Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Act II: Hello, teachers? This is Arne Duncan.

By on May 26, 2010

In my last post, I wrote the following:

There is definitely a common theme among them all: disappointment. But there’s another common theme as well: hope. We hope this is the start of something. We hope that the door remains cracked open. We hope that our voices can one day be joined with others in offering suggestions, not in asking questions.

Well, it seems that in light of the evidence from the last 24 hours, Arne Duncan and the DOE felt disappointment too and reached out to us in what can only be defined as hope after a very awkward call for us all.

Yesterday afternoon, the phone rang in two classrooms in two different parts of the country: one in California and one in Kansas. And the voice on the other line introduced himself as Arne Duncan. Anthony Cody (read his account of the conversation here) and Marsha Ratzel (read her really beautiful beat-for-beat post here), two educators who have been the executive producers of our recent campaign to get teachers to the policy table, both spoke to Duncan who apologized for uncomfortable and technologically strained call.

He went on to ask about their experiences, he sought input about some key issues, and insisted that he was interested in this being the beginning of a conversation with our group, not the end of one.

We are still at the table, fellow teachers. And it is clear that we have both parties trying to make this dialog work. Sometimes it feels like a Tower of Babel, yes, with two groups trying to speak the same language, but maybe the disappointment of an awkward call becomes our Rosetta Stone.

It is clear that the door is not closed. In fact, it has creaked open ever wider.

I will, of course, update you as I learn more.

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  1. Marsha Ratzel
    May 27, 2010

    You’re right on Heather….maybe this is our wakeup call.

    I really am starting to think that this was just the opening bell of finding a new way to influence our communities. I don’t mean just the federal government….you know that I think we can really only achieve meaningful reform if it is locally dervied and developed. It has to be a function of what we know about our classrooms and taps into our expertise.

    So we need to brainstorm about how to activate our virtual networks….how each of us can develop more and more voices. We need to draw out each other…maybe in the grand tradition of National Board type reflective thoughts…and get this ball moving.

    You’re one of the queen’s of 21st century technology so we’ll probably be counting on someone like you to write and mobilize us!!! You go girl.

  2. devry university locations
    August 4, 2010

    Disappointment happens because they don’t listen. We can only ask but we can’t suggest. This problem must be resolved soon or else our education system will continuously fall. Thank you for sharing this information. I truly appreciate your effort.

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