America’s Biggest Teachers Union Support Obama for 2012 Election

July 13, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. endorsement (n.) [en-dawrs-muhnt] – the act of approving, agreeing or supporting  something or someone
Example: Most celebrities earn a lot of money from product endorsements.  

2. annual (adj.) [an-yoo-uhl] – happening or being done every year
Example: We are having our annual family gathering next month.

3. advocate (n.) [v. ad-vuh-keyt; n. ad-vuh-kit, -keyt] – somebody who supports or speaks in favor something
Example: Environmental advocates painted banners to support the recycling campaign.
4. resilience (n.) [ri-zil-yuhns, -zil-ee-uhns] – the quality of being strong and sturdy
Example: The Mayor showed resilience when he refused to allow minors to drink liquor.

5. deficit (n.) [def-uh-sit; Brit. also dih-fis-it] – excessive amount spent
Example: If we spend too much on unnecessary things, our budget will have deficit.

Read the text below.

The National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers’ union in the US with 3.2 million members, announced its endorsement of President Obama for re-election in 2012.

The organization usually endorses a candidate later in the year. However, NEA made an early announcement during its annual gathering in Chicago to ensure that Obama gets strong support from Americans.

Since his administration started in 2009, Obama has been an advocate of improving education. He used the government money to help teachers keep their jobs. Presently, Obama is encouraging politicians to retain or increase the budget for education.

In a statement, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said that Obama has shown resilience in improving education. With his strong support to students and working families, Obama shares NEA’s vision for a stronger America, Van Roekel added.

However, some politicians disagree with Obama’s policies, saying that benefits given to school teachers have caused budget deficit.

In response, Vice President Joe Biden told teachers from NEA that they are not the problem and assured them of the commitment of the Obama administration to the teachers.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

·         Why should the government make education top priority?
·         Do you think that schools or universities in your country offer quality education? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What benefits do you think teachers should have?
·         What benefits do teachers in your country receive?

July 13, 2011