Unless you've been living under a rock, (like me lately) you've probably heard about President Obama's scheduled address to our nation's children on Tuesday, September 8th.
The following is a letter sent to school principals from United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.
In a recent interview with student reporter, Damon Weaver, President Obama announced that on September 8 — the first day of school for many children across America — he will deliver a national address directly to students on the importance of education. 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.
Since taking office, the President has repeatedly focused on education, even as the country faces two wars, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and major challenges on issues like energy and health care. The President believes that education is a critical part of building a new foundation for the American economy. Educated people are more active civically and better informed on issues affecting their lives, their families and their futures.
This is the first time an American president has spoken directly to the nation's school children about persisting and succeeding in school. We encourage you to use this historic moment to help your students get focused and begin the school year strong. I encourage you, your teachers, and students to join me in watching the President deliver this address on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. It will be broadcast live on the White House website www.whitehouse.gov 12:00 noon eastern standard time.
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. These are ideas developed by and for teachers to help engage students and stimulate discussion on the importance of education in their lives. We are also staging a student video contest on education. Details of the video contest will be available on our website www.ed.gov in the coming weeks.
On behalf of all Americans, I want to thank our educators who do society's most important work by preparing our children for work and for life. No other task is more critical to our economic future and our social progress. I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead to continue improving the quality of public education we provide all of our children.
Sincerely, Arne Duncan
I haven't heard anything about plans to broadcast this in my daughters' schools, but I will be calling their teachers to see if they will showing my children the address.
Many parents do not approve of the President addressing their children in the schools and plan on keeping them home from school to protest Obama's message to students.
I will not be one of them.
As you know, I did not vote for Obama, but if he feels he can benefit my children by telling them to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. I'm cool with it. ONCE.
If he starts popping into the classroom via cyberspace more frequently, I'm going to get a little creeped out. Let Mom and Dad decide whether or not they want their children to watch his messages.
Let us screen the messages, and if we decide to show it to our children, then we can download the activity sheets and watch his addresses together, at home, as a family.
I love the idea of personal responsibility. I also like the idea of knowing what my children are watching.
Let's see how this goes.
Oh and while we're discussing this...how would you feel if George W. Bush intended to address our nation's children in the same manner?
(I didn't proof this, and I don't feel like it...so take it as it is. Warts and all)