Dear Senator Casey and President Obama,
Thank you so much for being our health care heroes and for caring about the common good of our democracy. The historic Affordable Care Act is fundamental to the growth of our economy, and most importantly, to the healthy growth of our children.
There is a direct parallel in the misguided voucher, privatization, and competition themes of the Romney campaign with regard to health care, and their approach to education. And if you could highlight these three parallels in your speeches in the next few weeks, you would have the support of every teacher, parent and grandparent in the country.
- Vouchers don’t work any better in education than they would in health care. We need a universally good, fair and accessible to all public education system—just like we do in healthcare. School vouchers, like healthcare vouchers, are nothing but a broken promise. The well-funded schools will not take in students from poorly funded schools, any more than private health care companies will embrace people in poor health with pre-existing conditions.
- More privatization in education—e.g. more charter schools, cyber schools and private corporations or states taking over schools—at the expense of providing equal and excellent education for all children in our democracy, does not work any better than vouchers.
- The free market takeover of education—competition, privatization and a focus on testing and numbers at the expense of the growth and learning of our most precious resource—doesn’t work either.
We have tried more testing, more competition and more “choice” for three decades, and our student learning has suffered greatly. Let’s look to Finland’s example: universal healthcare, well-resourced public schools, universal early childhood education (rather than our private, deeply segregated system for those with the money to pay for it), and support for teachers as a respected, well paid profession.
We need your support to raise these vital issues for the futures of all of America’s children.
Thank you so much for being our healthcare heroes. We need you now to be our education heroes.
Dr. Jill Sunday Bartoli
Emerita, Language Arts and Urban Education