Obama to tell students to take responsibility
Obama to tell students to take responsibility
By ANN SANNER, Associated Press Writer Ann Sanner, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 22 mins ago
WASHINGTON – Take responsibility for your education. Go to class and listen. Don't let failures define you.
That's the advice President Barack Obama will give schoolchildren Tuesday in a speech that drew fire even before he delivered it.
"We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems," Obama said. "If you don't do that — if you quit on school — you're not just quitting on yourself, you're quitting on your country."
The White House posted Obama's remarks on its Web site Monday.
The president was to deliver the talk at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., a Washington suburb. The speech will be broadcast live on C-SPAN and on the White House Web site.
In the prepared remarks, Obama tells young people that all the work of parents, educators and others won't matter "unless you show up to those schools, pay attention to those teachers."
Obama's planned talk has proven controversial, with several conservative organizations and individuals accusing him of trying to pitch his arguments too aggressively in a local-education setting. White House officials, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, have said the allegations are silly.
Obama makes no reference in his prepared remarks to the uproar surrounding his speech. Nor does he make an appeal for support for tough causes such as his health care overhaul. He uses the talk to tell kids about his at-times clumsy ways as a child and to urge them to set goals and work hard to achieve them.
"I think it is a very good speech," Loudoun County, Va., school superintendent Edgar Hatrick told WTOP News in Washington, "but it's just not on the first day of school very convenient for everybody to stop in the middle of lunch and to stop everything else they're doing and hear the live broadcast."
Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt told KDKA Radio: "If the president wants to speak to the students of America and talk about the importance of academic achievement and working hard, that is a wonderful thing and ought not to be the subject of debate."
Duncan, in an interview Tuesday on MSNBC, said the controversy wasn't merited, but he also acknowledged that guidance the administration sent to schools about how kids could participate Tuesday could have been better worded.
In his talk, Obama says: "At the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents and the best schools in the world, and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities."
Some conservatives have called on schools and parents to boycott the address. They say Obama is using the opportunity to promote a political agenda.
Schools don't have to show the speech. And some districts have decided not to, partly in response to concerns from parents.
Duncan's department has also taken heat for proposed lesson plans distributed to accompany the speech.
The education secretary has acknowledged that a section about writing to the president on how students could help him meet education goals was poorly worded and has been changed.
In his remarks, Obama leaves the students with some words of encouragement.
"I expect great things from each of you," he said. "So don't let us down — don't let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it."
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We're so excited to be watching this here at my school!
Let us know what you think about it Jason.
The speech sounds good. What most forget or don't realize, was that when this was first announced early last week, there was a curriculum that was to go with it. That original curriculum was, for example, k-6 to write a letter to themselves on how they can help Obama. For 7-12 was basically an elaborate lesson plan in what is so great about Obama.
A week later they have retracted their origninal lesson plan and Obama has been able to develop a benign speech. Now they're acting like "what's the big deal?"
Had he come out with a simple statement that there was going to be a speech about staying in school, and there was not going to be a lesson plan issued from the DOE, then it probably would not have been a big deal.
Bryhn you're not in education so of course you don't care. Open ended questions are the model for higher level thinking, and even if the questions were offensive to Conservatives the attempt was to engage higher level thinking. The actual text of the speech didn't change at all either. I mean look at the citation of the questions that went out:
"What is the president trying to tell me?"
"What new ideas is the president challnging me about?"
"Does the speech make you want to do anything?"
"Are we able to do what the president is asking of us?"
"How does the president inspire us?"
Yeah I hope it inspires them that's the whole bloody effin point. As for the k-6 texts it doesn't ask you to read books about Obama, it asks to read books about allthe presidents. Assignments include posters of their goals. Oooh, scary. Interview and share about goals with one another. Ask them to participate in the Education Department's video contest. Write about their goals in a variety of genres, create artistic projects oriented around their goals... The only remotely negative suggestion is the one about asking how kids can support Obama, and again it's the teacher's discretion to decide what to to include out of a suggestion list that has enough projects to fill a few weeks worth of class time.
As for my personal opinion of the speech... Yes the speech was great it's nice to have a black man in office who says that you can't hang your hat on sports or rapping. That means a lot to a school that services essentially poor black students.
If I didn't care, I wouldn't be paying attention to what is going on in the first place.
I am in education.. the education of my children.
I didn't need to hear the President challenge me to become a better student, or to graduate, or to go to college, or to succeed after college.
I didn't need inspiration from the President.
When are parents going to take responsibility for the growth of their children? I know everyone is different, and we all have our own drives and passions, but quite frankly, I am growing tired of people not taking responsibility for themselves to the point that the government feels they HAVE to get involved.
I saw a news clip this evening, and they interviewed an African American woman (here in Dallas) who thought the speech was great, and thought those who opposed were being ignorant.
Forgive me to profiling/stereotyping, but she was wearing a camouflage hat crooked, a t-shirt with holes, and daisy duke-like jean shorts. And although she could be a terrific parent and very involved with her children, there are literally ten's of thousands of women in Dallas who are not. If you are a parent, and you only NOW realize that your children's education is important, then it upsets me that you are in the gene pool. If you can't instill how important school is to your child to the point where they themselves want to succeed, then this country is in MASSIVE trouble.
Thats not it at all. No I did not vote for Obama, but he is a very intelligent man. I respect him greatly, and am behind him as our President. This is not about party affiliation.
I do not have a problem with his opinion or the fact that he said what he said. I have a problem with the fact that it was made into as big a deal as it was.
I think people DID benefit from having heard him say what he said. I DO think its sad that there are kids out there that are at the point where that WAS beneficial to hear.
My problem is not with Obama. Its with the people who needed to hear the speech to realize that education is as important as it is. That there are people who have not instilled this idea into their children.
It just made me sad for America is all. I wish people would take more responsibility for their shortcomings.
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