Stephan Krashen: An Open Letter to the President

November 26, 2012

There is enormous frustration and dissatisfaction among professional educators about current educational policy. Many, especially those in the classroom and closest to the children, feel that current policy, one of closing public schools, encouraging privatization, and imposing more testing than has ever been seen on this planet, is badly misguided and will lead to tragic consequences for our children, damage that will take decades to repair.

Professional educators feel that government is not paying attention to their expert opinions, and is paying far too much attention to non-experts. The voices of respected scholars are not being heard, and highly competent professional research done over the last few decades is being ignored.

The US Department of Education must stop demoralizing professional educators and free them to teach with passion.

Rather than submit another long open letter detailing these concerns, here is a simple suggestion. Please hold a private one-on-one meeting with Dr. Diane Ravitch for a serious conversation about education.

As you may know, Dr. Ravitch is a very highly respected and dedicated professional educator, a distinguished scholar, a very clear writer and speaker, and extremely knowledgeable about the major issues in education today. She does not represent any special interest group other than our teachers and our children.

We hope you will be willing, and eager, to meet with Dr. Ravitch, who has become the spokesperson for educators in America concerned about current policy.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California


  1. I admire Diane Ravitch and believe that if she is granted a meeting with President Obama (whom Seymour Hersh has called the most inaccessible President in his experience) she will not mince words. She will do what most reformers fail to do – and that is lay emphasis on the socio-economic roots of educational failure. As the U.S. proceeds to ‘third world’ status in terms of poverty, low birth rate, infant mortality, broken families and access to health care (particularly pre-natal care) – omitting these circumstances in any analysis and proposals for reform of our schools is more than malfeasance, it is criminal.


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