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"He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient"---Article 2, Section 3, Constitution of the United States

Each year, the State of the Union address by the President to a joint session of Congress, is both our annual political theatre, but also a window into what to expect from both the President and Congress during the upcoming year, once you know how to watch it.

To get the State of the Union extra credit worksheet,


This is due Feb. 2, 2018

Watch the 2018 State of the Union address below:

Watch the 2018 Democratic Response below:

You can also watch the 2016 address and response, or previous year's State of the Union addresses:

The Republican response to the State of the Union Address:

January 8, 1952 and January 1960: President Harry Truman (D) and President Dwight Eisenhower (R)
January 20, 1962: President John F. Kennedy (D)
January 8, 1964: President Lyndon Johnson(D)
January 27, 1974: President Richard Nixon (R)
January 12, 1977: President Gerald Ford (R)
January 23, 1980: President James Carter (D) 
January 25, 1988: President Ronald Reagan (R)
January 31, 1990: President George H. Bush (R)
January 23, 1996: President William Clinton (D)
January 29, 2002: President George W. Bush (R)
January 26, 2010: President Barack Obama (D)

Please note that this extra credit opportunity was NOT extended to convert any student to any political party or viewpoint or to somehow get students to support any elected official.  This extra credit assignment has been made available to my students each year since 1992, and the intent is to get students to learn how the speech can preview a president's agenda for the upcoming year, and how to gauge Congressional reaction to preview what the President is likely to get approved by Congress.  Students will also learn to evaluate ways they agree and disagree with the President and suggest alternatives, as well as put a face to the names of members of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of the Federal government

While my personal philosophy is that students should be exposed to many different political viewpoints and learn to make their own fully informed decisions based on their own beliefs, some parents have made it very clear that they do not want their children exposed to political speeches by politicians they dislike, or have concerns about their children being exposed to comments that may not be appropriate for all students.

To accommodate those parents, I will allow their students to complete the State of the Union extra credit worksheet by watching a prior State of the Union address, and they will receive the same grade credit as students watching this year's speech.  They will need to indicate on the worksheet which year's State of the Union address they are answering questions on.

Again let me assure those of you that expressed concern, that there was no intent to indoctrinate students to any political philosophy or party, or to exclude any political party of philosophy.  No student has been or will be penalized for not participating in this assignment, or for expressing views or opinions that I do or do not agree with.

If you still do not believe that these accommodations are sufficient, and you wish to suggest a different extra credit assignment, please contact me and I will be happy to work with you to come up with a mutually acceptable alternative.