It’s your turn! What do you want to hear in next week’s State of the Union?


It might be the across-the-board cuts that would devastate students in your school, the poor, and vulnerable and middle class families. Or the need to act now to put a halt to gun violence and protect our children. Maybe you think it’s high time Congress devise common-sense and comprehensive immigration reform that would enable millions of hard-working students and their families to have an opportunity to work toward their citizenship.

Arizona math teacher and National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel, in his letter to President Barack Obama about the State of the Union, spoke about the challenges educators and their students face every day:

Our members still see the impact of the troubled economy as their students continue to come to school hungry, sick or in need of counseling and other services. We try every day to mitigate the isolation and depression that so many students feel due to bullying, cultural and language differences within their schools, difficult family environments, and more.  We see parents every day who worry about whether their jobs are secure and how they will afford to send their children—our students—to college. Across the country, we have been grieving the senseless loss of students and fellow educators in tragic school shootings—shootings that force us to relive all those that have occurred since 1997 in Paducah, Kentucky.

Whatever the issue or issues you think President Obama should address in Tuesday evening’s State of the Union address, we want to hear from you. Next week, we’ll share with you the thoughts, concerns and hopes of your fellow EdVotes readers.

Who knows? Your comment might be featured.

Fill in your cell phone number above to receive text messages from Education Votes.
Submission of your entry constitutes permission for NEA to use your name, story, and other submitted information in connection with NEA’s “Kids Not Cuts” campaign. We may, for example, provide compilations of your comments to national leaders and other individuals participating in our efforts, without disclosing email addresses. We may also make comments along with your city and state available to the press and public online.  In addition, by clicking submit, you are expressing your consent for your comments or stories to be used in any future NEA publications.

Reader Comments

  1. The Department of Education and our non-educator, U S Secretary of ED need a clue that poverty does play a major role in education of children in the USA. They need to stop placing ALL the blame of annual testing on the teachers of children of poverty. And we need to stop teaching to a test!! When children growing up in poverty score significantly lower THROUGHOUT the USA, its time to do the research and support educators rather than blaming them. Prenatal, home environment, drugs and alcohol, nutrition, health care, hunger, fear in dangerous neighborhoods, lack of resources in poor schools, etc. And yes, some bad or poorly trained teachers.

  2. In working with many challenged students, I find the practices in this testing to be significantly flawed in judging their ability to work towards a fulfilling career & adult life. This test shows NOTHING regarding the will to achieve, overcoming their physical & mental difficulties, or their personal advancement within their limitations. It also does NOTHING to compare variations in home settings or parental encouragement. THAT is why a live teacher SHOULD be making these assessments, not lawmakers trying to keep getting elected with fancy soundbites.

  3. It’s disgraceful to see how people that were 2nd homeowners were treated, or actually ignored by FEMA. We pay double the taxes others in our state have done. Take our money then leave us out in the cold…where’s the equality?

  4. I want to see the repeal of the No Child Left Behind Act. People who know nothing about education are in a position to pass laws that ruin education for teachers and students alike. Our most talented people are not going into education because of the low salaries and the fact that teachers are now nothing but test coaches and test administrators. There are no more “aha” moments in education. All that matters is AYP. Teachers whose students score the lowest on standardized tests are fired and marginalized, when the results may be due to the abilities of the students, including mainstreaming, hunger, depression, poverty, etc.

    Let’s make education mean something again. Let’s have fun in the classroom while learning is taking place.

    1. I agree with other comments about testing and no child left behind. The class curriculum are being affected by the time it takes to teach to the test. Teachers are not allowed to teach a broader spectrum in areas of history, English, writing, and science. The teachers are mentally exhausted spending time giving the tests and the students are bored and frustrated with taking the tests. States are cutting the fine arts when it has been proven that music and art increase children’s ability to improve in other areas. Physical education is being cut when 1 out o 8 children are becoming obese. We need to improve our classes rooms by allowing for more innovative and creative thinking, Class sizes need to be reduced not increased. You can not effectively teach elementary students when there are 30-32 children in a class. More students are coming to school with ADD, austism and other behavioral issues which need to be addressed. Teachers cannot be effective and find their jobs fullfilling when curriculum are cut and testing is increased. Teachers need to be paid more since most teachers put in a minimum of a 60 hour week. Any teacher who I know including myself who are single, have at least one or two second jobs to support themselves. I have been teaching 30 plus years and seen education becoming more complicated and time consuming every year. I do not want to carry a gun at school even thought I do know how to shoot. I don’t think this is the answer. Our country has the highest rate of gun crime in the world. I think we need to rethink who needs fire arms. I do not think citizens need any multi-round guns of any kind.

  5. I want to hear that the social safety nets and education will be strengthened, that our involvement in foreign wars will be reduced, and that the right wing of the GOP will be ignored to extinction by all thoughtful members of Congress and the electorate. If the last of the three doesn’t come to pass, I want to hear that the GOP has been dissolved and a second party worthy of the designation of major U.S. political party will arise from the ashes of the debacle the GOP has allowed itself to become. I want to see individual protections as opposed to protection for the powerful, the wealthy, and the dictatorial.

    1. I am proud to be a right wing Republican, and do not consider the right-wingers to be dictatorial. I consider the left-wing Democrats and the RINO Republicans to have leanings towards setting up a “dictatorship of the proletariat”, as described in the Communist Manifesto.
      The right-wingers favor a return to constitutional and limited government, which is the opposite of the large government characteristics of a dictatorship.
      I also would like to see the dissolution of the US Department of Education, as it violates the 10th Amendment, which gives only limited power to the Federal Government.

      1. Thomas, you are right on! A former blinded liberal, I now see what’s happening in our country. People have little emotional intelligence and and are swayed away from any logic. The media wants us to believe (as well as Mr. O in the White House) that the constitution is irrelevant! No wonder we’re losing our foothold. I am neither a Democrat or a Republican, but the latter makes far more sense these days! Will we survive the next four years and what about our children??

      2. You’re right: We don’t need the Department of Education. After Congress balances the budget, if there is any money left, it could be sent directly to the states for education. States are perfectly able to determine how best to spend the money.How much bureaucracy do you need to write 50 checks?

  6. We don’t need more laws. We need a better look at what is the cause of the violent culture we have. The use of firearms are just a symptom. Look at the number of killings with knives, blunt objects, vehicles.

    Most of the gun violence is gang and drug related. Close up the border, where the majority of Drugs come in to this country. That would have an impact on the gangs. They can’t sell and fight over drug turff with out drugs.

    As for school safety. Hire security. We have armed guard at sociual security oiffices, Don’t children deserve protection too. When you have a demented person you can’t stop them with laws. The killer at Newtown murdered 27 people. He wasn’t concerned about breaking gun laws in the least. Every major City has a black market for guns. news media can find them quite easily to do their reports. The criminals know how to find them. Studies show less than 2% of criminal buy their weapons in legal venues. Shame the government can’t find them.

    But it”s easier for politicians to scvare the public, pass laws that only effect the law abidding and pat themselves on the back for the good the have done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *