Look, to be honest, I'm lukewarm about the work of the Obama Administration so far. I know he's a "Democrat"; I know he's a "liberal"; so under those all-too-American classifications, that relegates him to spending money like schools waste paper. He's been pretty gung-ho about it out the gate, however. Nevertheless, only about seven months in, you still have to give the man a great deal of credit for having to cure all the ills of the years post 1999.
Moreover, HE'S JUST SEVEN MONTHS IN! Give him a chance to change the world. Rome wasn't built in a day and all other cliches that lend themselves to giving one time.
But to his detractors...this is just ridiculous.
My favorite idea is the one that there is going to be some sort of hypnotist show put on by President Obama during this presentation. Exactly what socialist magic is he going to perform, in front of schoolteachers and students, and, well, an entire nation?
It's not as if he is going to declare war on a country that his father gave weapons to. I jest.
The accompanying lesson plans bother some, what with their socialist propaganda pushing questions such as, "What resonated with you from President Obama's speech?", "What is the president asking me to do?", and the most dangerous, "What would you like to tell the president?"
Those are critical thinking questions that any middle school English teacher would ask about juvenile literature.
Relax. At some point, we'll need to be angrier over the fact that there are some schools that don't even have the technological capability to watch the address, rather than the fact that the leader of the nation wants to tell its future to do well in school.
The disparity between the haves and have-nots in education is still a gulf whose shores can not be seen from either side. You can believe the hype if you want, but I know for a fact that this No Child Left behind deal is not making our students more competitive in the global marketplace, it's only raising SAT scores. Unfortunately, with the economy the way it is, most kids can't afford to take the SAT anyway.
I taught for four years and there was never a presidential address directed at students. This should be welcome. It opens up critical thought-provoking conversation during school rather than the drill and kill testing methods that, whether you believe it or not, your child's school has implemented.
This speech is going to be about the importance of school and staying with it. The importance of actually keeping your butt in the seat and your mouth shut and not texting or twittering or, ahem, blogging or posting something on your friend's Facebook wall. The president of the United States of America, unlike his predecessors, is going to actually talk directly to school children and ENCOURAGE them to stay in school.
One parent was quoted as saying, "I am taking my son out of school that period of time. School is for learning, not for indoctrination."
So you're taking your kid out of school for 15-20 minutes of a message you probably don't give to him anyway?
He's not trying to sell them on universal health care, not trying to convince them the bailout is working, nor is he attempting to campaign for their vote. Unless they're in 9th or 10th grade, they won't even be able to vote in the next election. And quite frankly, if you have a child that will be eligible to vote in the next election but is in middle school, the president's 15 minute monologue should probably be low on your priority checklist.