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A DNC speaker who filled me with hope

In one sentence, here's why Dr. Jill Biden's speech at the DNC particularly inspired me:

If Joe Biden wins in November (and he has to win, for the sake of our democracy and our planet), there will at last be a teacher in the White House.

Not someone with a career in educational politics. Not someone who thinks of education as one more public issue to address. Someone who knows what it is to stand in a classroom, and who will be thinking about our schools and our teachers and our children every single day.

As a person who's been fighting for our schools for years – first at Portland Community College, then as a Chair of the Lake Oswego School Board, and always as the son of generations of educators – I've watched presidents of both parties sell our education system short.

Watching Dr. Biden speak from her empty former classroom at Brandywine High School, I felt more hope for our schools than I have in a long time. She talked not just about numbers, but about feeling; she reminded us that at its best, a school is a joyful place. She spoke about how Donald Trump's mismanagement of the coronavirus hasn't merely impeded learning – it's erased school communities.

Vice President Biden tells people,"Teaching is not what Jill does. It is who she is." As I think about the support Oregon schools will need from the next administration, I think not only about facilities and programs and budgets, but about those empty hallways and faded relationships. And when I imagine Dr. Jill Biden leading our national educational recovery, I feel hopeful, confident, and eager for 2021.

Best,

Rob

Posted on August 22, 2020.