Thanks to a tweeted encouragement from Lisa Linn, I learned about this request from Barack Obama for policy ideas and suggestions as he continues to form his leadership team:

MYPOLICY: WHAT DO YOU THINK?

The best, most comprehensive plan for change in our country will include your ideas and your feedback. America needs a president with a mandate from the people, and everyone deserves a voice in shaping our next president’s agenda.

Take a moment to share your ideas. Over the coming months the best ideas will be featured and incorporated into the campaign’s policy proposals. Be as broad or specific as you want.

Obamas on election night

I submitted the following paragraphs, which are a minor rewrite of my post “Our next U.S. Secretary of Education” from November 13th:

Our next secretary of education needs to have both K12 and higher education teaching experience. A KEY issue is we need someone who can take away the destructive emphasis we’ve seen under NCLB on test scores to the detriment of so many other things which matter. Of course we need our students to score well on assessments, but we need to focus on differentiated assessments as well as pathways to learning. We need high expectations for student learning and achievement, but not under the umbrella of “rigor.”

The standards movement has gone too far, and the #1 thing lacking in most of our classrooms today is TIME. We have too many mandates from state and national governments, and many teachers do not feel empowered or even permitted to help students engage in the deep, project-based approaches to learning which lead to actual transfer and retention. We must have a secretary of education who rejects the vending-machine approach to learning which has become a policy mantra in past years. We need someone who understands the power of open content, collaboration, and hyperlinked writing. We need a secretary of education who champions the importance of teacher relationships with students: Teachers who KNOW their students and therefore understand how to best stretch and extend their skills, knowledge, and dispositions. We need a secretary of education who promotes not just Internet safety, but digital citizenship. We need a secretary of education who can not only form coalitions and partnerships, but can inspire our nation to transform our classrooms and schools into places where passionate learners gather to share, collaborate, create, and show what they know.

We need a secretary of education who can help our nation move forward into the 21st century. All our students need laptop computers starting in the fourth grade, and these devices should not be used merely as E-Book readers or digital worksheets. We need a secretary of education who understands our need to help develop a workforce which can creatively solve problems, work together, and validate information coming from a variety of disparate and often confusing sources. We need a secretary of education who can help reform our schools in the vision of leaders like John Dewey and Paulo Freire.

We don’t need a savior as secretary of education, but we do need someone with vision as well as practical wisdom. This is a tall order, but our children and our students deserve nothing less.

After submitting my thoughts, I was prompted by the message, “Thank You … Now Spread the Word!” The following was presented as a suggested email message to friends about this campaign for shared ideas:

Hi,

Maybe you’ve traveled abroad and seen firsthand how in a few years George Bush has squandered the goodwill America earned over half a century. Maybe the decisions George Bush has made has sent your friend or family member into a war that should have never happened in the first place.

Barack Obama wants to know why a new direction for our foreign policy and restoring America’s moral leadership in the world is personal for you.

The more voices and ideas we can raise the better.

Share your story with Barack Obama by clicking here:

http://my.barackobama.com/stories

Share your idea with Barack Obama by clicking here:

http://my.barackobama.com/ideas

It is going to be exciting to see how the Obama administration will leverage web 2.0 tools and communication opportunities like this to formulate policies based on the shared ideas of the people of our nation. Perhaps those of us advocating for the learning revolution will be heard?

I am Here for the Learning Revolution

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  • http://cmtvarok.wordpress.com Christy Tvarok Green

    Thanks for the link. Your comments to President-elect Obama were right on! I will also look through my blog posts to find some suggestions for our future administration. It’s nice to feel like leaders in Washington are listening… let’s hope they really do!

  • http://secondlifelinguine.wordpress.com Lisa Linn

    One person CAN make a difference. Thank you for being one who is willing to do just that.

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