Letters to Diane

Rebekah Ghormley

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

I can’t thank you enough for all the work you do on behalf of the education in this country.

My question is this. How do we work to get your message more broadly heard and understood? How is it that creatures like Michelle Rhee, with her minimal, failed experience, seem to grow in prominence and influence?

I read today that the National Council on Teacher Quality is suing University of Wisconsin regents over their refusal to turn over education course syllabi. Our poor, formerly progressive state has front-row seats to the destruction of public education in this country. There seems to be no end to the army of nameless and faceless so-called think tanks, whom the political establishment use as their preferred source in making policy.

With three teachers in our family, we despair over the future of education. We never expected to be rich, but the cuts in our state lowered my husband’s take-home pay by $400 a month and we lost our entire post-retirement health benefit. Our oldest son, 5 years into teaching, loves what he does, yet is looking outside the field, in order to have a future for his family. Our newly graduated son-in-law, with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, makes as much money as my husband with his Master’s degree and 27 years of teaching experience.

I never thought that I would live to see the day when providing education to all children would be questioned as a worthwhile public good. So many good teachers are leaving. So much loss and the masses are cheering for their own demise.

Thanks, again, for all that you do.

Sincerely,
Rebekah Ghormley
Wife and mother of 3 teachers in Wisconsin