Is everyone tired of Villagers telling the president what to say in tonight's State of the Union speech? I know I am. It's almost unbearable, especially when they start whining about how divided government is, as if it's President Obama's job to make it better.
Bill Moyers asked for progressive suggestions for tonight's address, and he got some great answers. Here are my top three:
Bill Haidt says political reform is a must.
We are not making the best laws we can, and our children are going to pay the price in higher taxes and reduced benefits. Should we just throw up our hands in despair? Or should we roll up our sleeves and do something about it? My top priority for 2013 is political reform.
Diane Ravitch wants a challenge to out-educate and out-innovate other nations and put an end to vouchers and charter school initiatives. This one is my personal favorite.
Over the past four years, I have learned what we need to do. First, we must end the pressure on teachers to teach to the test. I have said it before and I will say it again: We want teachers to teach with creativity and passion. I call on states not to pay bonuses to teachers to produce higher test scores and to stop evaluating teachers based on the test scores of their students. We now realize that this causes teaching to the test. That must stop now. Of course, teachers should be evaluated, but they should be evaluated by other professionals, not by their students’ test scores.
Too much testing crushes creativity and innovation, and that’s why we must stop it — now.
Stephen Lerner calls for a return to stronger, more robust unions and organizing rights:
In my inaugural address I talked about three places — Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall — that helped birth movements that transformed our nation. I want to add to that list Seattle, San Francisco and the other cities where workers engaged in sit down strikes that helped organize the unions that built the middle class in this country. As corporate profits skyrocket, inequality grows and the middle class shrinks, it is time to rebalance the economy of our country by guaranteeing that workers can once again freely organize unions and negotiate fair wages and benefits.
These are the ones on my top list. Which ones do you like? All of the responses are here. Got one that isn't on their list? Leave a note in the comments. Let's think big.