President Obama Addresses Education Reform

COMMENTARY | Nationally, our education system seems to be in drastic need of repair. Although President Obama spoke at length on advancing and promoting higher learning in our youth during his Google+ “hangout” interview, nothing was said about the reform of the preparatory education that grade school provides. As I watched, the subject of education primarily revolved around pushing more students into graduating and persuing higher learning from college and trade schools.

President Obama cited that the odds of employment were exponentially better with a higher education than with just a diploma. Regarding the subject of fear of debt from college and low chances of employment once schooling was complete, he reiterated the aforementioned point. With that, he went on to mention that the risk of debt was worth the chances of finding financially fulfilling work, and to lower the risk of this, parents and students should be mindful of planning for what would best suit the youth’s future.

I did notice grade school education wasn’t neglected in the “State of the Union” address last week. President Obama suggested improving school budgets to bring better pay to the teachers and allow for teachers to have more liberty in creative teaching. Could this lead to the end of standardized testing? Obama also went on to suggest a unified state requirement to keep students in school by law until they are 18. President Obama’s plans for the education system seem to play an integral role in the recovery of our economy. A handful of states have taken matters into their own hands with promising results.

Utah made quite the leap into the right direction by adopting open-source textbooks for the school system. This new and what may be inevitable conversion eloquently solves two major problems at once. These professionally written books make updating material cheaper and easier than before. The books are to be posted online and available for free download. In our down economy, having material that is constantly updated costing little to nothing in price will relieve some of the financial burdens the schools face of late.

I propose this question: If the nation’s education is to grow as a nation, then why aren’t we switching public education into a federal institute? Working solutions could be applied to all states and failing solutions could be prohibited.

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