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TESOL International Association Statement on the 2016 State of the Union Address

by John Segota | 01/15/2016
Statement by Executive Director Rosa Aronson, PhD, CAE

In his last State of the Union address, President Obama acknowledged the extraordinary changes that have occurred in the United States over the past several years, and outlined several big questions facing the country for the future. Although education was not a major theme of the President’s remarks, he once again pointed out the critical role that education plays in terms of economic opportunity, and that equal access to education is vital to the national interest.

On these last points, President Obama re-affirmed his commitment to the ambitious goals of universal Pre-K education, and to offering two years of community college free to high school graduates. These initiatives would provide tremendous opportunity to all students in the U.S., especially English language learners, who are not only the fastest growing student population, but often the most disadvantaged. TESOL International Association is pleased that the President has re-affirmed his commitment, and continues to offer its support on these proposals.

The President closed his speech by urging everyone to become engaged citizens, and calling for a change in the rancor and partisan divides that have shaped politics in the U.S. over the past several years. As the recent bipartisan effort to reform the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has illustrated, this is possible. TESOL International Association and its members stand ready to work with the President and Congress on these and other important issues to improve and advance U.S. education for all learners.