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

Comments: 119

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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!!

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Tom Kanas
East Islip TA (NY)
Hillsborough, NC

President Obama's speech was right on. It is abundantly clear to anyone with an open mind, that this president has the right ideas about how to get the country and the American people back on track to a much richer and fulfilling life for all AMERICANS. Anyone and I mean anyone, who knows better should do better, therefore education should be at the top of the list to get America back in front and on top. It is unfortunate that we have people in the most important offices in this land, who are greedy and self serving, thinking only of how they will profit and move their agenda, for themselves and their cronies.

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leodell biering
lytle, TX

Much needs changing in education. AFT needs to meet the president half-way to ensure we do more than "teach to the test", that funding is reliable and simplified and that ineffective teachers make way for new, enthusiastic, eager effective teachers. Find a way the unions can structure a real pay for performance approach or the govt will do it for us.

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Linda Brosh
NUSD
Novato, CA

Obama's speech was too general, did not address specifics. Sounded like a campaign speech by someone who does not want to run on his record but is trying to tell people what they want to hear. Some of his statements contradicted themselves, especially about taxing oil. Gas at the pumps has tripled in price since he took office, causing inflation of prices in all goods, especially food. Teachers in La. are under attack from a Republican governer and while he said that is a bad thing he has offered no plan to change it, as with his attack on the dismantling of Unions- what is his plan? The only plan I heard was "tax the rich".

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Ken Augenstein
Lake Charles, LA

I feel that the president hit it on the head about supporting our teachers and all the educators in our schools. I also think that we should take a hard look at the oil companys for if the price of gas continues to climb not only will it take its toll on the middle class, who are trying alredy to keep above water, it will also take its toll on schools and reaching out to those rural communities. Not only should we make the banking system acountable but also the oil companys. They are doing the same thing by gouging the little man.

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gloria lundin
dalas 32
dallas, OR

President Obama was great and very accurate. I support his efforts but the obstacle still remain congress.

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Samuel Bundrant
Highlands Ranch, CO

Mr. Obama has steadely turned into a "Walking Mass of Contradictions". No second term for me.

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Amado Puentes
Bromx, NY

President Obama's State of the Union Address was exactly what this country needed to hear. His message was loud and clear: restore the nation's economy through a strong middle class, education, and all citizens paying their fair share. He made more sense than any politician currently in the spotlight.

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Rosemarie Scutero
Harrison Association of Teachers
Harrison , NY

There is so little he has been right about the past few years, but yes, public education is of tremendous importance. Charter schools being pushed in Louisiana are sucking public funds dry for schools struggling to improve their situations. Our education system also needs to change from the "college prep for everyone" focus. We need diverse opportunities at an earlier stage in our system.

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Tia LeBrun
CFT
Sulphur, LA

In addition to the comments you have highlighted, the President also continues to spread the myth that unions harbor "bad" teachers and that "bad" teachers are responsible for failing schools. The "good" teacher is presented as someone who "dips into their own pocket" to pay for supplies and volunteers their time. Imagine the President talking in such a way about doctors. Imagine measuring a physician's performance by the health of their patients.

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Heather Howley
Akron AAUP
Orrville, OH

Yes, Obama said many of the right things but only about 3 years late. He makes pretty speeches but then fizzles out on action. His Dept. of Ed. has continued the education destroying polices of Bush's No Child Left Behind. His economic polices have gone easy on the banks, favored borrowing over encouraging savers by not paying reasonable interest rates on savings, eased off on regulating Wall St., not aggressively worked to undo the damage of the Citizens United Sup. Ct. decision and ending the tsunami of money swamping out political system. And on and on. He says the economy is getting better. Maybe inside the Where has he been for 3 years?

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M. Kirshner
Wantagh United Teachers/NYSUT/AFT
Copiague, NY

It seems to me He is in the right track and doing the best.Ilove his discussion. He should be reelected for 4 yrs more so he can accomplish his goals.He Has accomplished many things which other president didn't. Lets re-elect him for 2012.

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altagracia Lama
uft
Maywood, NJ

I really liked the comments the president was making to strengthen education, our democracy, stop bashing teachers, and rebuild a strong middle class. I know that there needs to be some way to measure success in education, but I do not think it should be at the expense of good teachers and especially students. I hope all the state govenors were listening. It doesn't seem like NY (at least) is at all aligned with the president's thoughts on the future of education in this country. Shouldn't they be?

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B B
PDTA
Pittsford, NY

He has a firm grasp of the American Dream and the needs and hopes of the Middle Class. He has a strong sense of what is right for the nation -- taxing the rich, investigating Wall Street, etc. As an environmentalist, I am extremely worried that he supports so much off-shore drilling, especially since the BP disaster in the Gulf is not cleaned up and is still negatively affecting the ecology of the Gulf and its shores. He supports alternative energy, such a wind and solar, and I do, too. However, he gives too much support to natural gas, and fracking is dangerour for our air and water.

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S T Cooper
Richardson, TX

Words only go so far. We need to see action. Saying that we have to "stop bashing teachers" is one thing. Taking action to stop it is another.

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Andrew Spar
Volusia Teachers Organization
Ormond Beach, FL

Same baloney, different day. It doesn't matter on which side of his mouth he speaks from, you can't believe anything Obama says. He didn't grow up in this country and has no REAL ties to it. He doesn't give a hoot about anything but what goes into he and his cronies pockets. You have to be an idiot not to see his dishonesty!! As for the teachers in this country, we need to make it harder to obtain a teaching degree so we will have more cream of the crop teachers. The biggest problem is that PARENTS need to be PARENTS on a daily basis, set and enforce rules, and back the teachers up when the children are misbahaving in the classroom!!

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Vicki Squires
WVSSPA
Mineral Wells, WV

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