Dear President Obama: It’s Not You; It’s Your Education Policy

Jose Vilson Education, Jose

Jose Vilson vs. Barack Obama

Dear President Obama,

Ever since you started your run for President of the United States, I’ve had your back. I won’t recount the inspiring events of your presidency since 2008 here, though I’m sure you’re already replaying them in your mind, like that last great buzzer shot to win your last pick-up game. You’ve made few friends along the path to 2010, and wobbled the faith of many in your prime electoral base. Your administration’s strategy has been simply to show what the “other guy” hasn’t done, a strategy typical of the politics you leaned your whole campaign on breaking. None of this bodes well for a president who won a decisive majority vote and a mandate to turn this country around. Frankly, you sometimes come off as dispassionate about the people who helped elect you on the ground level.

With all the things you’ve done under your Presidency, it’s hard to argue about the legacy you’ll already leave behind. As a Black man, a father, and a personal role model, you excel. Yet, the one gripe I’ve always had about you is your hallow education policy. It reminds me of the articles I’d read by Matt Taibbi about how you were in Goldman Sachs’ pocket while tons of people lost their jobs and livelihoods by that sinister organization. It reminds me of the tons of “present” votes when things came up to your vote as Senator of Illinois. It reminds me of the fake swim you took in the Atlantic Ocean when you weren’t even close to the Gulf Coast.

And not the guy who went right into New Orleans while that president flew right over it.

I respect your use of the term “education reform,” because everyone can get on board with that. Where we diverge is the way by which we achieve education reform. You prefer to listen to the corporate voices of anti-trust lawyer Joel Klein and “I make no apologies about taping a kid’s mouth shut” Michelle Rhee. I prefer to listen to the voices of Linda Darling-Hamm, an illustrious member of your transition team, who believes Finland is a more appropriate model for education than the one we’re looking towards. I prefer to look at Diane Ravitch and Deborah Meier’s research, plain as day showing the constant manipulations of New York State and Michael Bloomberg, who wiggled the scores enough so people could believe he made NYC’s scores change when he nor his reforms did.

I got a million other voices who find your push for the privatization of public education, and since you came on the scene, it’s probably the nastiest stain on your oil-drenched fatigues. In no way am I belittling the 3 wars you’re fighting in the Middle East, the detainees, the secret armies, or the treatment of anyone who’s not a While, male, middle-class Protestant, since these too need all of our attention. I just have a special place in my heart for education since I believe that making children informed, positive citizens and great, critical inventors will help solve many of the issues in this world.

Instead, we’re building automatons, robots, and people frustrated with the constant barrage of big tests (ask Nicholas Lemann). I don’t hate you, Barack, and I hope that’s evident. With all these teabaggers, that’s not as present. I just totally disagree with your policies, capiche?

Now, when I get my face to face with you, I don’t want you sic’ing your Secret Service dogs on me. You know where to reach me otherwise. Good night, and good luck.

Jose, who has an audacity to win …