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SOTU Bingo Returns: How Much Will President Obama Discuss Education in His January 27 State of the Union Address?

On January 27 at 9:00 p.m., President Obama will give his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress and millions watching at home. With the nation shedding more than eight million jobs since the Great Recession began in December 2007, the economy and job creation topics are expected to occupy a great deal of Obama’s speech. The president is also expected to address the prospects of health care reform—especially in light of Republican Scott Brown’s victory in the January 19 special election in Massachusetts, which eliminated Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate.

Obama is expected to touch on the budget deficit, reform of the financial industry, energy, immigration, and education—all of which are likely to be framed around a plan to rebuild the economy. But how much will Obama say about education? The president could use the State of the Union address to outline his plan for reforming the nation’s education system and reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as the No Child Left Behind Act.

Race to the Top, a competitive grant program designed to reward states that are aggressively pursuing reforms, also figures to receive mention during the State of the Union address. In a speech earlier this month at Graham Road Elementary School in Virginia, Obama announced that he would request an increase of $1.35 billion for Race to the Top in his Fiscal Year 2011 budget, which is scheduled to be released on February 1.

To help viewers keep track of these and other topics during the State of the Union address, the Alliance for Excellent Education has brought back its popular State of the Union bingo cards, which are available for download at

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