The State of Our Union, The State of Our Schools

Year One.

Friday, January 20, 2017, saw the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States of America. On January 25, 2017, I hesitantly pushed the publish button — sharing my thoughts with the internet with my first piece: I am a Feminist, but I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton.” Therefore, Trump’s ascendency and my writing debut are forever intertwined. Of course, these milestones are not coincidental. If Trump’s election had not been my tipping point — personally, professionally, and politically– I am not even sure if I would have become a “blogger.”

A year later, I continue to write, and Trump remains in power. As a high school social studies teacher, this year-long journey has brought both continuity and change. On Tuesday, January 30, 2018, President Trump made his first State of the Union Address to the American public.  I chose to read his speech instead of listening to the president’s delivery or viewing his appearance.  I have often analyzed presidential statements in this way, and I think the method helps me to internalize the message without as much emotional influence.

So, what is the state of our union?  

Firstly, it was a well-written address using many examples of specific citizens and in the case of immigration a clearer path forward than just two weeks prior (when the president reportedly used a vulgarity to describe Haiti and African nations).  Of course, few presidents write their speeches, but President Trump’s message was clear:  employment is increasing, wages are rising, and taxes are cut.  The president’s refrain:  “If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.” President Trump highlighted workers, veterans, police officers, and a patriotic twelve-year-old boy, but where were the public school teachers? How come 3.2 million educators across this great nation were not mentioned? In fact, education was only spotlighted twice. Once when citing how a worker in Ohio, Corey Adams, can now save for his daughter’s education (good luck with that, Mr. Adams); and another instance when the president proclaimed:  “Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential. ”

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3 thoughts on “The State of Our Union, The State of Our Schools

Add yours

  1. Your article was good, but Trump didn’t write his own speech. Many people wrote it for him and Trump doesn’t want bipartisanship. If that was your take-away from reading the speech, you didn’t do your real homework.
    Trump wants to be adored and flattered like any authoritarian dictator who has surrounded himself with incompetent family members and war-monger generals.
    A vote for Hillary might have meant you voting to protect the supreme court and a women’s rights over her own reproductive choices, but you’d still need to be factoring in Putin or the bots that usurped the elections not to mention the republican redistricting and voter intimidation. Trump didn’t actually win a “popular vote” and you can let go of the guilt on that.
    Trump doesn’t want education for all because education would lead to our collective freedom.
    Trump would never take the same time to read your article as you did his speech.
    You are a true Hero Momma Brown, for being a teacher who cares. Your blog matters now more than ever.


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