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SOTU Wish List – What’s old is new

Last year, we made a list of things we hoped we would hear in President Obama’s State of the Union Address.  This year, not much has changed, and our wish list remains in tact:

State of the Union Wish List

Tonight, President Obama will give the first second State of the Union address of his second term in office, an opportunity for the president to raise issues critical to improving our nation’s schools, one of the most important domestic policy opportunities of our time. No other investment available can simultaneously enhance the workforce of the future, help rebuild the infrastructure of the present, and wipe out the civil rights injustices of the recent past. And while the president has a lot to cover during his speech, we hope he takes time to address education, because if we fail to fix our failing schools, if we fail to replace our public education system, We the People may soon find that we are fundamentally unequipped to govern ourselves let alone to provide governance to others we thought in greater need.

With that in mind, here’s what we hope to hear in tonight’s SOTU:

1) Work Across All Education Sectors: We hope that the president will announce plans by his administration to hear from a range of voices and ideas from cities and communities, including those who represent the grassroots in the school choice and charter school communities. In the first term, the Obama Administration talked a lot about others “collaborating” and “getting along” with unions. We urge President Obama to send a signal to all the people advocating critical school choices for children — be they digital, in private schools or public schools — that this second term will be more about good ideas, no matter where they come from, than about special

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From the cutting room floor

trash canFour things you are guaranteed not to hear in Wednesday night’s SOTU:

  • “While a little nerve-wracking for us around the White House, November elections by the people of New Jersey and Virginia solidified what will be an exciting opportunity for those states to break from the status quo and embrace the education reforms of their new governors and the incredibly bold leaders they have chosen to steer schools in their states. At the very least, McDonnell has kept Gerard so busy he hasn’t been able to bother me about DC scholarships.”
  • “Frankly, my Education Secretary and I were disappointed with the results of special legislative sessions and bill proposals regarding charter schools. Our crack public affairs team spun things so R2TT would come out smelling like a rose, but, come on. Caps lifted when states weren’t even near them, Louisiana? Strengthening collective bargaining, Illinois? And two little guys out of New England – I’m talking to you Rhode Island and Connecticut – giving charter schools money you had already promised then taken away? Really? I hope that wasn’t used to support your applications. We went to Harvard, you know.”
  • “The one real win in R2TT goes on the scoreboard for teachers. Check this out. In addition to $100 billion dollars to keep them employed through the stimulus, we figured out a way to take it a step further with R2TT and teacher evaluation methodology. You could drive a truck through the holes in state proposals regarding teachers. You should see some of the emails Arne sends me late at night with examples cut straight from the applications. It’s all I can do to keep from falling out of bed. I can’t wait for round two.”
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