To the American People

Stepping up to the plate and making a difference when we are needed is a deeply ingrained value in our culture, and it is not limited to big, life-changing events.  In our communities, we are making a difference every day in less dramatic but important ways.  Having worked with more than three hundred public school districts over the past twenty-five years, I have seen firsthand that we will nearly always respond to the educational needs of our children when we are asked to help and clearly see what is at stake—even when it means increasing our taxes.

Unfortunately, most of what we know about our schools is outdated, biased and confusing.  It is based upon a combination of our personal experience of having gone to school, glowing reports from our local school officials about of all the good things happening in our schools, and the overriding message coming from education reformers that our nation’s public schools are failing and unable to compete in our global economy.

As a consequence, most of us are in the dark about the extent to which the education reform movement in our country is impacting our local schools.  We are unaware that our children are being over-tested, our teachers are physically exhausted and emotionally demoralized, and our tax dollars are being diverted by our elected representatives to replace our public schools with a privately managed, free-market system of education.

But what if we were able to clearly see what is happening?  My purpose creating this website is to let you, the American people, know how serious the current situation really is and what you can do about it.

Although at times it can be challenging, I will try to be objective and avoid playing the blame game for who is at fault for what is happening.  The truth of the matter is that we are all responsible for the current state of affairs.  For the past century, we have been on a slow but steady track of delegating ownership of our schools to our education policymakers.  The result is that America’s schools are now at a turning point.

Thanks, however, to the resiliency of the American spirit which is alive and well, I am confident that we can and will rise to the occasion as we always do when we know what is on the line and meet the urgent challenge now facing our public schools.  Drawing upon the quote from John Lewis, a poor Alabama farmer in 1765, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

Corky O’Callaghan

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