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Not a word from Obama (or White House press corps) on education

At his Tuesday news conference, held 100 days into his second term, President Obama spoke about the following:

–Use of chemical weapons in that country’s civil war
–Why the administration is being methodical in determining who used chemical weapons and when
–Says range of options available to United States and international community as a reaction if/when determination is made but didn’t specify

Boston Marathon bombings
–Whether there was an intelligence failure
–Russian cooperation
–Why Americans can’t stop living their lives in the face of terrorism and violence gatherings

Gun control
–Whether he has the “juice” to get gun control through the Congress
–What can reasonably get past Congress

–How Congress skirted the long-term problems by voting for a short-term fix for turmoil in the airline industry
–How the problem can get fixed for the long term (compromise) but instead Congress is choosing “pain now and pain later”
–One interesting statistic: Not a single U.S. airport was in the top 25 airports around the world as identified in a recent survey

Guantanamo Bay detention camp
–Hunger strike among long-term prisoners
–“Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe” and is “not sustainable”
–Congress won’t let us close it but will keep pushing to do so

Affordable Care Act
–A “huge chunk” has already been implemented
–The challenge: Setting up an online marketplace where people can learn about options
–Still will be “glitches and bumps”
–Half of Congress and some Republican state legislatures are trying to block implementation

–Impressed by work of Gang of Eight in Senate
–“We’ve gotta have more effective border security…we should make sure that we are cracking down on employers that are gaming the system, we should make the legal immigration system work more effectively….”
–Haven’t seen what House members are proposing

–“Very much looking forward to taking trip down to Mexico” to visit new president
–A lot of focus of talks during trip will be on economics
–Sometimes we forget this is a “massive trading partner”
–Impression is that new president is “serious about reform’ to improve economy and security of Mexican citizens”

He started to leave the podium but returned to talk about:

Jason Collins
–“I told him I couldn’t be prouder of him” for being first major professional athlete to come out as gay
–“LGBT community deserves full equality… not just tolerance but a recognition that they are fully part of the American family”


There wasn’t a word about education.

Nothing about his school reform policies or how they are affecting every single public school classroom in the country. Nothing about the grassroots standardized test revolt taking root in states across the country, about the plummeting of teacher morale, about charter schools, vouchers, Common Core State Standards. Nada. Zip.

Nobody in the White House press corps asked and he didn’t offer.

Just saying.


Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.



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Valerie Strauss · April 30, 2013

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