Thursday, September 03, 2009

Suffer the Children

There has been much brouhaha over the President making a speech to the students of the U.S. It makes me wonder if he is having trouble getting prime TV time, since he has used the privilege so often. Perhaps after this speech, he can appear on Sesame Street.

Count: Ah, President Obama, how nice to see you
Pres: Hello Count, how are you doing?
Count: Wonderful, just wonderful! Ever since you have taken office I have had endless fun counting the rising deficit! That's one, one trillion added to the deficit. Two, Two trillion added to the deficit. Three, three trillion. . .
Pres: Count!
Count: Four, four trillion added to the deficit! Five, Five trillion added to the deficit! Six, Six trillion. . .
Pres: Count! Please . .
Count Seven trillion, eight trillion, NINE, NINE TRILLION ADDED TO THE DEFICIT AH HA HA HA [cue lighting/thunderbolt].

Maybe that wouldn't be a great PR move after all. On the speech, the Obama administration is taking a great deal of heat, facing accusations of forced indoctrination of students. However, guess who said the following:

1) "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students"

2) [the White House should not be] "using precious dollars for campaigns" [when] "we are struggling for every silly dime we can get"

3) "the president should be doing more about education than saying, 'Lights, camera, action.'"

Answers at the bottom of the post.

A menu of classroom activities for the speech exhorts teachers to ask students

"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?

Additionally, after the speech teachers will ask students to ponder "What is the President asking me to do?" and to write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. Teachers are also to encourage participation in the Department of Education's video contest. Perhaps the winning entry will look something like this:

"I pledge to be a servant of Our President.. . ."

An optional part of the plan called for the students' progress toward their goals to be tracked in order to hold students accountable. I wonder if anyone in the "pledge" video has been held accountable to their promises.

The answers: 1) Richard Gephardt 2) Patricia Schroeder 3) Richard Gephardt again
But, of course, they were saying this about President George H. W. Bush's speech to high school students in 1991, contrary to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's claims that Obama's speech would be "the first time an American president has spoken directly to the nation's school children about persisting and succeeding in school." Where are Gephardt and Schroeder now?
(source PoliFact )

Hat Tip to The American Catholic

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