President Obama’s Address to Students Across America

These people are so cunning!!!!  This must be stopped.  Obama may be President, but he is a political figure constantly in campaign mode. And as noted in the letter below from Education Secretary Duncan to school principals, no president has ever done this before.  That's because this kind of political access to the minds of our young people smacks of propaganda and Big Brotherism.

The American Family Associate has put out this short 2-part video asking parents to ask their child's principal if they can 'Opt-Out' of this presidential propaganda speech.

Please contact your local school board, your representatives and the White House to stop this plan before it starts.

Letter From Secretary Arne Duncan to School Principals
August 26, 2009

Grades preK-6

download files

 PDF (64K) | MS Word (32K)

Grades 7-12

download files

 PDF (108K) | MS Word (80K)

Please note that the time of this speech has changed to 12:00 noon eastern standard time.

Dear Principal:

In a recent interview with student reporter, Damon Weaver, President Obama announced that on September 8 -- the first day of school for many children across America -- he will deliver a national address directly to students on the importance of education. 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.

Since taking office, the President has repeatedly focused on education, even as the country faces two wars, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and major challenges on issues like energy and health care. The President believes that education is a critical part of building a new foundation for the American economy. Educated people are more active civically and better informed on issues affecting their lives, their families and their futures.

This is the first time an American president has spoken directly to the nation's school children about persisting and succeeding in school. We encourage you to use this historic moment to help your students get focused and begin the school year strong. I encourage you, your teachers, and students to join me in watching the President deliver this address on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. It will be broadcast live on the White House website www.whitehouse.gov 12:00 noon eastern standard time.

In advance of this address, we would like to share the following resources: a menu of classroom activities for students in grades preK-6 and for students in grades 7-12. These are ideas developed by and for teachers to help engage students and stimulate discussion on the importance of education in their lives. We are also staging a student video contest on education. Details of the video contest will be available on our website www.ed.gov in the coming weeks.

On behalf of all Americans, I want to thank our educators who do society's most important work by preparing our children for work and for life. No other task is more critical to our economic future and our social progress. I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead to continue improving the quality of public education we provide all of our children.

Sincerely,

  Arne Duncan

If we let this one go, it is sure to be part of a regular effort to indoctrinate our kids. Please read these lesson plans to see why this must be stopped BEFORE it begins.

Here is the text for "Classroom Activities" PK-6:

PreK-6 Menu of Classroom Activities:

Produced by Teaching Ambassador Fellows, U.S. Department of Education September 8, 2009

Before the Speech:   Teachers can build background knowledge about the President of the United States and his speech by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama and motivate students by asking the following questions: Who is the President of the United States? What do you think it takes to be President? To whom do you think the President is going to be speaking? Why do you think he wants to speak to you? What do you think he will say to you?

Teachers can ask students to imagine being the President delivering a speech to all of the students in the United States.  What would you tell students?  What can students do to help in our schools?   Teachers can chart ideas about what they would say.

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?

During the Speech:   As the President speaks, teachers can ask students to write down key ideas or phrases that are important or personally meaningful.  Students could use a note-taking graphic organizer such as a Cluster Web, or students could record their thoughts on sticky notes.  Younger children can draw pictures and write as appropriate.  As students listen to the speech, they could think about the following:  What is the President trying to tell me? What is the President asking me to do? What new ideas and actions is the President challenging me to think about?

Students can record important parts of the speech where the President is asking them to do something. Students might think about: What specific job is he asking me to do?  Is he asking anything of anyone else? Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?

Students can record any questions they have while he is speaking and then discuss them after the speech.  Younger children may need to dictate their questions. 

After the Speech:   Teachers could ask students to share the ideas they recorded, exchange sticky notes or stick notes on a butcher paper poster in the classroom to discuss main ideas from the speech, i.e. citizenship, personal responsibility, civic duty.

Students could discuss their responses to the following questions: What do you think the President wants us to do? Does the speech make you want to do anything? Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us? What would you like to tell the President?

Teachers could encourage students to participate in the Department of Education’s “I Am What I Learn” video contest.

  On September 8th the Department will invite K-12 students to submit a 2 video no longer than 2 min, explaining why education is important and how their education will help them achieve their dreams.  Teachers are welcome to incorporate the same or a similar video project into an assignment. More details will be released via www.ed.gov

Extension of the Speech:  Teachers can extend learning by having students 

Create posters of their goals.  Posters could be formatted in quadrants or puzzle pieces or trails marked with the labels: personal, academic, community, country.  Each area could be labeled with three steps for achieving goals in those areas. It might make sense to focus on personal and academic so community and country goals come more readily.

Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.  These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals.

Write goals on colored index cards or precut designs to post around the classroom.

Interview and share about their goals with one another to create a supportive community. 

Participate in School wide incentive programs or contests for students who achieve their goals.

Write about their goals in a variety of genres, i.e. poems, songs, personal essays.

Create artistic projects based on the themes of their goals.

Graph student progress toward goals.  

Here is the text for grades 7-12

 

Grades 7-12 Menu of Classroom Activities:

Before the Speech:
• Quick Write or Think/Pair/Share (Students spend a few minutes Thinking and writing about the question; Paired with another student to discuss, then Sharing their ideas with the class as a whole). What do we associate with the words responsibility, persistence, and goals? How would we define each term? A teacher might create a web of student ideas for each of the words.

• Quick Write or Brainstorm: What are your strengths? At what are you successful as a person/student? What makes you successful at these efforts? List at least three things you are successful at and why you feel successful with these tasks.

• Short readings. Notable quotes excerpted (and posted in large print on board) from President Obama's speeches about education. Teacher might ask students to think alone, compare ideas with a partner, and share their collaborations with the class (Think/Pair/Share) about the following: What are our interpretations of these excerpts? Based on these excerpts, what can we infer the President believes is important to be successful educationally? [Why not any other leaders' ideas on the importance of education? Is Obama really the first president to speak on this issue? He is the first to demand access to our children. . . ]

• Brainstorm or Concept Web: Why does President Obama want to speak with us today? How will he inspire us? How will he challenge us? What might he say?

• Brainstorm or Concept Web: What other historic moments do you remember when the President spoke to the nation? What was the impact? Students could create a Cause/Effect graphic organizer. ["What other historic moments. . ."? So, we are saying that this is an historic moment - when our Glorious Leader first obtains access to personally molding our children's minds.]

During the Speech:
• Listening with a purpose: personal responsibility, goals, persistence. Teachers might ask pairs of students to create a word bank from the web of any one of the terms (personal responsibility, goals, or persistence) at the top of a double-column style notes page. On the right-hand side, students could take notes while President Obama talks about personal responsibility, or goals, or persistence, trying to capture direct quotations. At the end of the speech, students could then write the corresponding terms from the word bank in the left hand column, to increase retention and deepen their understanding of an important aspect of the speech.

• Listening with a purpose: Inspiration and Challenges. Using a similar double-column style notes page as the one above, the teacher could focus students on quotations that either propose a specific challenge to them or inspire them in some meaningful way. Students could do this individually, in pairs or groups.

Transition/Quick Review: Teachers could ask students to look over the notes and collaborate in pairs or small groups. What more could we add to our notes? Teachers might circulate and ask students questions such as: What are the most important words in the speech? What title would you give it? What's the thesis?

After the Speech:
Guided Discussion:
• What resonated with you from President Obama's speech? What lines/phrases do you remember?

• Who is President Obama addressing? How do you know? Describe his audience.

• We heard President Obama mention the importance of personal responsibility. In your life, who exemplifies this kind of personal responsibility? How? Give examples.

• How are we as individuals and as a class similar? Different?

• Suppose President Obama were to give another speech about being educationally successful. Who could he speak to next? Who should be his next audience? Why? What would he say?

• What are the three most important words in the speech? Rank them. What title would you give this speech? What's the thesis?

What is President Obama inspiring you to do? What is he challenging you to do?

• What do you believe are the challenges of your generation?

• How can you be a part of addressing these challenges?

There's more. Read it at the official government site.

 

Example Letter to send to your child’s School Board

To [Superintendent/Principal]:

Evidently, through Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, President Obama has reached out personally to all public school principals across the United States to enjoin their participation in giving him access - unprecedented access - to the minds of public school students on September 8 at noon.

If you haven't already seen this letter, dated August 25, you can find it here : http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html

You will see that it includes Classroom Activities for before and after his address.

I believe many parents would be concerned about giving a president who seems to be in constant campaign mode this kind of potential control over impressionable minds in a public school setting. As Secretary Duncan states in his letter, no president has ever done this before. That's because it smacks of propaganda and Big Brotherism.

No matter what side of the political fence you personally fall on, I ask you to consider not leaving this to the discretion of individual principals, but instead creating a county policy to address such political intrusions into the public schools.

I am hoping for a timely response, as there is less than a week - including a major holiday weekend - before this occurs. Without some clear statement of LCPS intentions in response to the August 25 directive, I will not send my kids back to school until September 9 - and will urge others to do the same.

Please keep in mind that despite specific issues, I am a great supporter of [you child’s school district] Schools. How you handle this will not change my ongoing support. But I will do my job of informing parents, analyzing precedent and making conscientious recommendations.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Following is an editorial penned by Michelle Malkin on Sept. 2, 2009 Re: Obama's Classroom Campaign

Obama's Classroom Campaign: No Junior Lobbyist Left Behind
By Michelle Malkin
September 2, 2009

"ABC" stands for All Barack's Children. On Sept. 8, young students across the country will be watching television. Yes, they'll be parked in front of boob tubes and computer screens watching President Obama's address on education.

Instead of practicing cursive, reviewing multiplication tables, diagramming sentences or learning something concrete, America's kids will be lectured about the importance of learning. And then the schoolchildren, from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, will be exhorted to Do Something -- other than sit in their seats and receive academic instruction, that is.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan dispatched letters to principals nationwide, boasting, "This is the first time an American president has spoken directly to the nation's schoolchildren about persisting and succeeding in school." But the goal is not merely morale boosting. According to White House event-related guides developed by the U.S. Department of Education's Teaching Fellows, grade-school students will be told to "listen to the speech" and "think about the following":

-- What is the president trying to tell me?

-- What is the president asking me to do?

-- What new ideas and actions is the president challenging me to think about?

Students can record important parts of the speech where the president is asking them to do something. Students might think about: What specific job is he asking me to do? Is he asking anything of anyone else? Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?

After the speech, teachers will ask students:

-- What do you think the president wants us to do?

-- Does the speech make you want to do anything?

-- Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us?

Obama's White House Teaching Fellows include Chicago high-school educator Xian Barrett, a fierce opponent of charter schools who founded a "Social Justice Club" and bussed students to protests, and Michelle Bissonette, a Los Altos, Calif., teacher who is "focused on developing my leadership as a more culturally and racially conscious educator."

The activist tradition of government schools using students as junior lobbyists cannot be ignored. Zealous teachers unions have enlisted captive schoolchildren as letter-writers in their campaigns for higher education spending. Out-of-control activists have enlisted their secondary-school charges in pro-illegal immigration protests, gay marriage ceremonies, environmental propaganda stunts and anti-war events.

And last year's presidential campaign saw disgraceful abuses of power by pro-Obama instructors. In New Rochelle, N.Y., elementary students were given an in-class assignment to color in drawings of Obama -- including a picture of a campaign button featuring his face and the slogan "Students for Obama 2008." In Cumberland County, N.C., a fifth-grade teacher turned a "civics" discussion into an unhinged harangue against a girl who said her family supported John McCain.

Nor can the Democrats' strategy of using kiddie human shields to advance their legislative agenda be overlooked in the context and timing of Obama's speech. Children have been front and center of the left's push for an ever-increasing government role in health care -- from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's use of Baltimore seventh-grader Graeme Frost to push for the massive S-CHIP entitlement expansion to Obama's none-too-coincidental choice of Massachusetts 11-year-old town hall questioner Julia Hall (the daughter of a prominent Obama activist and organizer who assailed Obamacare critics' "mean" signs) to the Kennedy family's decision to put grandson Max Allen on center stage to pray for health care reform at his uncle's funeral last week.

So when the Department of Education directs schools to gather children 'round the TV monitors for Obama's pep talk and then have them do this...

-- Create posters of their goals. Posters could be formatted in quadrants or puzzle pieces or trails marked with the labels: personal, academic, community, country. Each area could be labeled with three steps for achieving goals in those areas. It might make sense to focus on personal and academic so community and country goals come more readily.

-- Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals.

...parents have every right to worry about their children being used as Political Guinea Pigs for Change.

So here we have the former community organizer and current president of the United States making an unprecedented speech to the school children of our nation. I'd like to believe his motives are pure and that politics are not playing into this. But viewing this administration's track record doesn’t afford such benefit of the doubt.

When the president browbeats property owners who want to protect their legal rights… when the president admits he doesn't know the facts but impugns the integrity of a police force… when the president calls me a liar for reporting what is actually in the health care bills and encourages my neighbors to report me to some enemies list… when the president allows his Speaker of the House and House Majority Leader to label hard working middle Americans 'nazis', 'thugs', 'angry mobs', 'racists', et. al. without correction or reprimand... when the president apologizes to nations around the world and bows to a Saudi king… he loses the benefit of the doubt.

Without benefit of the doubt, the president doesn't get to speak to my children unchallenged.

This should horrify every free-thinking American. What if Obama decides to do this on a regular basis? What a massive encroachment of our freedoms and liberties. If we let this go, it is sure to be part of a regular effort on behalf of this Administration to politicize our schoolrooms and indoctrinate our kids. Reason number 999,999,967 to command control of our child's education.