It’s a new day. My son was sick yesterday but is better now. He and my wife and I watched the inauguration, and now it all seems like a dream or a Disney movie, one of the vintage ones with the handsome prince, earthy princess and rascally daughters. A really good movie that you don’t want to end. A co-worker at school said, “Now I can be an American,” which I thought was a lovely sentiment. Yup, we can all be Americans now. But Obama also says that the challenges are great. They are and I hope in some way I can help meet them. I am against so much in No Child Left Behind, maybe even its core: the idea that you can improve student performance by decree. I’m proud of the school I teach at. I don’t think of it as “failing” even though it’s a “Program Improvement” school. I don’t think that the students are failures and I don’t think that the teachers are failures either. I think that there other things to blame: poverty being the main culprit. But what of similar schools that are out-performing us? What of impoverished people who lift themselves up? What of Barack Obama? I was watching a sports show a couple of days ago and the black co-hosts joked that the angry black man thing is over. I think the complaining teacher thing is also over, the helpless dad of an autistic kid thing. The hopeless thing, the regretful thing–they’re all so ’08. It’s time for Obama. It’s time for a new day.

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