The local news today announces how change -- bipartisan and united for the common good -- is supposed to work in these United States.
"Ritter backs change in teacher appraisal," the Denver Post's banner headline reads. The story under it tells how the lame-duck governor has signed on to a bill in the legislature that would change the way Colorado teachers are being evaluated for tenure.
The bill is opposed by teachers' unions, of course. Change frightens everyone, especially on a political stage (witness the year-long fight for health-care reform in this country, the continued bank opposition to financial reform, Taliban assassinations of officials in Kandahar, Afghanistan).
But progress happens, and fear will not stop it.
Such is the secret of Obama rule in America today. The president doesn't back down from getting the most substantial health-care reform in the nation's history just because some people oppose it. That's leadership.
Obama pushes for and gets game-changing reform because the people of the nation want their lives and the lives of their children to change for the better. They are willing to suffer temporary pain if it means making progress on dozens of challenges that face the nation.
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter chose not to run again for the very reason that he stepped into the public-school education debate going on right now in the legislature.
Without the political burden of having to appease teachers' unions, he can add his weight to the momentum of education reform which is favored by a majority of the people he governs.
Teachers need to be held accountable for their students' academic performance. If the students fail, their teachers have obviously failed; a teacher's livelihood ought to be affected by his or her success or failure in the classroom.
Obama has won on health care and he will win on financial reform because the time has come to make changes that improve the life of the republic. It takes time, political capital, real money, and a lot of hard work to affect real change in this country.
Speed kills, even in an Internet age. Life, politics, change and evolution go much slower. We must all remember to give each other the grace to change in our own time. The beauty in it all is that we have time to make the world a better place.