The State of Our Union is up to us


Now that the State of the Union is over and President Obama has announced his priorities for the rest of the year, we want to know what issues are most important to you. Education Votes wants to hear from activists like you to help us prioritize our work for the coming year. Simply fill out the form below to make your voice heard!

I’m inspired and ready to help make America’s classrooms and communities even better.  I know that I can make a difference, and together with millions of educators, and allies and supporters in the public, we can make positive change this year and create opportunity for students across the country.

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Reader Comments

  1. Excessive standardized testing must stop. It has caused the narrowing of the curriculum. Teachers are required to use valuable teaching time to do test-prep, test-prep and more test-prep on only the subjects that will be tested. Children from pre-k to grade 12 are entitled to be taught a complete rich curriculum. The hundreds of millions of dollars spent on these standardized test should be spent strengthening the regular curriculum, esp. Science.
    Teachers should not be turned into robots and children are not widgets. Let the teachers teach. It’s the principal’s job make sure they are doing a good job using his or her professional judgement.
    We don’t need more standardized tests to tell us why some children are doing very poorly in school. Children who live in extreme poverty with mothers who have a low educational level, inadequate prenatal care, homelessness and maltreatment do very poorly in school. It is these problems that should be solved!

  2. The President does not understand the complexity of the education system, nor does Arne Duncan. The republican/corporate agenda is to replace public education with a for profit business model reinforced by so called national standards and voucher based charter schools. Efforts to close the education gap will fail until it is viewed for what it is, a poverty gap with all the attended problems. We will never compete with Finland until we embrace the social reforms they have instuted.

  3. Now is the time for NEA to not only support the President with policies that will benefit children, but also the time to challenge the Administration’s education policies that are de-professionalizing education and harming children. NEA needs to use research to specifically criticize the lack of research supporting:
    – Charter Schools
    – Value Added Measurement for evaluating teachers
    – High stakes standardized testing, and
    – The process used for creating Common Core, and many of its
    developmentally inappropriate standards, and
    – Inequitable school funding and racially/socio-economically
    segregated schools.

  4. What the government/President says is different then what they do. When will NEA wake up and smell the roses. Look at what has happened to teachers/ classroom sizes/ teaching / testing/ and dumbing down the educational system so students can become successful? We, the USA, use to lead the world in many ideas, education, … Today’s world , well, hummmmm We need to wake up and make a BIG CHANGE that really is best for all. Get smarter and work harder, be proud!

  5. Your poll does not reflect what I think the NEA should be asking or doing. I am working on eliminating the CC$$ and the SBAC! The NEA needs to begin to fight for TEACHERS. The Pres. needs to replace Arne Duncan with an EDUCATOR (which Mr. Duncan is not)who understands that testing and CC$$ will not solve anything.

    1. I completely agree. Arne Duncan does not even consider teachers intelligent. Nor does he respect parents. Arne Duncan is supporting the agenda of the corporations who want to take over public education and profit from its demise.
      Parents and teachers are no longer listened to in this environment. Common Core is designed to ruin public schools. The tests are poorly designed and not age appropriate. We need a big change, and not in the direction the reform movement is pointing.
      Our public schools were doing just fine before NCLB. I hope we can bring them back to where they need to be: a place children love to learn and don’t feel stressed out every day because of unrealistic demands and unhappy teachers.

      1. Mary, in regards to Arne Duncan’s agenda all you have to do is look at how Chicago’s public school system has gone. Neighborhood public schools are closing in an alarming rate- 50 plus just in the last year- only to be replaced with charter schools.

  6. I was a strong supporter of the President, but what I see happening in education today, and that his policies and Secretary of Education allow it to happen, makes it very hard to defend anything else he does. Until his policies and the actions of his Administration reflect reforms that are aimed at making all schools like the schools he and other privileged families choose for their own kids, I will continue all I can to defeat CC$$ and all of it’s false narratives and bogus money-making schemes.

  7. Dear President Obama,
    Please keep the promise that you made to the NEA in 2007 and repeal the Social Security Offsets that penalize so many teachers and their spouses. My husband and I have contributed to SS for a total of 66 years combined, but we will only realize a fraction of our benefits due to these Offsets. As mid-careeer teachers neither of us will earn a full teachers’ pension. These laws are discriminatory, unfair and archaic – when they were imposed no one could have foreseen the volatility of today’s job market and how they discriminate against so many of us, who of necessity, have labored in both the private and public sector.
    Thank you for your consideration.

    1. I also would like to know why the subject of the Windfall Tax has gone by the wayside. I was in Washington D.C. to support the election of President Obama when he was running for the presidency…the promise of getting rid of this tax was certainly one of his promises. I am 70 yrs. old and will be retiring from teaching after 16 years of realizing a dream. I worked for over 20 yrs. in business to support my 3 children as a single parent…in fact at times I worked 3 jobs to keep us in food and in a decent home (no I didn’t own it-the children’s father left and there was no support). Now, my years of work and paying into Social Security and 16 years of a very minimal teaching pension will further be taxed to the point that I cannot fully retire….I can’t live on $1,400 a month…can you Mr. President, Congressmen and Senators? Please stop penalizing teachers who have given years of their lives in what was once one of the most revered jobs anyone could have….I love every minute of working with children….but yet because of it, I will find it very difficult to live without working…just when can I really retire? There is no answer. So please President Obama … keep your promise. Thank you.

  8. NEA needs to support teachers in making the educational decisions that are best for their students in their classes. CCSS are developmentally inappropriate and will do nothing to raise test scores. NEA should be advocating for NO standardized testing, smaller classes, and high salaries for teachers to attract and keep the best teachers in the classroom.

  9. As a National Board Certified Teacher with over 20 years of experience, I am becoming more and more frustrated with the fact that teachers are not trusted or empowered to go into their classrooms and do what is best for their individual students. We are told to differentiate our instruction, yet all students are required to meet a certain standard at a certain time. The amount of time and money spent on testing is unbelievable. The emphasis on test scores as the “be-all-end-all” of teaching and learning is terribly misguided and sends the wrong message to students. Learning is a life long process meant to make our lives and our world better, not a school year long assignment with the only purpose being to achieve a certain score on a test. Politicians, business leaders, and the public need to understand that education cannot be run like a business. If they truly want to improve education, ask the educators what we need and what the children need. Then really listen and consider the responses.

  10. I hope and wish that our President’s wonderful vision for education includes a SIGNIFICANT improvement in mental health services to children and an overhaul of Special Education services. We need a mandate for colleges/teacher training institutes to instruct teacher about peer-reviewed research on Learning Disorders and, especially, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, ADHD. We need to urgently teach teachers how to teach reading correctly if we want the next generation to thrive and prevent the impact that illiteracy has upon poverty, poor health & homelessness.

    Most of all – we need to close the gap between education, mental health and physical health!!

  11. I am a true supporter of our President. I feel that he really wants what is best for the children of this country. However, I do not think he understands what is really going on with education. I don’t think he realizes that we are creating an opportunity for greedy people to take advantage and use his plans to make a lot of money. Our children should not be a source for corporations to make money!

    1. The makers and publishers of all these tests that have been forced on teachers and students for years now have made billions off education. It is outrageous that states and districts have relied on professional test makers rather than tapping into the skills of their own educators who are on the front line in the classroom. Just like in big business, the money spent on education goes to those at the top of the food chain but never trickles down to the children who should be priority one.

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