2011 State of the Union

Can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YncrK6YkvJQ&feature=feedu

The rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business.

Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik¸ we had no idea how we’d beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t there yet. NASA didn’t even exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.

This is our generation’s Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the Space Race.

Maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to America’s success. But if we want to win the future – if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas – then we also have to win the race to educate our kids.

Think about it. Over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school degree. And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school. The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations. America has fallen to 9th in the proportion of young people with a college degree. And so the question is whether all of us – as citizens, and as parents – are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed.

That responsibility begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities. It’s family that first instills the love of learning in a child. Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done. We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline.

I liked it, and thought that a lot of it really resonated with FIRST. Any thoughts?

The State of the Union address resonates strongly with Dean’s message.

When I first heard Dean in 2002 at the St. Louis Regional, he recognized we are losing competitiveness in the world. Dean said it’s time to change the culture…realize the vision of FIRST.

Today, we hear from President Obama “This is our Sputnik moment.”

So, ready to check off the first step (i.e. recognizing the problem)?

I think there’s a lot more work to do…

First they resonate, then they legislate, which tends to acerbate.

That responsibility begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes

As a teacher, I heard this part loud and clear and agree with it completely. Every day I encounter young people who have still not learned the value of education.

A lot of people think and expect that any school can make anything of any student with enough effort. It has been my experience that this just isn’t so. Education really does start at home.

So, to all the parents out there, my message is this:

Your local public school’s purpose is not solely to teach your child how to be a responsible citizen. You need to do that at home. A school is not a day care center. You cannot just hand us your kid and expect they’ll come out better than they went in. It takes some work at home too.

To all the parents who do put some time into their children’s upbringing, thank you, it shows. :slight_smile:

On the speech as a whole, to me it seemed like he was saying we are going to fix everything, for everyone, in a short amount of time, with full bipartisan support, while decreasing the debt and not costing Americans any more money. I say good luck…

Oh, and we’re all getting high speed trains and 4G??? :confused:

Personally, I think it’d really be worth the necessary budget to increase salaries for teachers who advise clubs outside of schools (not just FIRST robotics, but all activities in general). It’s not that teachers don’t recognize that these after clubs are really beneficial to the students, but that many are simply too swamped with work to put in hour after hour to these clubs. Our team’s faculty contact gives periodic tips, but mostly is working on grading and lesson plans etc. while we use his room. Our main mentors are all engineers who in their free time are robotics hobbyists.

I’d like to see something along those lines translate to legislation, though I’m not entirely sure that it will. Washington state’s governor is cutting budgets for gifted education, so my hopes aren’t high.