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Discussion Forums » General Discussion
President Obama to address the kids in school
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7 Sep 2009, 01:26
Mary Magdelene
Post Count: 506
NCLB failed my children and it ties the hands of the GOOD teachers who actually want to help their children actually learn to retain, rather than learn to pass a standardized test. I have nothing good to say about it.

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7 Sep 2009, 01:57
DivaAshley
Post Count: 242
We don't teach to the tests. Our principal has always said if you engage them, teach them what they need, then the test will follow... it has a lot to do with the state you're in, too.
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7 Sep 2009, 05:32
Moonlight Shadows
Post Count: 90
The school system is absolutely horrible. And honestly.. I don't remember debating being part of my classes.. which is too bad. I took a Sociology class in college years ago and had an AMAZING time with it because the teacher just let us go and directed us.

As for history.. they just taught us history, they weren't interested really in our opinions about it. Sad, eh?
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7 Sep 2009, 23:37
Mary Magdelene
Post Count: 506
When I was in school the teachers ENCOURAGED healthy debate during class. Even in History class. Every other month or so we'd even have a "scheduled debate" in History class. The election year I was in high school we had a debate in class. I was never in debate class, but in classes such as History and Social Studies, but we still did debates. It kind of saddens me to know this isn't being encouraged anymore except for in Debate CLASS.
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6 Sep 2009, 08:43
kein mitleid
Post Count: 592
"Critics are particularly upset about lesson plans the administration created to accompany the speech. The lesson plans, available online, originally recommended having students "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32673334/ns/politics-white_house/
Click Me

This is my only issue with it, which seems to further perpetuate the messianic image the administration is so content to put forth.
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6 Sep 2009, 09:43
Moonlight Shadows
Post Count: 90
Fabulous... thanks for giving me a valid reason of why some may have an issue with it.

However, they admittedly said that it was a poor choice of words and they corrected it. "The White House revised the plans Wednesday to say students could "write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals."

"That was inartfully worded, and we corrected it," Higginbottom said."


At the same time... why is it only the Republicans that are bitching about a President choosing to speak to kids? Its the conservatives, the Republicans that are the only ones that seem to have an issue with this, which I find quite interesting.
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6 Sep 2009, 16:10
Mary Magdelene
Post Count: 506
The thing is, it's not ANY President they are taking issue with. Reagan did it, and they didn't freak out about it like this. Bush Sr did it, and they didn't freak out about it like this. It is simply THIS President they are taking issue with.

And you made an EXCELLENT point in your previous comment about the black community that I think too many forgot (but admittedly because we aren't a part of the black community). Maybe seeing a very successful black man, a (1/2) black man in the PRESIDENCY, it will encourage those in the black community who feel like they just can't get ahead.
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6 Sep 2009, 19:11
kein mitleid
Post Count: 592
The democrats did the same thing when Bush addressed the schools directly. It's a bunch of bullshit, they always do this kind of nonsense, because in reality, they're all a bunch of dickheads working together to make sure that America stays a two party system. They act like this, because it distracts people from the real issues at hand, takes away their attention from the fact that both the democrats and republicans do nothing to improve the country, but instead hold on to power with their grubby little hands and keep out people that actually might do something. Like institute term limits.
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6 Sep 2009, 20:11
Chris
Post Count: 1938
Check out my latest entry.
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6 Sep 2009, 20:34
Moonlight Shadows
Post Count: 90
And your entry is a complete truth
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6 Sep 2009, 20:33
Moonlight Shadows
Post Count: 90
I have to agree with this.
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7 Sep 2009, 02:32
Minda Hey Hey™
Post Count: 330
I'm mainly curious though. If it had been Bush, would people be causing such an uproar? Would people need to be signing permission slips? My guess is no. I have a hard time just thinking it's his beliefs that bug people, but the color of his skin.
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7 Sep 2009, 02:44
Mary Magdelene
Post Count: 506
While I'm sure that is part of the reason for SOME people, I don't think it would be fair to attribute that reason to everyone who is taking issue with this. I think a lot of it has to do with his liberal ideas. You'll notice that it isn't other liberals or Democrats that are having the problem with this. It is mostly the conservatives and republicans (though not all, but most). And because Obama is Democrat, and thus more liberal than conservative, the conservatives are concerned this is an attempt at indoctrination of their children.

So while the color of his skin may be part of the reason for some of the people, for the others I think it's just a matter of his liberalism that has them up in arms over it.
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7 Sep 2009, 05:30
Moonlight Shadows
Post Count: 90
Honestly, if it had been Bush, I would've been in uproar because that man can't string three words together without sounding like an idiot. How the hell is he going to be taken seriously?
As for having a black president.. sure *shrug* I'm sure some people have issues with it. But honestly.. I don't sense that as much. I'm with Lavender in saying that its mostly a Dems vs. Repubs. or Liberals vs. Conservatives. A lot of people have an issue with him saying "I am a Christian" but he's for certain things that some feel are "un-Christian"
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7 Sep 2009, 20:34
Let It Be
Post Count: 226
Yeah, I have to agree. My boyfriend and I were talking the other day about how we think the reaction a lot of people have towards Obama would be different if he was white like every other president has been. Not that everyone who dislikes him is racist or anything like that, but I've heard some of the most ridiculous things come out of peoples mouths about him, and I definitely think the overall vibe some people have towards him would be different if he wasn't half black. People don't realize how much racism and discrimination still play into our society as a whole (and there is the Sociologist in me speaking ;)). Of course a lot of it is just different belief systems, but I think it's expecting too much of Americans to say that his race isn't playing any part in it too.
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9 Sep 2009, 17:54
Hope Rising
Post Count: 42
When Bush gave a speech to kids, congress threw a fit over it. If I'm not mistaken, there was even some sort on congressional hearing or something like that about his speech.
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9 Sep 2009, 17:55
Minda Hey Hey™
Post Count: 330
Well he did speak to kids and he was with second graders when the Twin Towers went down. So yeah.
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7 Sep 2009, 20:48
starsmaycollide
Post Count: 408
Here's the text of the speech...I can't fathom why anyone , after reading it, could give a good reason why kids shouldn't be allowed to see it .
--

OBAMA: Hello, everyone how's everybody doing today? I'm here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we've got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through 12th grade. I'm glad you all could join us today.

I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it's your first day in a new school, so it's understandable if you're a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you're in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could've stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.

I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn't have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday at 4:30 in the morning.

Now I wasn't too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I'd fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I'd complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."

So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I'm here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I'm here because I want to talk with you about your education and what's expected of all of you in this new school year.

Now I've given a lot of speeches about education. And I've talked a lot about responsibility.

I've talked about your teachers' responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.

I've talked about your parents' responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don't spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.

I've talked a lot about your government's responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren't working where students aren't getting the opportunities they deserve.

But 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. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

And that's what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.

Every single one of you has something you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That's the opportunity an education can provide.

Maybe you could be a good writer maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a senator or a Supreme Court justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.

And no matter what you want to do with your life I guarantee that you'll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You're going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can't drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You've got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

And this isn't just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you're learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.

You'll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You'll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You'll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.

We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don't do that if you quit on school you're not just quitting on yourself, you're quitting on your country.

Now I know it's not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.

I get it. I know what that's like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn't always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn't fit in.

So I wasn't always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I'm not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.

But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our first lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn't have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.

Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don't have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there's not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don't feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren't right.

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you've got going on at home that's no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That's no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That's no excuse for not trying.

Where you are right now doesn't have to determine where you'll end up. No one's written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.

That's what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.

Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn't speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.

I'm thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who's fought brain cancer since he was three. He's endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer hundreds of extra hours to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he's headed to college this fall.

And then there's Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she's on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.

Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren't any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same. That's why today, I'm calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you'll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you'll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you'll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you'll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don't feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.

Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.

I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you're not going to be any of those things.

But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won't love every subject you study. You won't click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won't necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.

That's OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who've had the most failures. JK Rowling's first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

These people succeeded because they understand that you can't let your failures define you you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn't mean you're a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn't mean you're stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.

No one's born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You're not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don't hit every note the first time you sing a song. You've got to practice. It's the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it's good enough to hand in.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don't know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.

And even when you're struggling, even when you're discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you don't ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.

The story of America isn't about people who quit when things got tough. It's about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best. It's the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.

So today, I want to ask you, what's your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?

Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I'm working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you've got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. 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.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.
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7 Sep 2009, 21:17
Moonlight Shadows
Post Count: 90
i love that. finally a regular guy who came from a background that a lot of people relate to... who has succeeded.

what better motivation is that?
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7 Sep 2009, 21:17
Moonlight Shadows
Post Count: 90
thanks for posting this, btw =)
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7 Sep 2009, 21:50
starsmaycollide
Post Count: 408
no problem. it only makes sense to have the speech itself here, if one is going to argue why/why not their kid should hear it. it's too bad cable news thinks otherwise and made such a big deal out of talking about it. it makes no sense to me to talk about opposing something someone has not actually read themselves.
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7 Sep 2009, 23:33
Mary Magdelene
Post Count: 506
"it makes no sense.....to talk about opposing something someone has not actually read themselves"

EXACTLY!!! Everyone has been so worried about it (OMG! He's trying to indoctrinate our children!!!) without even knowing what his speech includes. There is nothing political in it, just a plea to students to take their education seriously and not let random failures keep you from trying to succeed. I don't care WHO something like that comes from, they're good words that all students should hear.
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7 Sep 2009, 22:19
Chris
Post Count: 1938
OH GOD, HE'S BRAINWASHING OUR KIDS, EVERYONE GET TO THE PANIC ROOM!
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8 Sep 2009, 06:23
♥Mars.Foxx
Post Count: 64
thanks for posting this, im going to steal it =]
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8 Sep 2009, 09:38
~RedFraggle~
Post Count: 2651
I think that's a great speech. Why on earth would any parent not want their child to hear that?
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