**UPDATE III** As HotAir’s Ed Morrissey says in his update, this was mishandled from the very gitgo. A far more traditional approach would have been to keep the lesson plan focused on the ambitions of the students with emphasis on staying in school and perhaps even a challenge to the kids to do better than their international counterparts. Instead, the Administration chocked the lesson plan with references to the President himself lending the appearance of a personal plea to support the President’s agenda. Granted, some of these kids (dare I say MOST) have no idea what his Agenda is, but their parents probably do. When the Administration asked gradeschool kids to “write a letter to themselves discussion what they can do to help the President”, well, that was the nail in the coffin for any political aims of this speech.
**UPDATE II** KUDOs to Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday for recognizing the importance of a parent’s role in the education of their children.
FRANKFORT — State school superintendents should provide alternative activities for children whose parents do not want them to watch President Barack Obama’s speech to the nation’s schoolchildren next week, Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said in an e-mail Thursday.
“Although the event appears to be non-partisan and is designed to motivate students to do well in school, parental concerns should be addressed,” Holliday said.
**UPDATE** HotAir reports The White House has changed their lesson plan for the historic Presidential Address to the Students of America. The task on the second page that used to read:
Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.
Will now read:
Write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short‐term and long‐term education goals.
“We changed it to clarify the language so the intent is clear,” said White House Spokesman Tommy Vietor.
Yeah. The two tasks are so incredibly similar! How can I help the President versus How can I accomplish my goals? absolutely identical when you get right down to it. Sorry Mr. Vietor, but you were trotted out right in front of the bus. That is a busy little bus. Has all kinds of people under it too.
Still not sure I would trust the event on the 8th. What they did here is pretty disingenuous.
It seems that President Obama is going to be speaking to our Nation’s Youth on September 8th. Isn’t that nice? It is the first time in history a President has addressed ALL the Nation’s youth at one time. Isn’t it historic?? Sure is. Be the first family on the block to miss this historic event. Take a day off and spend it with your kids. Teach them about our Country and how special it is.
The Department of Education even offers a lesson plan for this historic event here. The Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, says this on the DoE website:
The President will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.
Students, Parents, and Educators eh? Will someone kindly tell me how parents are going to hear this message if the event is going to take place over the lunch hour? How many parents have the time and/or capability to take time off from work to travel to their child’s school to witness this historic event with their children? My sister-in-law couldn’t do it. She works in the healthcare sector and is a professional. She could probably swing lunch with one of her children…but not all three because they go to different schools. How many families are in that particular situation? There is no way a factory worker or someone working strictly by the hour can make this happen and that family model makes up the vast majority of American households. Why couldn’t the President make this happen at 7pm on a weeknight? After dinner time…after the nightly news shows…well before bedtime for except the youngest of the young who wouldn’t be in school to hear the message anyway. Why not? He could use the same lesson plan and even have the same goals accomplished. Oh. Wait. Maybe not the same goals because mom and dad will probably have some input into little Johnny and Susie’s discussion before Mr or Ms NEA has a turn at them. Can’t have those pesky parents getting involved with the children’s education. Can’t have mom and dad sharing their values with the kiddies before Mr and Ms NEA get to pollute the pool.
I understand there are some good teachers out there. I get it that even some of the NEA teachers will play this down the middle. But, there will be those NEA teachers who WILL distort this “teaching moment” into a mini brainwashing session.
If this were President Clinton I wouldn’t be overly concerned about this. Clinton is a consummate politician who was really only after the power in the office. Take that away and he would still be chasing skirts in Little Rock. President Obama is another matter. During his campaign he said we could judge him by the people around him so we look at the people he has brought on board as advisors. Van Jones? John Holdren? Cass Sunstein? Mark Lloyd? heh, no thanks Mr. President.
It is not the job of the President of the United States to discuss anything of importance with my kids. Read them a book? Sure. Hop in the classroom for 20 minutes for a photo op and have the kids tell him or her what they are learning? Absolutely. Speak to them about them about anything else without me being there? No way.
Had this historic event not broken the national news cycle I can PROMISE you there would’ve been mention of healthcare and the environment in this little speech the President intends to give. I can still promise you that Mr or Ms NEA will most certainly bring it up.
Vodkapundit and Dana Loesch and I are on the same page so I think I’m in good company. Joanne Jacobs doesn’t see anything wrong with it. What could go wrong? I mean, the President’s advisors are only Eugenics freaks, Marxists, and Animal Rights extremists!