November 21, 2009

Letter from our Director

These may not be Dickens’ worst of times, but they certainly are not the best either. Not only is our president pursuing an education policy that is sometimes hard to distinguish from his predecessor’s, but it appears he may escalate our troop involvement in Afghanistan, perhaps the worst country in the world for anyone to wage a war and one that our Nobel Peace Prize winner seems determined to wage anyway. If we could accept the notion of a just war, could enough be gained to offset the undoubted fact that more people will die; intolerance will increase; and our economy, already reeling from recession, will have to absorb the additional cost of war at the expense of other more socially pressing needs? During the Bush years, 1,517 young Americans died in that war, and in about ten months of the Obama Administration, at least 509 young people with hopes and dreams for the future have had their promising lives ended. Is this what a peace prize winner should do? I urge everyone to prepare new business items for your state assemblies and for next summer’s RA that would force the NEA to lobby harder for peace in Afghanistan. We must get the attention of our Nobel winner!

The following link,, leads to a letter to President Obama read by an eleven year old Californian named Ethan Matsuda about education and Afghanistan. It is worth hearing. The boy won the Golden state’s youth activism award four years ago, is the author of two books, and makes a stirring appeal for peace. Please take the time to click on this link. Then prepare that NBI.

Tom Wolfe
P&J Midwest Director

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