From The Register-Mail:
President Barack Obama incorporated several education-related items into his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, and while many area educators applauded the attention, they had much to add.
Barry Swanson, lecturer in Knox Collegeâ€™s educational studies department, especially agreed that teacher respect is â€œlong overdue,â€ calling for wider support of educators.
â€œToo many times good teaching is ignored and we only focus on poor teaching and the contentious issue of tenure,â€ said Swanson. â€œIt is the responsibility of all to eliminate those teachers who are not performing up to standards. However, basing those judgments merely on a high-stakes test is not only unfair, but unreasonable.â€
As he has taught in both wealthy and poor school districts, Swanson urged more focus on the issue of poverty as it relates to education.
â€œRace to the Top has provided some funds to remedy this in certain states that have met certain criteria, but it is not a panacea. We need to do more,â€ said Swanson. â€œThe voters of this community have done just that, and I believe that our educational system will benefit immensely from their generosity and sense of purpose.â€
He also responded to Obamaâ€™s call to students aspiring to become teachers, saying that more would do so if salaries and benefits were more competitive.
â€œAt least that is what students tell me,â€ said Swanson.
Knox educational studies professor Diana Beck said she appreciated Obamaâ€™s reference to parentsâ€™ roles, specifically to turn off the TV and see that homework gets finished.