About a month ago, thousands watched President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union. Including us! And a month later, discussion has become fruitful and interesting. Of course, being the group we are, we specifically paid attention to the country’s new education policies and ideas. Here’s a quick sum-up.
Obama started off by telling us that America has been, and is currently, improving tremendously in regards to education. High school graduation rates have spiked, and none but teachers are to thank. According to past State of the Union speeches, emphasizing education is not considered particularly conventional or protocol, and teachers across the country appreciated the necessary change of focus. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, stated:
“A vibrant economy and a high-quality public education system…starts with investing in early childhood education, making college affordable, making public schools the center of communities, and equipping students with essential life skills.”
According to an article in the US News, Weingarten also agreed that Obama’s first words being about education definitely “highlighted the importance of educators and our schools in helping our children achieve their dreams.”
Speaking of making schools affordable, Obama also brought up the need to increase access of affordable childhood education. In the past, Obama has entreated for affordable preschool access across the nation, and though this plan has yet to fully pan out, the idea is budding, and many states have begun to provide funding for their preschool programs.
Obama also resurfaced some of his older education policies, stating that he expects to enhance them and enforce them even further throughout the next couple of years. He accounted for the Race to the Top program and referred to the Common Core State Standards, and briefly mentioned the notorious No Child Left Behind Act.
The President also re-mentioned his previous proposal, “ConnectEd.” It’s nothing short of an online mega-highway for American schools. Obama hopes to connect up to 99% of the nation’s school districts within the next five years, and allow students to receive an superior, digital, 21st century learning experience.
And on top of all this early education talk, Obama also promised to help graduate students deal with the heaps of student loan debt they are “trapped” in, because not only is it effecting our students and families, but the economy as well. So Obama covered all his education bases in this year’s State of the Union.
As politics goes, some people are entirely happy with the speech, and others aren’t too pleased with. What are your opinions? Let us know in the comments below!