In the speech which focused primarily on the struggling economy and creating jobs, he repeatedly urged Congress and the Senate to overcome partisanship and get bills on his desk regarding the issues he addressed. He also spoke about the successes that have occurred in world affairs since he took office.
Education played a large role in the the President’s third State of the Union address which proved to be a tweeted topic.
And about 21 minutes into the speech he made this challenging agenda-setting statement that created quite a stir.
“Tonight, I am proposing that every state–every state–requires that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.”
Although the statement sounds like a new federal mandate, the grenade-launch-comment hit many — especially homeschool — parents right between the eyes; and shows an agenda for further federal intervention in education policies.
Home School Legal Defense League issued an E-lert message for parents to make urgent calls to the White House and Congress to leave education decisions to parents, not federal bureaucrats.
Currently thirty states allow students to drop out of school at 16 or 17 years-old. (Source) Surely, the federal government shouldn’t be in the business of telling states how long children should stay in school even at the cost of leaving someone behind. Really. Just how would they implement it?
After tying education reform to jobs and freedom; the speech ended on a strong patriotic note:
“So it is with America. Each time I look at that flag, I’m reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those 50 stars and those 13 stripes. No one built this country on their own. This nation is great because we built it together. This nation is great because we worked as a team. This nation is great because we get each other’s backs. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard. As long as we are joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, and our future is hopeful, and the state of our Union will always be strong.”
-President Barack Obama, delivered January 24, 2012 in Washington, D.C.
The Republican Response to the 2012 State of the Union Address
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels delivered the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address. He painted a less rosy picture of the American economy and job market, and urged more self-government rather then further government intervention in confronting the ongoing financial situation.
“2012 must be the year we prove the doubters wrong. The year we strike out boldly not merely to avert national bankruptcy but to say to a new generation that America is still the world’s premier land of opportunity. Republicans will speak for those who believe in the dignity and capacity of the individual citizen; who believe that government is meant to serve the people rather than supervise them; who trust Americans enough to tell them the plain truth about the fix we are in, and to lay before them a specific, credible program of change big enough to meet the emergency we are facing.”
-Governor Mitch Daniels (R-IN)