Check, I couldn't agree with you more. Heaven forbid we actually try to stem the apathy that pervades this country when it comes to getting involved. The president can't try to get kids interested in their education and their future from a young age? The outcry seems to be focused on 'indoctrinating' children, but what are the stated parameters of the speech?
"I'm going to be making a big speech to young people all across the country about the importance of education; about the importance of staying in school; how we want to improve our education system and why it’s so important for the country. So I hope everybody tunes in."
The bolded part is the only aspect that even alludes to being political, and of course
he wants to pitch his plan. It's his
plan. He thinks it's going to work.
Unless he will be telling the kids to urge their parents to write their Congressmen and vote Democrat, I don't see the downside with explaining what he wants to do to the group that will be most affected.
But no, we're told, the real
problem is the provided discussion points. It's enough that these kids are being addressed. We certainly don't want them to think about what they heard.
The guide for pre-K through grade 6 suggests questions students think about during the speech, such as "What is the President trying to tell me? What is the President asking me to do?"
The plan for grades 7-12 includes a "guided discussion," with suggested topics: "What resonated with you from President Obama's speech? What is President Obama inspiring you to do?"
While the older language is, admittedly, a bit florid for my taste, shouldn't we want our children to be inspired? Inspiration is the seed from which the greatest ideas in the history of mankind has sprung. (Now who's using florid language? But I digress...) And ultimately the discussion points are suggestions, not mandatory. It will be put to the teachers to guide the discussions and moderate the debates.
Final point. The Jim Greer quote:
"The address scheduled for September 8, 2009, does not allow for healthy debate on the President's agenda, but rather obligates the youngest children in our public school system to agree with our President's initiatives or be ostracized by their teachers and classmates."
Really Jim? There's going to be bands of vigilante fifth graders because little Tommy Johnson thinks No Child Left Behind is a bad idea? Susie Brown will get bad grades because she hates tax credits? This. This
is precisely indicative of the problem with both
political parties right now. Nobody is allowed to disagree. Everybody must follow the same rigid political doctrine or they are a Bad Democrat or a RINO. There can be no gray area even though our population is almost all gray. Our country was born, nay, forged in the fires of vigorous debate and has thrived on the nourishment of diversity. When everybody thinks the same, nobody really thinks at all.
Sorry, I hadn't really intended this to turn into such a WOT rant. It just galls me that nothing in this country can ever be seen anymore as benefiting anything but someone's political capital. So, in summary, it is not bad to get kids to think about their education rather than just being subjected to it.