The World

[as I find it]

Letter to the Vermont NEA

I have written a letter to the President and Vice President of the Vermont National Education Association about supporting the use of Free Software in Vermont schools. As I pointed out to them, I believe that free software should be used in schools because it:

  • eases the pressure on schools to spend less, which is currently a hot issue in Vermont
  • gives teachers more control over the software used in their classrooms
  • removes the educational ceiling we are currently imposing on curious students by using proprietary software
  • emphasizes educators’ respect for and interest in students’ individual freedoms
  • exposes students to an environment where cooperation and helping others is the norm, and teaches them that there are alternatives to the proprietary software world’s values of dividing users and profiting from helplessness

I am hoping to send similar letters to community newspapers and state representatives soon, because I believe that drumming up community support is an important part of any transition to free software; the benefits are lost (and the point is missed) if schools or other organizations impose free software on teachers and students.

To that end, if you would like to use the letter to voice your own support for this issue, please feel free to do so. I have posted a copy of the letter to Angelo Dorta, President of the Vermont NEA, here, in PDF format. (Please leave a comment if you would like to use the letter in another format.) You are free to copy and modify this letter under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. Please do not attribute any changes you make to me; in fact, I would prefer if you change the letter to include your own personal flourishes, and send it to people you know who might take an interest in the issue because your name is attached to it, not mine!

Thanks for your interest and for supporting better public education.

Creative Commons License

This letter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.


Written by whereofwecannotspeak

November 2, 2007 at 3:40 pm

Posted in Free Software, Ideas

3 Responses

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  1. Can you send me the letter is Microsoft Word 2007 format? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. 🙂

    This is very interesting and a great idea. Some of the best software out there is open source and free – Firefox, Thunderbird, Audacity, etc. Open Source also came a long way when Ubuntu started shipping on Dells.

    I have to say though that I don’t think open src. Office-competitors are ready for primetime yet. I haven’t seen anything as polished as Office yet. I know that it can be done – just as Thunderbird kills Outlook and Entourage for mail management.

    Great post.


    November 2, 2007 at 7:03 pm

  2. you’re still on this, i see.


    November 3, 2007 at 4:52 pm

  3. […] with my earlier letter to the Vermont NEA, you are free to copy and modify this letter under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution […]

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