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Obama’s speech to school kids draws fire

The President’s speech to school children, for many it’s the first day, draws the ire from right and no big deal from left. Obama is quickly becoming one of the most polarizing presidents in modern history.

What concerns the folks on the right with an hour-long speech to their kids is the fact the President continues to insist that he will have a “Civilian National Security Force” as big and well-funded as the U.S. military.

What for? Who will be a part of this civilian army? Who will train this force? All questions have gone unanswered by the President.

You’re crazy, the President has better things to do than get some civilian army together. Really? This year HR1388, ‘Give Act’ was given billions of dollars to expand the National Service Corporation. And here I thought volunteers worked for free.

Most can agree that kids are not going to be able to forgo snoozing during an hour-long speech, let’s face it watching the prime-time gigs can be troublesome and we’re adults.

What makes absolutely no sense is that school children in the U.S. have fallen far behind in the global education department. Other countries outshine America especially in math and science.

If this speech is really about ‘go get them kids’ and ‘work hard at school’ than why spend all the Department of Education time and money to create a guide for teachers to follow before, during and after the speech.

Why is the President taking an hour of time that could be used to teach reading, writing and arithmetic? Why not have the President put out a 60-second Public Service Announcement (PSA)?

This is the first time an American President is speaking to school kids. Surely, the President and Department of Education could’ve spent their time and money more effectively. Perhaps figuring out why schools across the country are underperforming and what this country can do to regain our prominence at the top of the educational sector.

What do you think?

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President Obama to speak to all K-12 students via webcast on September 8

Obama youth movement takes a page from WWII history book.

Picture this; former President Bush wants to speak directly to your K – 12 children. The school is all set with internet and has TV monitors in classrooms and auditoriums. Topics the President will include are the importance of ‘persisting and doing well in school.’

The President wants teachers to prepare for the speech, by asking students to read books about the President, ask students how the President will inspire us, write down notable quotes about the President and what other historical moments students remember from the President’s speeches to the nation?

Would you be mad at President Bush? Would ABC, CBS and NBC be leading their newscasts with a story about an out-of-control President who wants to impede on the primary-education system?

What if President Bush said he wanted kids to create posters about why we should be at war and encourage kids to write letters showing support for the President and other lawmakers and write letters about what they could do to help the President? Would you drop everything and head to school and give the educators an earful?

This is exactly what is going to happen on Tuesday September 8 at noon. The only difference is President Obama will be speaking to children across the country. There really is a teacher agenda and they do have materials to focus on after the speech.

For a President whose lagging poll numbers continue downward, Rasmussen currently has the President’s approval rating at 45 percent, speaking directly to kids seems ‘fishy.’

The White House has yet to outline what the President’s speech will consist of. Is it his views on health care, environment or pro-immigration? Will they be coloring pictures that read “students for Obama?” Many teachers had students do just that during the election process.

Will the President take a page out of the Kennedy playbook, when they used an 11-year-old grandchild to say his grandpa really wanted was health care reform to pass?

Education of children is sacred in this country; public schools are no longer allowed to talk about God. Schools across the country are supposed to provide a fair and balanced curriculum to every student.

Again, how would you feel if it was President Bush getting ready to address the country’s public-school K-12 kids?

Here is a copy of what the government’s Education Department posted;

PreK?6 Menu of Classroom Activities: President Obama’s Address to Students
Across America

Produced by Teaching Ambassador Fellows, U.S. Department of Education
September 8, 2009

Before the Speech:
• Teachers can build background knowledge about the President of the United States and his speech by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama and motivate students by asking the following questions:
Who is the President of the United States?
What do you think it takes to be President?
To whom do you think the President is going to be speaking?
Why do you think he wants to speak to you?
What do you think he will say to you?
• Teachers can ask students to imagine being the President delivering a speech to all of the students in the United States. What would you tell students? What can students do to help in our schools? Teachers can chart ideas about what they would say.
• 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?

During the Speech:
• As the President speaks, teachers can ask students to write down key ideas or phrases that are important or personally meaningful. Students could use a note?taking graphic organizer such as a Cluster Web, or students could record their thoughts on sticky notes. Younger children can draw pictures and write as appropriate. As students listen to the speech, they could think about the following:
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?
• Students can record important parts of the speech where the President is asking them to do something. Students might think about: What specific job is he asking me to do? Is he asking anything of anyone else? Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?
• Students can record any questions they have while he is speaking and then discuss them after the speech. Younger children may need to dictate their questions.

After the Speech:
• Teachers could ask students to share the ideas they recorded, exchange sticky notes or stick notes on a butcher paper poster in the classroom to discuss main ideas from the speech, i.e. citizenship, personal responsibility, civic duty.
• Students could discuss their responses to the following questions:
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?
What would you like to tell the President?
• Teachers could encourage students to participate in the Department of Education’s “I Am What I Learn” video contest. On September 8th the Department will invite K?12 students to submit a 2 video no longer than 2 min, explaining why education is important and how their education will help them achieve their dreams. Teachers are welcome to incorporate the same or a similar video project into an assignment. More details will be released via

Extension of the Speech: Teachers can extend learning by having students
• Create posters of their goals. Posters could be formatted in quadrants or puzzle pieces or trails marked with the labels: personal, academic, community, country. Each area could be labeled with three steps for achieving goals in those areas. It might make sense to focus on personal and academic so community and country goals come more readily.
• 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 teacher to make students accountable to their goals.
• Write goals on colored index cards or precut designs to post around the classroom.
• Interview and share about their goals with one another to create a supportive community.
• Participate in School wide incentive programs or contests for students who achieve their goals.
• Write about their goals in a variety of genres, i.e. poems, songs, personal essays.
• Create artistic projects based on the themes of their goals.
• Graph student progress toward goals.

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