Tell us what you want to hear during the State of the Union


Teachers and education support professionals are driven day in and day out to do all they can to ensure that students have every opportunity to succeed. But they know that there are stressors outside the classroom that can have a profound effect on a student’s ability to learn, and that among these are inadequate housing, food and medical care.

President Barack Obama is expected to focus part of his State of the Union remarks next week on the increasing difficulty many families face in making ends meet, on the vanishing belief that if you work hard, you can get ahead.

Share your thoughts on what you would like to hear President Obama say. Are you concerned your students’ families are falling farther and farther behind economically? Do you believe early childhood education is essential to your students’ success? Do you think the government has a role to play in providing access to higher education to low-income and middle class students?

Use the form below and let us know what you want to hear from the State of the Union!

Disclaimer: We do not share the information you’ve given us with unaffiliated groups. We will not make any of your information publicly available, but we may transmit it to members of Congress and to the President as part of a petition. Education Votes will send you updates on this and other important campaigns by email. If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from our email list, you may do so.

Reader Comments

  1. The Obama administration, through Sec. Arne Duncan has become an enemy of public education, except in the advocacy of early childhood learning. This administration needs to cease the attacks on tenure, pensions and collective bargaining and needs to stop the encouragement of merit pay, vouchers and charter schools. Duncan is making too many noises of the same kind made by the Koch brothers,
    ALEC, Michelle Rhee, Heritage Foundation, etc.

  2. This survey is a joke. You choose the topics you want and don’t allow NEA members to enter their own thoughts or ideas. I would like to hear what Obama is going to do about balancing the budget and cutting back federal expenditures. Balancing our national budget and reducing the national debt should be the number one focus – not coming up with more things for the federal government to spend money on.

    1. Darle- I agree totally! So sad as if we can’t think or come up with the ideas ourselves and communicate!
      That says alot for our educational system!

  3. When it comes to education and the way the country is being operated everything is interconnected. I have many questions for President Obama. Here’s just a few for starters: Why is the education of our children and young adults not an absolute priority with funding and aid to prove it; why is a quality education becoming something only for the rich and not for everyone; why are our college graduates saddled with huge debt and no jobs; why is Gitmo not completely closed; why are the people there being held indefinitely without charge or trial; why is there not a massive green jobs and infrastructure improvement jobs plan; why is nearly every regulatory department in the government full of corporatists running the show; why are whistleblowers penalized; why have there been no prosecutions of the Wall Street criminals; why do you not support GMO labeling; why are you allowing Montesano and others to operate our food system; why are innocent children and others killed by drones attacks; why have you grown the NSA and secretly violated our constitutional rights; why are you seemingly allowing the Tar Sands pipeline operation to go through in light of climate change; what about Fracking and its potential to destroy drinking water; what kind of country are we creating for the children we educate?

      1. Thanks Heather. I must admit that I voted Obama in twice and participated in the grass roots effort to get him in. Once in office he dropped us like hot potatoes. I wanted the change he spoke of. He gave us change alright. A change in the wrong direction. There are two sides to President Obama; the words he speaks and the actions he carries out. Unfortunately the two are different. Things are not transparent like he told us they would be. The Trans Pacific Partnership or TPP is just another example of his secrecy and support of Big corporations. NSA, squelched whistleblowers are other examples and the list goes on.

        I’ll listen to his speech knowing full-well that they are empty words from a paid mouthpiece. Nowadays, corporations are running the show and We The People, including the care and education of Americans, is disposable. If the President meant business he would have carried out his promises, put on his boxing gloves, and made the changes so desperately needed for America and all Americans.

  4. School funding, privatization, and the stampede of Pearson Education—testing, evaluating teachers on test scores —even in states that do NOT have RTTT/Common Core funding—is not moving the country forward. This stampede is hurting our children and demoralizing our teachers. Common Core gives permission–in the name of something called “accountability” to marginalize and eliminate the visual and performing arts programs which motivate children to learn…and make them successful. Test prep and double Maths have taken the place of Visual and Performing Arts curricula organized FOR REAL learning.

    Respect the voices and hearts of your experienced teachers.

    Testing is not learning. Pearson–or one of its minions now profits from every aspect of the educational process, including teacher certification. Pearson and the Common Core so-called “standards” are NOT in touch with developmental readiness, which is the key aspect of curricula, learning and high standards. All the money that’s been spent on Pearson and its ilk could have been spent on educational infrastructure that supports our society.

    Please support real teachers who work in real classrooms with real training and not 5 weeks of a crash course. Public Education is not a privilege–and it should not be on sale to the biggest contributor with the most self-serving political motivations.

    Teachers are not box store employees…and children are not data units; the bottom line should not be where we aim standards. We should be aiming for critical thinking and excellence, not pushing kids toward “college readiness” with a blindness forced by profit, developmental inappropriateness and inexperience. The Visual and Performing Arts scaffold, motivate, and impel, and yet they are continually and egregiously marginalized or eliminated in favor of “rigorous” test prep or test taking. If you invite anyone to the White House to discuss real learning and real education, invite Diane Ravitch and Howard Gardiner, and teachers who know that testing isn’t the answer.

    Invest in teachers by supporting colleges and universities with full-time faculty full-time arts and humanities curricula. Invest in buildings and structures with adequate and appropriate space. Remove ALEC and the venture capitalists who have already skewed our system, and for everyone’s sake, remove all testing machinery companies like it from our school systems.


    1. Thanks Sue. We’ll said and I agree. Pearson = BiG Corp. They are hungry, incentivized, and taking over education inch by inch.

    2. Diane Ravitch, Pasi Sahlberg and others who understand what the research tells us we should be doing to improve our students future are viewed by Obama and His servant leader, Arne Duncan, as misguided radicals who are a bump in the road to privatize public schools. They know the snowball is so large now that no one can stop it from reaching its goal of destroying our current system especially knowing NEA and AFT Presidents have been bought by the Gates Foundation. Our only hope is for the Great Flood or Global Warming!

  5. I did reply where the question was asked and now I get this. What a waste of my time. Pay attention to how you design your page.

  6. ALEC is probably the main reason why funding for public education has taken the hit that it has. Reduced funding, state by state, has had a significant negative effect for ALL children nationwide. Writing ‘model bills’, for our elected Republican officials to pass, borders on bribery and collusion. The attack on public education needs to be taken head on by our President.

    1. We ALL have the same and equal opportunities in this great country. It’s up to each individual to exercise his/her own right to reach for those opportunities. That’s the American way. Handouts and entitlements are not the way of this country, and never have been, until recently. I, for one, do NOT need the government to hand me anything. I will always make my own way, and have always doen so in the past.

  7. Common resources in ALL SCHOOLS! As long as we have inequities between public schools (with preferred zip codes ) and the private school advantage, we will continue the cycle of the have and have nots. Confidence building is crucial to our goal of Life long learners and it begins early on in life. We are not all created equal by the families we are raised by but by the time we reach an educational system we should all be given equal access to educational resources. At present THIS is not the case and is our number one problem in educating our youth!

  8. Physically it is not possible to have a world for kids.
    We can however alter the framework in which world economics is conducted and if done right this can possibly put near full force of will-to-live toward the task of righting the direction Earth is going and possibly, saving home. -Imagine the possibilities if children, their lives and future are the focus of parents from here on.

  9. Downward pressure on wages here in the USA to compete for jobs with Communist China (avg. wage= $1.36/hr., some work for 30 cents/hr.), thanks to FTAs like GATT, NAFTA, and the WTO, all of which were treaties passed here with the promise of more jobs for American workers. THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED!!! Just the opposite:

    One can only surmise, based on an analysis of the actual results since their passage, that these treaties were engineered, if not by the corporatists residing in the USA themselves, then certainly by the world’s elite. Just look at the results: Wealth consolidation at the top like we haven’t seen in 100 years;
    85 People Own $110 TRILLION of the World’s Wealth. .
    147 “Transnational” Companies Control Everything!
    Special interest trumps national interest at every turn:
    -The Gramm, Leach, Bliely Act (1999) caused the deregulation fever that swept Wall Street and witnessed “the smartest men in the room behaving badly.” Here’s a must see video of how the lucrative bonus system on Wall Street incentivized the investment schemes (subprime mortgage crisis) that combined with weak fiscal policies (Fanny Mae, Freddie Mac & CRA, an attempt to get everyone invested in home ownership and hence a “maker”, not a “taker.”) crashed the world economy… (lengthy, but a fast forward to 13 min. is a telling indictment)

    -Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission (2010): BIG $$$’s (Super PACs) power and influence controlling elections and hence national policy.

    -Offshoring of an estimated 9 million manufacturing sector jobs (USA first class “Industrial Belt” becomes “Rust Belt” in just 20 years)

    -Current Tax rates benefit the nation’s wealthiest citizens

    -History of capital gains taxation
    Corporate taxation (those benefitting from or in collusion with the corporatist will point to the corporate marginal effective rate of between 35-39%, but the effective after tax rate (after exemptions, deductions, credits, subsidies, write-offs and other loopholes) is more like 13%, and some of the largest corporations pay zero and get an after tax check of around $3 BILLION from the tax payer.

    All of this while the shrinking middle class declines, and their and the poor’s earning potential loses ground to inflation. Minimum wage has lost 20% of its purchase potential since 1967:

    It can no longer be denied that there has been a flagrant “Reverse Robin Hood” being perpetrated by the very profit protectors who duck behind the pathetic rhetoric of “Class Warfare” every time someone brings up the topic of wealth consolidation. Besides, it’s just not polite to raise such topics in good company (LOL)…

    The fact is, corporations are making record gains and are sitting on over $5 Trillion of cash, (parked in offshore tax havens to evade USA taxation- world-wide this is a popular trend ($32 TRILLION hidden in offshore tax havens) to escape contributing to their nation of origin, who’s roads they use, monitored and regulated shipping lanes they use, police and military they use to safeguard their rights and property, etc.)
    the majority of which was garnered from a declining US middle class consumer market that is witnessing more and more of its constituents slipping into poverty in recent years. The nation’s wealth isn’t being “redistributed” from the wealthy to the poor through a burdensome tax code pitted against the rich, quite the opposite. Here’s why I say that:

    The great wage disparity that has occurred over the past 30 years has consolidated wealth at the top like we haven’t seen since a century ago. You may think there’s something wrong with a USA that promoted all of its citizens’ prosperity, but I don’t; it’s smart business. A middle class with disposable income will bolster retail sales and crank up the economy (this is if this increase actually boosts production in the USA and results in paychecks going into the pockets of USA workers like it used to do before the middle class was kicked to the curb for sweatshop labor on foreign soil.) Even so, during the past 30 years real output in the business sector grew by 140%. Real compensation per hour (includes wages, benefits, pensions, and health insurance) increased by only 38% for the middle class worker (not adjusted for inflation).

    Post WWII, 1947-1979 America shared equally in the increase in output. During those years the increase that the bottom 20% received was 116%, the top 20% got an increase of 99%, and the middle quintiles increased somewhere within that range.

    Then the world flipped! From 1980 to 2007 the rich took practically all the increase in income. Over those decades, the poor received only a 15% increase and the middle three quintiles got a 25% increase, while the top 20% got a 95% increase and the top 1% received a raise of close to 300%, and they were being compensated fabulously before this 30 year trend began. (Paul Heise, PhD, Economics).

  10. Inequality is the inability to find work in this great land. This should have been the number one priority of our current administration. You can’t lift yourself up if there’s no decent work to be found. Now we hear that this will be concentrated on, after such a long time of letting it go and making things worse with so many restrictions on small business and enerty production.

    1. Um, “job creation” WAS the point of the multiple “stimulus” packages that Obama, Pelosi and Reid passed during the Administrations first few months in office. The results of said stimulus are as apparent now as were predicted prior to them being passed. Vindication for those who disagreed with the Democrats “plan”.

  11. I will like to hear that the schools will be better protected that teachers don’t have to carry a gun but to build a new system of security..
    That children will have a school room with the right capacity so all can be able to hear the teacher and not the noise of 20 or 15 children talking together. That the children will be able to receive more attention and assistance in their need to understand what they are been teach so they can learned faster.That the children will receive the tools they need if any of the children can not afford to buy them.
    That bulling won’t be taken lightly. That there will be an accountabilityfor the second offence to another child.


    1. Koch Brothers and their followers are working on this for the past 20 years! Starve the Public Schools – come in and save them with the only way possible (to them) – Take them over and turn them into ‘For Profit – Charter Schools’ !!!!!!!! We have to stop them! Once they’re gone, they’re gone!

    2. Teachers are the enemy now because that is ONE of the myths that the corporate reform agenda (i.e. federal ed policy being dictated by corporate CEO’s, Wall Street, and big big money like the Koch brothers)
      has worked hard for the past decades to put in front of the public via the echo chamber method. Keep in mind that the corporate reformers also control the mass media. Another MORE damaging myth is that American education is a failure, has failed, is failing. etc. Follow the money to see who benefits from all the so-called “reforms” of late. Sadly, the federal DOE is controlled by the likes of Bill Gates, a non-educator, through his vulture/venture philanthropy.

  13. It is time for us to return to Eisenhower’s 91 percent tax rate in order to get our country back to work, fully fund our schools, national health care, and homeland security. The Fed’s efforts and the tax cuts, for mostly the wealthy, have only helped the rich to become more so, and have fostered larger divisions–economically and racially–in our once prosperous society.

    1. Rhee Ali Tee wrote, ” It is time for us to return to Eisenhower’s 91 percent tax rate in order to get our country back to work, fully fund our schools, national health care, and homeland security.”

      Ignorance is bliss, but if you must, fine. 91% tax rate Comrade Rhee, ON EVERYONE INCLUDING YOU. Still sound like such a grand idea? Or, do you only want “OTHER” people, NOT YOU, to pay the “91% tax rate”…..Rhee???

      Remember Rhee, “income” is a “result” of something. Income inequality, is directly proportional to “productivity inequality”…..Rhee.

  14. Poverty is the inability of the individual to create value for himself and for others. Five resources required. 1.Sense of positive persistence through intermittent rewards and role models. 2. Knowledge of how to create value through improved education and skilled trades training. 3. Enterprises to work in by reducing the trade deficit. 4. Health and hygiene through increasing transparency of costs and competency of healthcare providers. 5. Security of person and rewards. Socialism fails because it demotivates both value creators and unachieving value consumers. Income inequality to a great extent is inequality in value creation.

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