Obama’s take on education, 2012

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Arman Zadeh, Staff Writer

On Jan. 24, President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address for his first term. The president left much emphasis on the same familiar themes as he has been since his first address, such as his policy on education. During his speech, Obama highlighted that in order to aid our troubling economy, we can act through the education system to prepare students for “the jobs of tomorrow,” as he stated.

Although the president has convinced nearly every state in the country to raise their standard for education, he admits that problems still persist.

As for one drawback, Obama recognized that teachers have been neglected in every state. In his speech, he states that good teachers can raise the lifetime income of a classroom by over $250,000 and save a child from poverty.

The president’s first solution to this problem is to support schools by offering them a deal. This deal would give schools the resources they require to keep good teachers on the job while rewarding the best ones, and in return give teachers the flexibility and resources they require in order to teach “with creativity and passion,” and “to stop teaching to the test.”

Obama next addressed the problem with students dropping out of school. Obama believes that when students are not given an option to leave school, they will perform to higher expectations.

The president’s straightforward answer to this dilemma was asking of every state to require all students to participate in high school until a minimum age of 18.

The next challenge Obama addressed involved the financial difficulty for students to complete college, or pay off their tuition debts after leaving.

Obama’s solution begins with Congress stopping the interest rates on student loans from doubling, which is set to occur this July unless Congress acts now.

The next step would involve extending the tuition tax credit that saved millions of families thousands of dollars, along with doubling the number of jobs available to students.

After speaking with college presidents, Obama believes that his goals for education are possible even in this economy.

Although the president received great feedback from Congress, others are not as impressed, such as sophomore Eli Forouzan.

“President Obama seems to have some great ideas at first. Of course, it would be ideal to influence the teachers to spark creativity in the students but as we have seen in the past, he offers more than he can give. Considering this is an election year, Obama very well may be just promising false prophesies. This is not the first time he has said he would change the education system,” Forouzan said.

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