AFT - American Federation of Teachers

Shortcut Navigation:
 
Email ShareThis

Voices Question

View all General questions

General: What are your thoughts on President Obama's State of the Union address?

Comments: 119

If all people listened with open ears then what they heard was not a state of the union but rather a campaign speech. Not at all what I wanted to hear!!

Vote

Deborah Wood
Goose Creek Federation of Teachers
Baytown, TX

I'm taired of all this BS. I'll be straight to the point. Less talk and more doing as 'Actions speak louder than words!' This applies to everything.

Vote

Carmen Orozco
UTLA
Hacienda Heights, CA

We are all looking for ways to improve education. Without a doubt increasing education funding and providing world class media and information availability would be a big help. But there is more that needs to be done. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE need to make their children getting a world class education a top priority. It must start with the students understanding what a blessing an education is and that it is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO GO AFTER IT. Getting an education has to be everyone's top priority in this country; not just politicians and teachers. We all need to invest financially and with our, sincerest best effort to be successful

Vote

Rick Murphy
Flower Mound, TX

I would rate the speech as one of his better ones. Stating that teaching to test is not going to help students is right on. In California, we have too many furlough days, too many testing periods! The teachers who are Union members need to speak louder and encourage their boards to make noise at the state levels [the superintendent of schools and the governor]. Too often the teachers just accept a mandate and never question it. Morever, parents must become more involved with their child's education and not expect the educators to be the caretakers of their child's future.

Vote

Darlene Johnson
OFTSE1273
Port Hueneme, CA

As a teacher for the past thirty years, I have seen many children grow up in the United States as undocumented immigrants. The DREAM Act is essential for the future of these young people as Americans. It was not their choice to come to the United States. They have grown up in our schools and graduated with honor and distinction. They are 'Americans' in every sense of the word. Let's give them the future they deserve by passing the DREAM Act. As far as immigration reform, this is the place to begin, with the children. President Obama, I implore you as a teacher, a mother and a proud American, to keep your promise to help.

Vote

Rita L Fischer
Elba Central School
Elba, NY

I support him and in general thought the speech was good, however am not sure about what his plans are when he says great teachers should be paid more. Is this merit pay?

Vote

Sharon Reed-Erickson
RFT
Rochester , NH

President Obama's expression of support for creativity in our profession was a positive sign, but his reference to dismissing teachers who don't measure up was unnecessary and insulting. The space to be creative and independent attracted me to the profession, but in recent years I have been demoralized by the emphasis on testing and scripted, restrictive curricula. I work at a school that made AYP for the first time in years last year, and the vast majority of my colleagues and I work very hard for our students. Pres. Obama did us a disservice by pandering to teacher-bashers with his comment, and avoided bigger issues of social justice.

Vote

Erica Darken
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
Philadelphia, PA

As usual, President Obama said all the right things. I don't believe him. Where was he last year when teachers and workers in Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin were raked over the coals by their own states. He said nothing. I bet he will be more than happy to take our money at campaign time.

Vote

Trish Foley
Northwest Coop
Crown Point, IN

President Obama needs to put actions behind his words! When he says this and supports the mass firing of teachers in Rhode Island, doesn't include teachers in his education summit, and does not place a lifelong professional educator into the position of Secretary of Education how are teachers and education profession to believe him? He provides the type of "High Quality" education that he publicly advocates for his daughters, but not for my children who attend Public schools!

Vote

Kenny Blankenship
United School Employees of Pasco
Land O Lakes, FL

Let's just hope it gets translated into action. Teacher education programs need to be revamped and strengthened, particularly in math and science. I am not against merit pay, either-but have never seen a fair way to apply it, as the measure has always been test scores, and as we all know, we can't accurately determine a teacher's worth that way. I'd like to hear him say something to parents about being more involved and responsible for their children's education, also.

Vote

Valerie Davisson
Irvine, CA

I felt encouraged by the President's speech. Although I knew he favored more creative ways of meeting objectives rather than simply teaching standards to be tested, I haven't actually heard him verbalize it. I would like to know his immediate plans for moving away from such strict testing practices and how the Department of Education can be reformed to drive states toward this new direction.

Vote

Yonna Fogle
Fairhope, AL

His Race to the Top is a stark intensification of the Bush NCLB regime in which teachers are systematically scapegoated. It's all well and good for him to say that they should stop bashing teachers, but he and Arne Duncan are the prime culprits - and continue to be. Did he not also call for "increased competition" to insure better schools? Code for testing and firing. I'm not impressed. It's too bad AFT seems so happy. Nothing has changed and we are getting laid off by the thousands. Go peddle your rah-rah BS somewhere else!

Vote

Hobie Hukill
AFT Local 2260
Dallas, TX

I thought the president's speech was clear and powerful.I wonder if he can answer why the State of Illinois is planning to cut pension benefits of the hard working teachers and administrators.In Chicago,we are being "kicked to the curb"by the very people we put there!

Vote

Carl Wanzung
Chicago, IL

I appreciate much of what President Obama said, and it is no question he is a luminary compared to every Republican in the race. But there is one thing that saddens me. Because President Obama has advocated charter schools and corporate educational ventures, and has not defended the teachers' unions, he has actually contributed to the climate of teacher-bashing. Has anyone else noticed that the Republicans in the debates have publicly praised him for only 2 things: killing Osama Bin Laden, AND 'taking on the teachers' unions.' That's a sad commentary.

Vote

Nancy Meacham
Nancy Meacham
Swampscott, MA

I liked Obama's speech, for the most part, but he needs to be educated as to the motivation of teachers. The concept of bonus pay for some teachers is not realistic. Teachers do not teach for monetary rewards. Bonus pay could be divisive and subject to misuse by some administrators. I also didn't like Obama's emphasis on getting rid of teachers as opposed to helping them become more effective.

Vote

Barbara Wilson
San Francisco
San Rafael, CA

I think his comments about more testing as a way to improve teaching is not helping teachers in poor areas. They don't test well. Also Spanish speaking students. He should fire Arne Duncan he's just a rerun of NCLB. I like his approach to immigrants and a clear path to citizenship.

Vote

peter hatch
PVFT
aptos, CA

The State of the Union Address reaffirmed many of the values of AFT. The Unions can continue to be proactive especially in Virginia. The Governor is promoting budget measures at the cost of education. The Virginia Beach (Virginia) School Board is planning to cut teachers with less than three years experience. Portsmouth Virginia educators have forgone raises for the "sake of the children" for at least four years. It is a paradox, Dominian Power received an increase and overcharged the public. There will be a refund approximately $3.00 per customer. Mandates without funding is the norm rather than the exeception. We must have unity.

Vote

Lena Simmons
AFT 4261
Portsmouth, VA

go on the offense and tell the facts of what the republicans have done to this country, ruined the american economy, and destroyed the middle class.

Vote

mike harris
austin, TX

Thank you for a strong backing for the working class and the importance for a well grounded education for everyone. I believe you have improved our country during these trying times. I pray God will bless you in the coming year in guiding our country.

Vote

Cecilia Scileppi
Neshanic Station
Neshanic Station, NJ

I completely agree with President Obama's statements about education, both K-12 and higher education. Unfortunately, I do not believe his message will be heeded. My state has steadily cut funding for higher education until my university is more a private institution than a public institution based upon funding.

Vote

William Claxon
Aiken, SC

Always talks a good game lets wait and see how he moves forward.No help coming from the right, time to do what you can without them.We're waiting.

Vote

john carpenter
millstadt, IL

President Obama tells it the way it is and speaks the truth. I voted for him and still spport what he stands for and wants to change if only the Republicians would quit thieir games by blocking his ability to implement his vision.

Vote

Christine Taylor
Tucson, AZ

Agree wholeheartedly wit President Obama-testing has deteriorated education and needs to be stopped. AIMS and benchmarks take away precious time that educators haeto really engage the students in real education.

Vote

Christine Taylor
Tucson, AZ

President Obama's Speech was like a fire had been lit under him. He is a great orator, but that is it. He has not done anything to focus on education in the three years he has been in office. He speaks well, but his actions don't show he means it. I agree with our school systems needing to change the focus to the kids becoming life long learners, not becoming test takers. Our curriculum is test based and we spend time teaching to the test. I agree when he said teachers need to be treated with respect. We are highly educated, earn 4+year degrees and have to continue education annually. Where is the change Obama speaks of?

Vote

Diane Moore
Allen!, TX

More empty promises with no specific solutions given. He is doing more harm by dividing this country than any president in history. His class warfare is his only strategy. This man is a joke and I am appalled that my union strongly supports his continued plan to destroy this nation. Shame on you!!

Vote

Tom Kanas
East Islip TA (NY)
Hillsborough, NC

Display items per page.

Submit your comment