As of write now, the country will shut down April 8.
Unless Congress can write the ship of the federal budget to the degree that both bickering parties can stand back and say, “That’s alwrite,” then write at the stroke of midnight the federal government will be write back where it was in 1995.
Though some clearly partisan issues lurk in the spending of the federal government, some issues belong neither to the left nor the write.
Some issues transcend.
As I’ve said before, the National Writing Project is one of those issues. Never, ever before has the country benefited from such a grassroots network of professional development that has consistently been proven to improve student learning and teacher performance.
In an educational climate where we are to be racing to the top, I’m certain of one thing, the National Writing Project has already been to the top and circled back to help the rest of us get there.
Name a metric of programatic success and the NWP will impress you. Worried about fiduciary inefficiency? Don’t look at the NWP, almost 100 percent of its federal funding is matched at its more than 200 sites by local dollars.
Or, it was.
March 2, President Obama signed a bill eliminating direct federal funding for the National Writing Project.
According to a statement by NWP Executive Director Sharon J. Washington:
National Writing Project teachers provide more than 7,000 professional development activities annually, reaching 130,000 educators, and through them, 1.4 million students. These programs are designed locally to meet the specific needs of the students, teachers, and communities served. The loss of the National Writing Project will have an immediate impact on teachers and students across the country.
I am ashamed of a congress and president that would tout the importance of education and the need for preparing our students for the future and then eliminate funding to a program that has done nothing but good for over three decades.
We will enact laws to accommodate the wills of billionaire philanthropists as they try this and then that approach to education as though all it takes to inspire learning is pushing the write button in the Wonkavator, but we will not support the work of a network of teachers across the country to continue on with what is a golden ticket of an approach to improving teaching and learning.
I am saddened and ashamed.
And, tomorrow, I’ll be calling my congressmen – again.