Thursday, August 26, 2010

Please Mr. President, don't speak on school time

Class Struggle
Jay Mathews
August 26, 2010

Here we go again. I dodged a lot of electronic tomatoes last year for suggesting that President Obama NOT give his back-to-school speech during class time. Many readers thought that was a stupid suggestion. The president and his staff apparently agree with them, because the White House has announced he is going to do it again on Sept. 14. The White House is again encouraging schools to interrupt class so students can listen.

I am going to stay away from the political issues. I know this is an election year. Here in the Washington area, including D.C. and the Maryland suburbs where I live, Sept. 14 will be primary election day, with a D.C. mayoral race important to the future of D.C. schools. But I don't think the president's speech will affect that much. That is not why it bothers me.

Last year, at least, the speech occurred on or near the first day of school for many students. That day is often a waste anyway, just finding your classrooms, greeting your friends and sizing up your teachers. This year he will be speaking on what is the second week for some students, and for many the third or fourth week, when serious learning should be underway. Why does the White House think this is a good idea?

Read more HERE.

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