Letter to Arne Duncan, Guest post by Michelle Slekar




Arne Duncan,

I am deeply offended and insulted by the accusations and down right LIES you are putting out to the press. You really should be ashamed of yourself. I AM a white suburban mom and I worked in the schools with the children you labeled as disabled or minority. THIS tactic will NOT force me into compliance, quite the opposite. It is very clear to me that you do not see the real people involved in this movement. We are Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Family members, legal guardians, teachers, doctors, experts in education. We are communities coming together to YELL to government, to YELL at the top of our lungs that we stand united for ALL of our children in our public schools. We do not single out and only care for our own children. If you have ever stepped into a school, EVER, you CAN NOT miss the love for ALL of the children within its walls and see the community take care of each other, each and every one of them. That is the magic of public school. We lift each other up and make sure the group as a whole is thriving and if they are not we pull together to fix it. OPT OUT is a deliberate act of civil disobedience because we REFUSE to let our “public school community” suffer any longer. We are the voice of the teachers who are crying inside because of the pain and suffering these tests have created, specifically the “minorities and disabled” as well as the special needs and hungry and lonely and sad and scared. Arne Duncan, this is SO NOT a suburban white mom thing. But sadly, the suburban white mom is the only one being heard so we come out as the voice of the minority, disabled, special needs, hungry, lonely, sad and scared. WE come out as the voice of the students who feel duped and for the students who ache for real learning hands-on enrichment activities. We come out as the voice of the teachers who see but will not be heard. Common Core State Standards initiative are forcing compliance and killing our public schools along with the teachers and students within them. Unlike you, I do not TRY to speak from the heart, I DO SPEAK FROM THE HEART, the heart of the teachers, the heart of the students, the heart of the suburban moms. THAT is “speaking honestly”. Stop the lies and stop the Common Core State Standards initiatives.