Posted by Meg | Posted in Big Issues, Education, Links, Must See, News, Obama | Posted on 03-09-2009
This just churns my stomach. On September 8th, for the first time in history (correction: see below), a sitting President is going to deliver a speech to all students in the nation, from pre-K straight through to 12th grade. The White House isn’t giving any details on what exactly Mr. Obama’s speech will involve (see below), but we can at least take a guess based on the teaching guide that was sent out to principals and teachers. Here are a few sample questions that the children are supposed to think about while listening to Barry:
- • What is the President trying to tell me?
• What is the President asking me to do?
• What new ideas and actions is the President challenging me to think about?
After the speech, teachers are going to ask students to answer even more questions, such as:
- • What do you think the President wants us to do?
• Does the speech make you want to do anything?
• Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us?
Call me crazy, (oh, and I can think of several liberals who will) but I don’t exactly want the Dear Leader asking my children to do anything for him personally. Hey, I have an idea! How about we just keep politics outside of the classroom? Like I always say, I think it’s slightly more important that kids learn to read before they’re schooled in political agendas. But then again, that’s just me.
And of course, I’m getting awfully tired of seeing situations where this sentiment keeps cropping up in my mind, but it’s worth repeating yet again: can you imagine the uproar if President Bush had done something like this? If he’d announced it so suddenly, less than a week before it would happen, and given so few details about the contents of the speech? We all know the furious screams from the left would have dominated every single news broadcast until the White House relented. And you know what? They’d be right!
But where are they now? Yet again, their silence is deafening.
I was looking for a good synopsis of this story, since I heard about this on the news as well. I’ve really got to get some sleep, so I didn’t have much time to search. But it seems Michelle Malkin’s done a pretty good job of summing it up.
Click here to check out ‘No Junior Lobbyist Left Behind’.
It looks like lots of people are planning on conveniently calling their kid in “sick” that day. If I had kids, that’s what I’d do. I’d like to encourage you to do the same. Heck, let’s make a party out of it! Keep ‘em home, talk about freedom, get the family together to read the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, maybe even some of the writings of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and other founding fathers. Sing some patriotic songs, watch ‘1776′, eat a hot dog! If it’s legal in your state, set off some fireworks! Or hey, maybe even do a little service project for our service men and women – let me tell you, they sure love to receive cards and letters of thanks from kids back home. Make it a day of American patriotism they’ll remember!
And maybe, just maybe, if we all do this together, there’ll be record number of sick kids that day. At least, we sure can hope.
09-06-09 – Update & Correction: I wanted to let you all know that I need to issue a correction to a tidbit of information included in this post, and also there’s a bit of an update on this issue.
So, first off, I want to apologize for getting a fact wrong on this issue! I have since found out that two prior presidents have delivered speeches to school children while in office; the first was Ronald Reagan, the second was George H. W. Bush. Apologies for that!! The very first news blurb I saw on this issue didn’t mention that fact, and as I said, when I first posted this I didn’t have much time to do more searching. Shame on me for posting so quickly without doing a thorough enough job vetting the info! I promise to try harder next time.
Now for the updates! The Department of Education has reworded one of the offending questions in the lesson plan having to do with how children can “help the President.” I thought I’d included that in this post, but apparently I neglected to include it. So all’s well there. Although I still think some of the other questions are bothersome as well, and as far as I’ve heard, haven’t been amended.
Lastly, President Obama has finally relented with regard to releasing the content of his speech prior to delivering it to the school kids. I believe it will be released tomorrow. Once I find a link for it, I’ll post it here.
Thanks! And once again, apologies for getting that fact wrong! What can I say? I’m human, and alas, make mistakes. I can promise you, though, that I will try harder in the future!
09-07-09 – Update: Obama released the speech today. Click here to check it out in pdf format. In my opinion, if the White House had simply released this speech in the beginning, without any of the quasi-political lesson plans, there would have been no major controversy at all. Chalk this one up to unbelievably bad planning by the administration and officials at the Department of Education who, frankly, should have known better that releasing lesson plans at all was in violation of the department’s own charter.
Lastly, the folks over at HotAir have some interesting insight into the contents of the speech. Check it out. (Also, if you’d rather not have to deal with a pdf version of the speech, HotAir provides it at that link as well.)