A Letter For Change

Demand Change From Your Chamber Of Commerce

Here is an example letter that may help guide you:

Dear ___________________

I am writing to you as a concerned citizen who is perplexed by the never-ending stream of bad news about the performance of our public schools. Each year we see state test scores (Indiana) that are deplorable. On the US assessment tests, scores on the 8th grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 2019, found that barely 3 in 10 students are proficient in both math and reading. Our international rankings are unacceptable, and some are getting worse. We see no apparent action to correct the problems. Why do we tolerate such poor performance? As a nation we have always prided ourselves on the quality of our K-12 educational system. This is certainly not the case today. 

We are entering a period of severe reductions in graduates of educational programs. The more recent forecasts predict a dramatic shortage of approximately 200,000 out of a need of 300,000. We must take actions that will redirect graduates into teaching; we are already too late but begin we must. 

Why am I writing to you?  The Chamber has a deep vested interest in the quality of the state’s K-12 education system. I am hoping I can motivate you to action. Basically, I am recommending that the state replicate the study team approach used by the state of Maryland. They commissioned a team to take a comprehensive look at their entire public school system. The Maryland legislature established the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education in 2016. The study team was comprised of 25 individuals appointed by various policymakers and education organizations. They were not pleased with their findings; their schools have many problems, for example only 40% of their high school graduates were college or career ready. This was a shock since they are in the top tier of states re school quality. This reform proposal was passed by the Maryland legislature in 2021 with a veto-proof majority.  To learn more about what Maryland did, go to my website: elevateteachers.org and click on Lessons then click on Lesson 19.

By the way, a group of Massachusetts businessmen initiated a similar study in the 1990s and Mass. ended up as the number one state for K-12 public education. 

An old high school teacher hammered this into all of us: education is the Bulwark of Democracy. Just as our education is slipping badly so is our democracy.