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

Comments: 119

I believe the vision of President Obama regarding education needs to become a reality. If education continues to become an issue that is politicized the growth and forward thinking once found in our schools that is necessary to escape the stagnation prevalent today will be lost forever to the budget cuts currently sweeping the country. When cuts have to be made in New York the first to go will be the electives such as music, theatre, dance, psychology, art, foreign languages and business classes(who needs computers anyway). These cuts are already being discussed as there is less money than last year after large cuts in 2011.

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Rich Weeks
nysut Lindenhurst schools
Middle Island, NY

I loved President Obama's speech. Thank you, Mr. President.

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Carl Bradley
San Felipe, TX

In Texas we do not have unions but we do have teacher organizations. I loved President Obama's speech. He was forceful and I appreciated his stand that we are one nation and it should be a nation of equity and fairness in all areas.

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Sandra Bradley
San Felipe, TX

I loved President Obama's address. He is a strong leader who not only came into a mess left by the Republican President and Party, but also has to fight to get anything done. They oppose him at every step and will not work with him. I hope they listen to his message on Tuesday night and work together to solve the issues he addressed and do it THIS year. The middle claass cannot wait another year to gain some relief in this ecomony!

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Sharon Mierow
DISD
Dallas, TX

Regarding the President's speech and the way in which it impacts education, I offer a simple solution for consideration: ELIMINATE the U.S. Dept. of Education and return the overseeing of education to the states where it belongs! In so doing, we would be getting rid of "No Child Left Behind," "Race To The Top," and whatever cute little catch-phrase that an overpaid bureaucrat could come up with.

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Karl Reger
Marlborough, MA

I strongly agree with President Obama's comment about public schools. Our republican friends in our Texas Legislature told us when we visited Austin that we would not recogniae public schools when they were finished. And they cut away at public schools. We must preserve our middle class.

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Ella McGovern
Arlington, TX

I thought he had a positive message for the country that highlighted equality with regard to all citizens rather than a select few. The thought that the middle class is not being short changed by carrying the load of all citizens was refreshing. I am not against having wealth for those who have it but I am against taking advantage of the wealth by using loopholes to sequester that wealth by not sharing the burdans that society brings as a responsibility of citizenship. THe defenders of such a notion have a hard sell with anyone who is educated and realizes that they are being taken advantage of by various smoke and mirrors tactics.

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D Miller
TALC
North Ft Myers, FL

Obama's comments about the educational system were dead on correct. Great teachers as he spoke of are what get kids excited about learning and wanting to work to get a good education. I say hooray for recognition on his part of what needs fixing and getting started.

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Marilyn Chappell
Houston, TX

President Obama’s speech was packed with facts, plans and inspiration. It was great to hear that he understands the situation that students and teachers are in at this time. I approve this message!

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Marion Helland
Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers
Golden Valley, MN

Loved It! Go President Obama! The United States at it's best!! We need to stop complaining and get to work on making this country even greater.

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Rhonda Williams
New Orleans
New Orleans, LA

I thought that it was excellent. Now, I want to see him get out and use the "bully pulpit" to push the agenda he spoke about. My fear is that, for whatever reason, he lacks the passion to follow through. He seems to give up the high ground too often before the Republican leadership has made any serious compromise. As I said, I thought it a great speech. He has in my opinion been reluctant to use the power of his office to put the Republicans on the defensive. Teddy R. a R. Progressive wasn't bashful. I will do whatever I can to help him, because too much is at stake. We can't give up the Affordable Care Act for the millions who need it.

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Dale N. Kindred
KCFT & SRP 691T
Kansas City, KS

The problem is is the Race to the Top is causing state and local school district administrations to evaluate teachers and schools based on test scores. That has to change.

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Paul Wortman
UFT
New York, NY

With a $40 million dollar deficit for our district we need help in funding our schools - we are loosing staff and needs continue to educate our next generation - our state has put in a waiver to opt our of NCLB - but are concern now is funding of pensions and salaries. We need help from Congress sooner than later - What can AFT do to help the local union protect jobs when the money is drying up! We need help immediately to solve these difficult issues. That you for allowing me to express my concerns.

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cherise arthur
OSEA Beaverton Chapter
Beaverton, OR

Remarks were all positive relative to what's needed, but will there be action? We've heard the words before but have never seen action. At least he didn't present a pro-abortion position.

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Ardel Nelson
Los Rios AFT
Sacramento, CA

I thought the speech well thought out, hopeful, inspiration, and forward thinking. However; I hope that he can in a second term make all of the changes necessary to put our country back on track. I also think that he needs to be more forceful. He's the boss, show it! He needs to show that he has a set of BIG ########. I don't want our country to continue being the police of the world, continue to give monies to countries that are corrupt, and we need to stop getting into useless and worthless WARS. We need to spend money at home: creating schools for engineers, bettering education, fixing intra-structure, health care for all, etc.

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Yvonne Perez
New York State Teacher
Port Jefferson Station, NY

I think Obama's claim that we cannot be so test focused would carry a lot more weight if he and Arnie Duncan were not trying to up the test focus through the back door. The requirement that in order to get a waiver that the states include student test scores as part of an evaluation will skew the focus even more on tests by many people. I also think if he knew anything about teachers in our schools he would not say some teachers spend their own money to support their students. He should say most teachers or almost all. I know several hundred teachers at least and I do not know one who does not contribute their money to their classroom.

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Jennifer Formoso
Oakland Education Association
Oakland, CA

Great speech and good ideas but talk is cheap. It is a shame the other party is locked into a failed plan for America. The 99% will vote for the good of the 100%.

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joe battista
pef
poughquag, NY

President Obama is a hypocrite. On the national news he announced to the world that it was okay to fire me even though I had received 4.0 ratings as a teacher, rated by the Rhode Island Department of Education as a "Highly Qualified Teacher" and was nominated Rhode Island History Teacher of the Year. There were 90 teachers that were fired that day without justification. Supported by Arne Duncan, Obama made sure that our names and reputations were tarnished forever. So no we won't be voting for him.

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Robert Scappini
RIAFT/Central Falls RI
Central Falls, RI

Everything the President said made sense to me.

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Jeanne Parker
1274 NSTU
Skokie, IL

The President clearly agrees with Mayor Bloomberg regarding merit pay. He believes "good" teachers should get paid more and "bad" teachers should be fired. No acknowledgement of the politics infesting our schools or the ridiculous mandates and constraints placed upon teachers by inexperienced and Academy-indoctrinated principals (micromanagement). No mention that a teacher's influence is limited to 10 months a year from 8-3 or that one teacher may have a bright class, and another have students with special needs. Most importantly, since money is of utmost importance, why wouldn't principals replace one senior teacher with two new hires?!

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Angelina Babino
Staten Island UFT
Staten Island, NY

Obama has stood for the things he said he would. Why do some people think that it happens immediately? The GOP has only one "game" plan, and that is to take over all power to send this country back into a Republican depression. There is no reason to let the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, except the Gop. My dad used to call this country a "pirate society", meaning that pirates used to seek havens where they could do whatever they wanted. The GOP is our new pirate society, and they do not care about the average citizens who only want to take care of their families.

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Thomas Kaptor
Rehoboth Beach, DE

I agree with the President, on many levels. I am tired of hearing everyone bash his tenure...he has been trying desperately to keep America afloat...the Republican Party has gone TOO far, giving him no help in his efforts to make our country better. The people who bad mouth the educators of our nation, have not been "in the trenches"...even parents who blindly support their children, because they do no wrong, do not understand how disrespected our teachers are...it is very sad. A call needs to go out to our society for a "reality check" on giving respect where it is due. His address is a start.

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Pauline Peters
BESPA
Baldwinsville, NY

I was so happy to hear President Obama say he wanted teachers to have to stop teaching to the test and that he knows that research indicates what a powerful effect a good teacher has on his/her students. I was also very happy to hear that he understands that education is terribly underfunded, especially here in California. I really hope some changes come from his administration to help teachers and education because it's a big mess right now!

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Michele Janette-Ulrich
PFT
Poway, CA

Not pleased with holding teachers accountable. I work in a high school with children with special needs, class numbers have exceeded legal size in the number of students. Paraprofessionals are not always helping students or teachers cause there hours have been cutt and their job duties increased. Children enter high school without knowing how to read. Holding the teacher accountable is not the answer, funding is a solution. Funding not for already high paid administrators!

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Zora Baron
204
morris, IL

Yes, President Obama suggested that the "teacher bashing" stop. However, his Secretary of Education has led policies that do nothing but bash teachers. The idea of the "highly effective" teacher based soley on standardized test scores is at best misguided, at worst a full-frontal assault against public schools. The current administrations infatuation with charter schools demonstrates their total lack of understanding of the challenges of public schools.

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Sean Black
DCTA
Johnstown, CO

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