Obama Education Pitch Spurs Debate


Payson’s teachers and principals will decide whether to air a 20-minute speech by President Barack Obama Tuesday to the nation’s schools that some people have lambasted as indoctrination.

Payson schools do not have the bandwidth capacity to stream the feed live to all classrooms, said Superintendent Casey O’Brien. “This is at each school site’s/teacher’s discretion, with the caveat that they have the option of downloading the president’s address after it takes place to view at a later time.”

Obama plans to address the nation’s youth about the importance of education.

The White House has posted classroom activities, which included students contemplating their strengths and creating a “concept web” for students to discuss how the president can inspire and challenge them.

The Department of Education is also launching an “I Am What I Learn” video contest, encouraging students to create videos describing how they will improve their education and use it to fulfill their dreams.

State School Superintendent Tom Horne denounced the event, saying in a statement it called for a “worshipful, rather than critical approach to this speech.”

“There is nothing in these White House materials about approaching this speech critically, or engaging in any critical thinking whatsoever, but only adopting a reverent approach to everything they are being told,” Horne said.

The White House says the materials are designed to stimulate discussion regarding the importance of education.

Parent protests have reportedly prompted several school districts around the nation to either ignore the speech or make it optional.

The speech, broadcast live on the White House Web site, and on C-SPAN, will begin at 9 a.m. on Sept. 8.


Susan Grubbs 7 years, 4 months ago

So, let me see if I've got this right. There are parents of school children who don't want their children to hear a message about the importance of education. What??? Perhaps they'll be proud, should their children decide that school/education just isn't for them.

In all seriousness, the opposition to a message, from the President of the United States, is disturbing, and another example of the frightening polarization of our country.

The president's message will be one of encouragement to work hard in school. It will also be about personal responsibility. How these things could possibly be a bad thing is beyond me.


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