Next Tuesday, September 8, President Obama will deliver a speech to school children across the coutry. In many areas, September 8 is the first day of school. It will be broadacst at 12 noon EDT (9 am PDT). (The time has been changed from the original 1 pm EDT slot – see the letter from the Secretary of Education, below.)
We have to wonder why the President will be talking to school children, at school, rather than to them and their families, later that day. We also note that the speech is also targeted to the “PreK-6” grades (pre-Kindergarten to 6th grade)
From the helpful “menu of activities”:
Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?
Obviously, because they are ever so much smarter than we are, and we should be eternally grateful that we have such wise and caring leaders.
One of the commentors on the first website pointed out that the world’s smartest administration somehow forgot that one of the country’s largest school districts, Los Angeles Unified, does not start until the next day – Sept 9.
Here’s another chilling part of the “activities” (our emphasis):
Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the President. These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teracher to make students accountable to their goals.
The Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, sent out a letter to school principals:
In advance of this address, we would like to share the following resources: a menu of classroom activities for students in grades preK-6 and for students in grades 7-12.
Links to both the preK-6 and to the 7-12 resources are in the Letter.
According to a Denver school’s website, Obama said the speech will be
… about the importance of education, the importance of staying in school, how we want to improve our education system, and why it’s so important for the country.
It’s certainly easy to read this event as a benign cheerleading activity. And we’ll know for sure, afterwards. But still, I think we have every right to be wary.