Dear Mr. President

I don’t know how to speak with a president … but I can speak well enough with any father.

So, let us speak as fathers … and of the dreams we dream for our own children. And we should also speak of patience … and promises.

My own children are grown and flown … like most of yours. But new stars join the troupe … like your Barron … and my young Aidan. So, we are never very far from childhood.

I’ve seen you lose yourself in that boy’s face. I have. It’s the sort of thing I pay attention to because … because I do the same. All the time. That “circle of life” stuff gets extra-real in people our age. And finally … we learn to pay attention to what really matters. The sweet, small stuff … like a child’s face. 

You are a busy man. I am not so busy at all.

You are the president of a great country … and I am the chief of a very small tribe. You were once a famous business man … and I was once a not-so-famous history teacher.

So … you can see … we have much in common.

My responsibilities are very simple.  I am to be on time for baseball games … and uber folks from place to place. You? You are to worry about a country … and perhaps the rest of the world.

What busies you, hardly busies me.

You once spoke of pledges … and I spoke of the patience of parents.  Do you remember? 


Parents remember. It’s why you won their vote.

Schools have been nightmared. Children guinea-pigged. Poisoned by imposter-reformers and their educational idiocy. Schools are not as we remember.

So many seem intent on re-inventing childhood … swapping out sandboxes for hypnotizing iPads and abusive testing circumstances.

They’re calling out school leaders for odd-ball curriculum changes. Even demanding legislation for … are you ready, Mr. President? … for recess. For play time. For six year olds.

It’s that sick, sir.

They’re frustrated by politicians-turned-Socrates who dismiss their concerns … and permit creepy-freaky social engineers to bend the lives of their children.

Master-teachers … once the most trusted regents of our children … have been exiled to the edges of every reform discussion. Their common sense expertise suddenly dismissed as Dark Age know-how.

These hoaxers demand that hyper-dramatized assessments … tests …. be homaged as the new tools of educational excellence. Real-deal teachers are threatened into silent compliance. And so … hundreds of thousands of enraged parents are refusing abusive testing in state after state … Georgia … Texas … New York … Michigan … Florida.

The outrage is exploding. Haven’t you heard it, sir?

As you said in your rallies, this is what happens when schools are hijacked by interfering, disconnected theoreticians who pretend to understand children … and dare to claim parental regency over them.

It’s what happens when self-anointed wizards decide that only government can wrench us from fuzzy educational doom … and make us as advantaged as … as Sweden. And Singapore. Or Switzerland.  Yeah. The Big Three of the world!

Do you remember the thunderous cheers when you promised to end Common Core? And to return our schools to local control? 

Reassure us, Mr. President … our patience hangs on.

You have priorities … we understand. But we have been more than patient. 

We wonder … when is it our turn? Our moment for your attention?

Too many are intent on canceling childhood … morphing classrooms into joyless spaces where youngsters seem more the experiment than the learner.

The anger is thicker than ever. It’s a miracle schools haven’t been pitchforked by parent-mobs.

But still they wait. For you. And your promises.

They’ve been frustrated by stonewalling politicians who dismiss their concerns … and permit creepy-freaky, social engineers to bend the lives of their children. So they looked to you.

Now fraud gurus insist that “grit and rigor” are the imperative antidotes to wasteful childhoods which used to grow in fantasy and imagination.

It’s all so out of whack … 

And caught in this cyclone of nonsense are small people. Young children … like your Barron … and my Aidan. But not as well protected.


So … millions of innocents are anguished … and their parents agonized.

That’s what drove them to you … to place you in a position to help. They witnessed your oath to end Common Core … and they signed that contract in the ballot booth.

Never was the “Art of the Deal” so serious for so many.

They asked for their schools back … and for childhood to be restored.
And they’ve been waiting.

And waiting some more.

They asked that childhood be balanced again … in challenge and joy … so they, too, can dream dreams for their children.

So, they look to you once again. To speak to the future of their children.

Childhood is a quick moment. It’s the maker of first memories … and we make big deals of firsts. First words. First steps. First of everything.

Neither of us should never forget that school is a child’s first, great adventure. We fanny-pat them … and cup their small faces for one last boost. Then we send them off to the first solo-moment of their brand new lives. We’re both joyed and jittered.


You see … those were important promises, Mr. President..

So they signed on the dotted line. 

Now you have become the president of a great people … and I am still the chief of a small tribe.

One day, Barron and Aidan will read of this … and learn if we both kept our promises.

Let’s not disappoint anyone. 

Denis Ian










2 thoughts on “Dear Mr. President

Leave a Reply to judymarie81 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s