Harsh words that miss the point

US Chamber comments regarding the candidates and education offer only a smirky compliment to teachers and avoid discussing one of the most critical elements in the ability for education to succeed: the students. I believe the word that is the most jarring is “inflicted:”

Although American public schools are filled with many great teachers, dedicated principals, and involved parents, this nation should be embarrassed–yes, embarrassed–at the inexcusable record of mediocrity and failure we have inflicted on millions of our children.

Millions of our children do not come to school ready to learn and do not return to homes ready to support their study efforts. Children face adult economic, health and relationship stresses; they are pulled in diverse directions by competing priorities of parents, schools and jobs; and often receive no spiritual or emotional nurturing. Kids whose parents have no health insurance, who move repeatedly due to their parents’ financial struggles, who report to alternate homes each weekend, as well as who face other adult-size stressors are extremely distracted and unable to focus in the classroom.

Let’s put all of our kids to bed early in warms rooms after healthy meals. Let’s give their parents’ health insurance so that the caregivers of children are cared for. Let’s see what teachers can do to educate healthy, well-rested, peaceful children. What would the US Chamber expect of an economy working against such powerful factors?

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