President Obama didn’t unveil any major new education plans in his State of the Union address tonight, although he did proclaim his Race to the Top grant program “the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation.”
I thought that was a bold proclamation, given that the grants had only just begun and we don’t have any results yet. I would agree that the RTTT program propelled many states to move quickly on legislative reforms in an effort to better position themselves to win a grant, from more charter schools to pay for performance. I think it can be said that Race to the Top may be the most cost-effective tool to push through major reforms in public education in a generation.
Otherwise, the speech touted familiar themes of the Obama White House: More math and science teachers. Education as the key to reshape and revive the economy. A need to remake No Child Left Behind. Help for the middle class afford college.
The president did make a plea for sane immigration policy toward children of illegals, saying, “Let’s stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can be staffing our research labs, starting new businesses, who could be further enriching this nation.”
And Obama called on universities to open their campuses to military recruiters, saying, “It is time to leave behind the divisive battles of the past. It is time to move forward as one nation.”
Anybody hear anything new that I overlooked?
–By Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog