A Comment on the President’s SOTU

Diane Ravitch's blog

There was a new tone in the President’s brief comments about education in his State of the Union address. Of course, he promoted his proposal for 2 tuition-free years of community college and the need to help students from debt incurred when pursuing higher education. That was welcome but not surprising.

What was welcome was the absence of fear-mongering about our public schools. No crisis talk about how nations with higher scores would take away our jobs and ruin future economic growth. The President instead highlighted the facts (that I documented in “Reign of Error” in 2013) that the high school graduation rate is at an historic high, as are test scores.

I don’t know if anyone gave much thought to this shift to a positive tone, but it definitely represents a repudiation of the “reformers'” sky-is-falling rhetoric. No reference to “obsolete” high schools, to “failing schools,” or to the…

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2 thoughts on “A Comment on the President’s SOTU

  1. Marlena Baraf January 21, 2015 / 6:25 pm

    It was interesting to read this. Generally the president’s message was very positive about many things–a relief, even if perhaps it is a salve at this stage in his job as POTUS. I see so many incredibly caring teachers in my grandchildren’s schools, in my son’s school (he’s a principal at a charter school). Agree with Diane Ravitch that there is too much focus on testing vis a vis learning.


  2. Jackie January 22, 2015 / 7:41 am

    Would love to hear more positive things about dedicated educators like your son. So many people bash schools and few understand what it takes to work in them. Thanks for joining this conversation.


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