- The federal budget has eliminated direct funding for the National Writing Project.
- Without the funding, it’s unlikely this national model of a successful networked collective of professional development can survive.
- This is one of those moments when the network we talk about so frequently can make the difference we’re always claiming it can make.
The Whole Story:
If you haven’t written your congresspeople to support the National Writing Project, you need to.
I need to make clear, that, aside from being able to speak at NWP’s Digital is… conference in the fall, I’m not directly associated with the Project.
I simply realize it to be a good idea. A really good idea with a proven record, a tendency toward self-evaluation and networking hundreds of thousands of teachers together with a simple purpose.
It’s one of those few black and white moments in policy. The NWP works. It works better than any other national education program that comes to mind.
So, here’s the thing, this is one of those moments we talk about when we talk about the power of network, when we stand and tell rooms full of teachers about how being connected means our students have greater voice and greater power as citizens. It strikes me this is one of those moments we’re talking about.
Only, it’s not our students, it’s us. Yes, it’s about our students, as they are the ones the NWP is impacting. But the voices that should be raised first and loudest in this moment are the voices of teachers.
My voice right now is one of questions. Specifically, I’m with Bud in asking to see the reasoning behind cutting the funding and how that reasoning stands up to the substantial evidence that the NWP is doing exactly what it is meant to do and what no singular state-based program could accomplish. I hope to receive response soon.
Honestly, though, the likelihood of response is increased with each additional voice.
Ask your representative to sign Rep. George Miller’s Dear Colleague letter. Call your local NWP affiliate to see what you can do to help. Most importantly, make this a conversation where you live, in your virtual and real spaces.
Again, this isn’t national standards or RTTT or any of the myriad issues with equally numerous and complex perspectives.
Make sure one of them is your Representative.