Did you see the Obama interview?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Did you see the Obama interview?
2
Mon, 09-27-2010 - 1:53pm

Did anyone see the interview with President Obama this morning on the Today Show? If not, you can watch it or read the transcript here:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/39378291#39378291

It wasn't quite as "hard hitting" as I would have liked, meaning the points were pretty high-level and not detail-specific.

They hit on:

Parental involvement - Obama agrees that parents are essential in successful education and said that he has called for more parental responsibility in many of his speeches. On one hand I thought "big deal" but on the other I wonder how one can really force parents to be more involved.

Unions - He needs their help in instigating reform and asks them not to defend the status quo. While he does see the benefit of unions and appreciates what they do for teachers, he does not appreciate them defending the teachers who are mediocre. He calls for them to hold teachers accountable.

Teacher pay / status - Obama mentioned that, in China, being a teacher is one of the most prestigious jobs, equal in pay to that of an engineer. He seemed to say though that there needed to be reform first before teacher pay could be raised. (Did I misinterpret that?) He also mentioned that teachers can seek out higher education and get paid more as a result. (A pittance though really, in my book at least.)

Math & Science - Obama's administration is gearing up to add 10,000 newly trained math & science teachers. We're currently 21st in science and 25th in math, so he sees a big need to add more teachers in those areas.

I think my biggest disappointment is that testing (and how it's tied to a teacher's job) was not brought up at all. But, like I said, the interview was more of a high level chat about how people on the outside looking in see education, rather than being from the viewpoint of educators.

I missed the Teacher Town Hall yesterday unfortunately, but will be looking for it online a bit later today. I'm betting that will cover more of the questions / ponderings that I have.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Mon, 09-27-2010 - 4:37pm

I agree with most of your impressions. However I didn't expect anything specific. If there were simple specific answers to the problems we wouldn't be talking about what might work.



I didn't watch the town hall either, but all of the reports and clips I've seen seem to keep the focus on the fact that teachers have to do more. From the movie clips it also seems that they have selected four kids with parents who are involved and caring. I wish they had followed an equal number with parents who are uninvolved,

Sherry

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Mon, 09-27-2010 - 5:11pm

I'm listening to the Teacher Town Hall as I work. You can find it here~

http://www.educationnation.com/index.cfm?objectid=E65FBF70-CA60-11DF-8853000C296BA163&aka=0

The guests were all educators who would talk about their particular strength or niche for a minute, then they would open it up to the floor (all teachers) to discuss that particular topic.

Honestly it was pretty redundant with the same points being made over and over (IMHO). GOOD points, mind you, but it was more of a forum for the teachers to speak their minds than a place where they could come up with ideas and solutions. I'm not sure if that was my misunderstanding of what was supposed to happen there, or if it just ended up that everyone wanted their chance to talk.

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