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Posts tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Obama Calls on Nation to “Protect Our Most Precious Resource”

Sandy Hook teacher Kaitlin Roig who hid her students in a bathroom during the shooting (at right) sits next to Dr. Jill Biden during the State of the Union address last night.

Sandy Hook teacher Kaitlin Roig (at right), who hid her students in a bathroom during the shooting at her school, sits next to Dr. Jill Biden during the State of the Union address last night.

President Obama addressed a range of issues in his State of the Union speech last night, from the economy and jobs to Medicare to tax reform to immigration to education, but it was the president’s remarks on Newtown that elicited the most emotional response from his audience.

The president said,

It has been two months since Newtown.  I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence.  But this time is different.  Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.  Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals.  Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned.

More than 25 victims of gun violence and their families watched the speech from the House gallery. Most were the guests of House and Senate members.

Among the guests of the Connecticut Congressional delegation were Carlos Soto, the teenage brother of Victoria Soto, the Slain Sandy Hook first grade teacher; injured Sandy Hook teacher Natalie Hammond; Newtown First Selectwoman Pat Llodra; and Newtown first responders Jason Frank and Dan McAnaspie. Sandy Hook teacher Kaitlin Roig who hid her students in a bathroom and kept them quiet during the shooting, sat in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box.

Obama said, “Tonight matters little if we don’t come together to protect our most precious resource – our children.”

Focus on early-childhood and higher education

The president’s comments on education concentrated on pre-K and higher education. Obama called for colleges to keep tuition rates down and said his office will today release a new scorecard to help students and families make informed decisions about universities.

On early-childhood education Obama proposed that the federal government work with states to make high-quality preschool available to all children.

Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime.  In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own.  So let’s do what works, and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind.  Let’s give our kids that chance.

Making education and students a priority is an economic imperative. How would universal high-quality early education help students in your classroom?

Obama and Romney on Education

During last night’s first presidential debate President Obama and Governor Romney mentioned education 20 times. Here’s some of what they had to say.

President Obama

I want to hire another hundred thousand new math and science teachers and create two million more slots in our community colleges so that people can get trained for the jobs that are out there right now. And I want to make sure that we keep tuition low for our young people.

We’ve seen layoffs of hundreds of thousands of teachers over the last several years, and Governor Romney doesn’t think we need more teachers. I do, because I think that that is the kind of investment where the federal government can help. It can’t do it all, but it can make a difference, and as a consequence, we’ll have a better-trained workforce, and that will create jobs, because companies want to locate in places where we’ve got a skilled workforce.

Governor Romney

I happen to believe — I want the kids that are getting federal dollars from IDEA or — or Title I — these are disabled kids or — or poor kids or — or lower-income kids, rather. I want them to be able to go to the school of their choice. So all federal funds, instead of going to the — to the state or to the school district, I’d have go — if you will, follow the child and let the parent and the child decide where to send their — their — their student.


How do we get schools to be more competitive? Let’s grade them. I propose we grade our schools so parents know which schools are succeeding and failing, so they can take their child to a — to a school that’s being more successful. I don’t — I don’t want to cut our commitment to education; I wanted to make it more effective and efficient.

Read the complete transcript of last night’s presidential debate here. Watch the entire debate here.

NEA Endorses Obama

In the presidential election, President Obama and challenger Governor Romney have starkly different views on many issues, including education. Visit EducationVotes.org, for a comparison of where the candidates stand on the issues that matter to America’s educators.

CEA Endorses State and National Candidates

CEA has endorsed candidates who support and advocate on behalf of students and teachers. Read about the endorsement process, and review the endorsed candidates for the State House of Representatives, State Senate, and U.S. Congress on CEA’s website.