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Obama honors teachers, touts education bill – The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency

May 4, 2011

Obama honors teachers, touts education bill – The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency.

By Jewel Samad, AFP/Getty Images

Life is starting to move on, and President Obama turned attention back today to one of his favorite domestic issues: education.

In honoring the National Teacher of the Year, President Obama also put in a plug for changes to the No Child Left Behind education law that would make it “less punitive, more focused, (and) more flexible.”

“That means doing a better job of preparing teachers, doing a better job of measuring their success in the classroom, helping them improve in providing professional development, and then holding them accountable,” Obama said during a Rose Garden ceremony.

Obama also praised Teacher of the Year Michelle Shearer, who conducts chemistry classes at Urbana High School in Frederick, Md.

Said Obama: “Michelle’s specialty is taking students who are normally underrepresented in science — minorities, women, students with disabilities, even students who say equations and formulas are just not their thing — and helping them discover the scientist within.”

In her remarks, Shearer praised all educators.

“Collectively, we teach critical thinking, creative problem solving, collaboration, communication, independence, adaptability, self-confidence, and resilience,” she said. “Skills and habits of mind our students need to succeed in school and in life.”

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