President Obama’s eagerly awaited State of the Union speech, his first after his self-acknowledged “shellacking” in the 2010 elections, will have as its theme “Winning the Future.” Among other things, job creation/a green economy, and education are believed to be central to his argument to the American people for how we can climb out of recession and be a meaningful in a multilateral world.
I thought I’d do quick finger-to-the-wind of what the education press anticipates will be key touchstones of an Obama administration “Education Presidency.” My own instinct, after nearly two weeks of Amy Chua/Tiger Mother firestorm regarding high-expectations parenting, is that the president will be sure to emphasize not only public policy that will enable his goal of highest global rate of college graduation by 2020, but parental responsibility and high-expectations of their kids as a means to achieve this. “Tiger Father” and honorary Asian American President Obama has hit this note before, with admonitions to parents to have their kids turn off the tv and put the video games down. This video dates from 2009:
- reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), with these kinds of changes (the DOE’s “Blueprint for Reform”)
- Race to the Top, undergirded by state-by-state support of the Common Core Standards in math and reading
- recap some of the highlights of community college funding, and direct to student college loans
- Investing in Innovation: money to fund and scale new ideas in education, like Teach for America and certain charters with an excellent record of helping low-income minority kids go to college
- Promise Neighborhood Initiative: “wrap-around” social services to kids in high-poverty neighborhoods
Huffington Post Education’s Kati Haycock, “This Is No Time To Slow Down on Education Reform” (part wish list, part prediction of what’ll be discussed):
- federal leverage to set goals–don’t leave this to states
- no more hiding underperformance in “averages”–greater accountability for low-performing schools and students
- teacher quality (assessed how? trained and mentored how?)
- better teacher evaluation (assessed how?)
- Submit ideas for discussion after hearing the content of the president’s State of the Union address here, participate in the roundtable discussion on January 27, 2011, 3:15 -4:00 pm EST.
Excerpts from the President’s SOTU address:
Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik¸ we had no idea how we’d beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t there yet. NASA didn’t even exist.
But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.
This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.