Dear Diane, I knew Governor Hunt well during the early years of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. I enjoyed (and respected) his skill at heading (and herding) the motley group. As one of its "founders," I look back at that whole enterprise with nostalgia. It was driven by three hopes (pushed by AFT and NEA leaders Al Shanker and Mary Futrell): first, to elevate the professional respect and voice of America's classroom teachers in determining classroom, school, and state policy (from schoolhouse to statehouse)—and thus also keeping more experienced teachers in the field; second, it hoped to demonstrate...


Dear Deborah, Back in the old days (i.e., pre-NCLB), it really didn't matter to teachers, principals, and superintendents—that is, the people who actually work directly in schools and have daily interaction with children—who was Secretary of Education. I mean, really, why would anyone in a school care whether the secretary was a governor, a business leader, or a buddy of the president? Nothing that the secretary did had any immediate—or even long-range—impact on the life of schools until NCLB. The secretary of education had a bully pulpit, and from that bully pulpit he or she...


Dear Diane, Given that, in my own childhood, people of color couldn’t go up the front elevator of my apartment building in NYC’s West Side, Obama’s victory is an amazing, if belated, triumph. I still only half-believe it happened. But it’s also been a long, long time since we’ve had someone who is as thoughtful, reflective, smart, and knowledgeable in the presidency—of any color or party. That’s equally impressive. Obama is an intellectual in the best sense of that word. I’m proud to have been part of this election in so many...


Dear Deborah, I have the advantage of writing you after the election. Unlike you, I was not active in the campaign (full disclosure: I contributed to Hillary Clinton in the primaries). Election night, nonetheless, was thrilling. For the first time, I felt the force of Barack Obama's charisma that night, and it was powerful. His eloquence moved me. And I felt incredibly proud that our nation elected this man. The symbolism is unbelievable. I don't know of any other nation in the world that has elected a person descended from a group that is a relatively small minority with a ...


Editor's note: Due to a busy travel schedule, Deborah Meier composed this entry before Tuesday's presidential election. Dear Diane, I'm on the road and writing you before Election Day (even though this won't be posted until after the big day). But I can't wait until Wednesday to respond since I'll be on my way to the Coalition of Essential Schools' Annual Fall Forum in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday. Some thoughts on my recent experiences... Canvassing in Franklin County, Penn., is intriguing. Sitting eating lunch on Sunday with my Obama cap on, a lady came over and whispered to me ...


The opinions expressed in Bridging Differences are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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