What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Letter #116... Dear Mr. President... Our Schools & Our Children Deserve Better.

Letter #116

Dear Mr. President:

I realize that I’m somewhat of a dinosaur by most peoples standards because I remember a time when phones had party lines, we listened to the radio because we didn’t have a TV, and we played outside all of the time. Our toys were jacks and jump ropes, bats, balls and bikes, and we ran everywhere… barefoot, I might add.
Although we grumbled about school just like kids today, we had countless opportunities to learn new things. Even though I couldn’t carry a tune in a bag, I was always in the Choir singing my heart out because it was fun. It was once decided that I should play an instrument… I picked the Tuba, but lugging it around was more of a chore than I wanted at eight years of age.

When I was in High School, my Mom insisted that I take anything and everything “office” related… typing, shorthand, office machines, etc… because once I was out of school the jobs that were available would be secretarial in nature. The other subjects I was required to take, according to my Mom’s grand plan, were all the “home-making” classes… sewing and cooking for all four years. Art classes were considered frivolous and unnecessary, and therefore, not allowed. Physical Education, History, English and Math were all mandatory, no wiggle room there. College was not encouraged in our home of six kids, we just didn’t have the money.

Neither of my parents went to college although my Mom claimed to have gone to Marin City College… my Aunt Virginia debunked that theory by saying, “well she might have walked across the campus once.” My father did take some night courses in accounting because he was an accountant, but that was about all.

I mention all this because as you well know, the education system in America is falling apart… declining at a rapid rate compared to other countries. Our schools are crumbling, class sizes are growing again, elective classes have been slashed in all but the richest school districts. P.E. is a thing of the past in most schools, and we wonder why we have a generation of obese children with adult diseases. Four-day school weeks are growing in numbers all across the country as districts slash budgets to save teachers. The list goes on and on… 
Passing local school bonds or levy’s is all but impossible, parents cannot afford the taxes they owe now, let alone any additional ones. Those people that can afford to put their kids in private schools, do… with the net effect being an additional loss of revenue for the public schools and the remaining children.  

What is your plan to turn this horrendous trend of dumbing down America around Mr. President… our kids deserve better and they cannot afford to wait any longer. 

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

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