What Would You Tell President Obama about Education?

Update: So what did the President say about education?
  • I was really pleased with how he started. He started with parents and what happens at home like telling kids to turn off the tv/computer and do their homework. Because, yes, it starts at home.
  • He moved onto teachers but wasn't too hard on them. He talked about the need to support teachers (big standing ovation) and exit poor performers. For a split second, I thought he was going to talk about TFA but no, he asked students who want to help/serve their country, to consider teaching.
  • He talked about RTTT and how it spurred states to create innovative plans. What was really startling (but maybe I missed this somewhere) was him saying RTTT would "replace" NCLB.
  • Last, it was interesting because he didn't directly reference the failed Dream Act but stated that students who are the children of illegal immigrants who wanted to go onto college should be encouraged as well as those legal students who get exited from the country after they finish their college degrees. My husband, Mr. College Professor, agrees that it's nuts for someone who gets a master's or PhD to then have to leave the country especially in the hard sciences. It's brain drain.
So tonight is the State of the Union speech which should be slightly more interesting than usual. One, because some of the members of Congress have pledged to sit next to someone from a different party. I think that is a good step. (I was just listening to CNN and President Obama had most of the freshman House class - mostly Republicans, of course - over to the White House. It was funny when one Republican said it was very gracious of the President and Mrs. Obama to have them over to the White House and that it "humanized" Obama. )

Naturally the focus is going to be on the economy and job creation with some talk of civility and the tragedy in Tucson. But I do believe the President will have something to say about education so I'm going to listen in.

Also, fyi, the White House is going all out on this speech. After the speech, members of his staff will be available on-line to take questions. On Thursday at 2:30 p.m. EST (that would be 11:30 p.m. our time), the President will answer questions via live YouTube. Also on Thursday, there's an opportunity to ask Education Secretary Arne Duncan a question. This is at 3:15 EST (12:15 p.m. our time). Info on how to participate in all these events is at the link I provided.

I know what I would want to say if I were to speak to the President about public education but I want to hear from you first. What one or two questions/issues would you want to tell him about?


Greg said…
To what extent do you see a strong economy and strong population as important to our national security? Federal funding for the military is $741B in 2011. For education, it is $85B, about ten times smaller. Do you think that is the right balance?
Anonymous said…
To date, Obama has embraced the right wing dream of turning public education into a crony sector morass of war rackets.

"War Is A Racket
A speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC."


Is the performance of the education SYSTEM defensible? no.
Are teachers in charge of the SYSTEM? no.

WHEN / IF Obama starts employing people on the ground to help kids reach their potential, instead of just employing a new different set of 6 and 7 figure excuse making "leaders", I'll believe he's interested in more than keeping his $ocial $et of yuppie high flyer$ well employed, living in nice leafy neighborhoods.

Sahila said…
I would ask him why he's not making it possible for every child in the US to get the quality education his daughters are getting...

aren't all the kids in the US deserving of that?
ParentofThree said…
Unfortunely, Obama does not understand public education outside of knowing that a good education begins at home.

I think at the end of RTT we will see millions of wasted dollars, big business capitalizing on education reform and our schools gutted.

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