Save the National Writing Project From the Federal Cutting Block

Congress and our policy makers have their priorities wrong.

Nothing new, but now the impact is even greater because it hits everyone where it really hurts -- our teachers -- again. It isn't as though policy makers are ignorant that the key to better education is the teacher. Having a good teacher can make a huge difference for kids.

Knowing that, they still have cut funding to some of the most important educational support programs for teachers in the nation: the National Writing Project that supports thousands of classroom teachers in the teaching of writing; the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards that recognizes outstanding teachers; and Teach for America program that brings in new teachers from America's top universities.

Are we prioritizing education in this nation or not? Looks like NOT. We are prioritizing defense. Check their budget proposal -- $553 billion in core funding, and an additional $117.8 billion to directly fund the country's war effort.

The administration is worried about our failing schools; many parents in 'failing schools' are desperately looking for alternatives for their kids. We are all worried about our national crisis in education and look what we are doing -- cutting funding.

Cutting the funding for the National Writing Project puts in grave jeopardy a nationwide network of 70,000 teachers who, through 200 university-based Writing Project sites, provide local leadership for innovation and deliver localized, high-quality professional development to other educators across the country in all states, across subjects and grades. In the last year alone, these leaders provided services to over 3,000 school districts and 135,000 educators to raise student achievement in writing.

Rigorous research studies consistently demonstrate that gains in writing performance among students whose teachers participate in NWP programs outpace those of students in comparable classrooms. Here is a YouTube video that shows its impact on students.

This is what you can do--

Write to your Congressman, call him on the phone, complain!!! Don't just sit there and be depressed. We need to let Congress know that it is not OK to save money by jeopardizing the well being of our most precious asset -- our children.