Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Will parents opt kids out of Pres. Obama's national school address?

Culture, Education, President Obama

What goes on inside the walls of public schools used to be considered a local responsibility. Like almost everything else in our society, the creep towards Federal interference is becoming more like a leap.

Next week Tuesday, the president will address all public school students in a video address. He is to urge students to work hard, set goals, and be responsible for their education, something the teacher no doubt already told them on the first day, in the first 5 minutes of class.

The pep talk seems harmless enough. It's the other activities scheduled that day that are more troubling: Editorial: Beaming Obama into your kid's head, The president expands his cult into the classroom:

"But there is more to this noontime event than simply interrupting lunch. The Obama administration has recommended a series of activities before, during and after the speech intended to drill home the president's messages. Given that the teachers' unions are some of Mr. Obama's most ardent supporters, we expect that the supporting activities will have the feel of pro-Obama pep rallies".

"In a move suggestive of the Pyongyang public school system [in North Korea], the U.S. Department of Education recommended that before the speech students collectively brainstorm questions like, 'Why does President Obama want to speak with us today? How will he inspire us?' [A leading question that assumes the president inspired the student.] Classrooms are to be festooned with 'notable quotes excerpted (and posted in large print on board) from President Obama's speeches about education,' presumably alongside benevolent-looking images of the dear leader."

All of this is an attempt to "increase retention and deepen their understanding..." of what? Love for their president?

And let's not forget that in President Obama's younger years, he was chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, "Under Mr. Obama's leadership, the group funneled $100 million to left-wing activists to promote a radical political agenda under the guise of education reform"

Evidently I am not the only one finding this nationwide address troubling. The White House has already backed off of some of their instructive language to schools:

"President Obama's plan to inspire the nation's schoolchildren with a video address next week erupted into controversy Wednesday, forcing the White House to pull out its eraser and rewrite a government recommendation that teachers nationwide assign students a paper on how to 'help the president.'"

Pre-K to 6th grade students were to have written "letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president." Can someone tell me why this was all about helping the president and not about doing the best I can in school? (That was a rhetorical question.)

Actually, doing their best became the theme of the revised question. But what does the original question tell us about the goals of our president? Seems to be all about him to me.

Usually nothing much happens on the first day of school, but other school districts, such as Elmbrook's, have already started school. Either way I would think teachers have their lesson plans made and aren't too thrilled about this intrusion. It is just another distraction from real education time.

If I had a child in public school, I would probably try to find out just when this all was to transpire and consider an opt out of these special activities or leave before the broadcast? But that is just me; I opted out of public school altogether for my child.

When it comes to mixing children and presidential adoration, I still can't get the image of those children singing Yes we can, can, can, can out of my mind. Hopefully there won't be a music enrichment suggestion in Tuesday's curriculum!


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Brookfield7, Fairly Conservative, BetterBrookfield, Vicki McKenna, Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, Randy Melchert, Mark Levin, The Heritage Foundation, CNS News

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