I don’t know how to speak with a president … but I can speak well enough with any father.
So, let us speak as fathers … and of the dreams we dream for our own children. And we should also speak of patience … and promises.
My own children are grown and flown … like most of yours. But new stars join the troupe … like your Barron … and my young Aidan. So, we are never very far from childhood.
You are a busy man. I am not so busy at all.
You are the president of a great country … and I am the chief of a very small tribe. You were once a business man … and I was once a history teacher.
What busies you, hardly busies me.
My responsibilities are very simple. I am to be on time for baseball games … and uber folks from place to place. You? You are to worry about a country … and perhaps the rest of the world.
So … you can see … we have much in common.
You once spoke of pledges … and I spoke of the patience of parents. Do you remember?
Parents remember. It’s why you won their vote.
Schools have been nightmared. Children guinea-pigged. Poisoned by imposter-reformers and their educational idiocy. Schools are not as we remember.
Do you remember the thunderous cheers when you promised to end Common Core? And to return our schools to local control?
Reassure us, Mr. President … our patience hangs on.
You have priorities … we understand. But we have the most important priorities of a lifetime … sons and daughters … and their brief moment of childhood.
We wonder … when is it our turn? Our moment for your attention?
Too many are intent on canceling childhood … swapping out proven pedagogy for age-inappropriate nonsense that’s morphed classrooms into joyless spaces where youngsters seem more the experiment than the learner.
The anger is thicker than ever. It’s a miracle schools haven’t been pitchforked by parent-mobs.
But still they wait. For you. And your promises.
They’ve been frustrated by stonewalling politicians who dismiss their concerns … and permit creepy-freaky, social engineers to bend the lives of their children. So they looked to you.
Master-teachers … once the most trusted regents of our children … have been exiled to the edges of every reform discussion. Their common sense expertise suddenly dismissed as Dark Age know-how.
Fraud gurus insist that “grit and rigor” are the imperative antidotes to wasteful childhoods of discovery, joy, and play. And they demand that hyper-dramatized assessments be homaged as the new tools of educational excellence.
It’s all so out of whack … and the outrage is exploding. But you knew that.
Real-deal teachers are threatened into silent compliance … and hundreds of thousands of enraged parents have refused abusive testing in state after state … Georgia … Texas … New York … Michigan … Florida.
As you said in your rallies … this is what happens when schools are hijacked by an interfering government … and its bungling bureaucrats.
It’s what happens when disconnected theoreticians pretend to understand children … and dare to claim parental regency over them.
It’s what happens when self-anointed wizards decide that only government can wrench us from supposed educational doom.
And caught in this cyclone of nonsense are small people. Young children … like your Barron … and my Aidan. But not as well protected.
So … millions of innocents are anguished … and their parents agonized.
That’s what drove them to you … to place you in a position to help. They witnessed your oath to end Common Core … and they signed that contract in the ballot booth.
Never was the “Art of the Deal” so serious for so many.
They asked for their schools back … and for childhood to be restored.
And they’ve been waiting.
And waiting some more.
They asked that childhood be balanced again … in challenge and joy … so they, too, can dream dreams for their children.
So, they look to you once again. To speak to the future of their children.
Childhood is a quick moment. It’s the maker of first memories … and we make big deals of firsts. First words. First steps. First of everything.
Neither of us should never forget that school is a child’s first, great adventure. We fanny-pat them … and cup their small faces for one last boost. Then we send them off to the first solo-moment of their brand new lives. We’re both joyed and jittered.
So, you see … those were important promises, Mr. President.
One day, Barron and Aidan will read of this … and learn if we both kept our promises.
Let’s not disappoint anyone. Renew your promise.