So it’s not that important that the President thinks kids should stay in school?

I just received this message regarding the President’s Tuesday speech to students, forwarded on to me through an education email list:

PGCPS Position on Viewing of President’s National Address (PDF format, text below):

PGCPS Position on Viewing President’s National Address
Social Studies and Local-State-and-National Government Classes to be given access to speech through internet and cable.
PGCPS Meets AYP
2009-09-04

The Prince George’s County Board of Education and Prince George’s County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite, Jr. today announced that Internet and cable access to President Barack Obama’s upcoming national address will be given to its Social Studies and Local-State-and-National Government classes. Principals and teachers will ultimately have the latitude regarding viewing the address throughout the day.

On Tuesday, September 8th at 12 noon EDT, President Obama will be speaking directly to America’s students on the importance of taking responsibility for their success in school.

“As President Obama has set aside time to speak specifically to students across the country on academic success, we wanted to give our principals and teachers access to his message,” said Verjeana M. Jacobs, Esq., Prince George’s County Board of Education Chair. “However, as with most other decisions in running individual schools and classrooms, it is equally important that we continue to give our staff complete discretion with this opportunity.”

Parents have the opportunity to opt out of having their child(ren) view the President’s national address, which is slated to last ten minutes. Parents who would NOT like their child to view this address are asked to send a note with their child on Tuesday, September 8, stating this. Other educational supervised activities will be provided to students not permitted to view the address.

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bonita Coleman-Potter will watch the speech with students from a 10th Grade Local-State-and-National Government class at Frederick Douglass High School, 8000 Croom Road, Upper Marlboro, MD.

According to a press release from The White House, “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.”

To learn more on this topic, click on the following:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/mediaresources/

I haven’t been able to put my finger on just why the fuss is bothering me so much. I certainly don’t remember there being so much as a peep in the negative about President Bush when he did the same thing in 1991, or First Lady Laura Bush addressing classrooms of students, so why, now, is this such a big huge hairy deal?

For pity’s sake!

I should think that any parent would want to know whether his or her child’s teacher chose not to watch the speech, for all sorts of reasons. You then have to wonder if this same teacher feels it’s appropriate to self-censor history or science books, in case, you know, the books don’t match the teacher’s own views.

According to this (http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html) the Obama administration is providing the text of the speech in advance, so fears have a shot at being allayed.

If we require all our children to say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning but treat a message from the President of our country with this sort of disregard, what message are we really sending to our children? Is the flag more important than the leader of the country?

BTW: The ongoing “birth” debate is getting on my very last nerve. You’re American if you’re born on American soil. It doesn’t matter where your parents were born or what their citizenship status is. Obama is a native Hawaiian. Unless we’ve suddenly taken statehood away from the state*, that makes him American. Birth Certificates are applied for after birth. Place of birth is a prominent feature on any certificate in the US at least, and assuming the Kenyan cert has Hawaii, well, there ya go.

*Not that there aren’t native Hawaiians out there who would be more than happy to see the US get the hell out, but that’s not likely to happen, and it’s irrelevant to the subject above…

Sheesh, people!

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