Saturday, September 05, 2009

Obama's speech to schools echoes a previous president

In the Olympia School District, we won't be in school on Tuesday when President Obama delivers a speech to the nation's students. Nevertheless, the controversy over the speech has prompted Superintendent Lahmann to issue a statement:
On Tuesday, September 8, President Obama will do a national address to students about education. The national media has focussed on concerns that have been raised about the address being shown in schools. We have received a few emails and phone calls of both support and opposition about having students watch the broadcast.

Since our students do not start school until Wednesday, September 9, it seems obvious that we will not be broadcasting the President's message to students live. If parents or community members contact you about this issue, please remind them when school starts.

I have attached a copy of a Question & Answer release that the Department of Education sent out related to the President's speech. If staff wants to record the President's speech and use it later as part of a lesson, they may do so just as they would use an other supplemental resource. Given the concerns that have surfaced, please be sensitive to the controversial nature of any use.
The last time a president asked for a bully pulpit at the front of your classroom? Back in 1991, when Bush--George Herbert Walker Bush--asked for support of his educational goals.

Jim Lindgren links to the story, and does a little WestLaw digging to find media reactions.

In October of 1991, I must have been in seventh grade. I don't remember Bush's speech in the slightest.

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