years and as such I hope you will understand the precaution I am taking in addressing this plea to you both. As a parent, as a teacher, and as an American I am dreadfully afraid that we are crippling our country and its future by the policies and approaches we are taking with our public education system.
I will be frank—the reforms that have been put forward by the Federal Government which treat schools with the same strategy with which one would approach a manufacturing industry is both philosophically unsound and invariably damaging to the profession of education, and by extension the children of this country. The education of children—of human beings, people, individuals—is not a cookie cutter process running across an assembly line with interchangeable “one size fits all” parts. Students, young ones especially, require a variety of approaches attuned to their idiosyncratic and individual needs. Beyond the wide categories of learning types (visual, kinesthetic, auditory, and so forth) there are also a wide variety of circumstances and baselines that all Americans come from. This Presidential race is especially evident of that fact showing that great heights can be reached here despite one’s circumstances of birth, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status—provided that the opportunity for individual growth and the right to self-determination are not only available but also manifest in the culture of learning and public discussion.