Obama Plans Televised Speech to Nation's Students Tues.
Updated 5:23 p.m.
By Michael A. Fletcher
President Obama will deliver a nationally-televised address to students next Tuesday on the importance of taking responsibility for their success in school, which the White House calls a continuation of his efforts to use the bully pulpit to promote the value of education.
Obama will make the speech at Arlington's Wakefield High School, and it will be shown on C-SPAN, on the educational station Channel One and on the White House website.
"The hope is that schools across the country will gather special assemblies to show it to students," said White House spokesman Tommy Vietor.
The Obama administration is also mounting a huge public awareness campaign to bolster the president's message. The Department of Education has sent classroom materials to the nation's schools to facilitate discussion of the president's message. Also, top officials in the administration will visit nearly 20 schools from Tennessee to New York to amplify the president's ideas.
The administration also has enlisted top NASCAR drivers to tape public service announcements touting the importance of school, and Obama himself also has taped radio and television public service announcements on the subject (one is viewable above).
Since taking office, Obama has pushed hard on his goal of reducing the high school drop-out rate and dramatically increasing the number of students who attend and graduate from college. The $787 billion economic stimulus plan included more than $100 billion for education, and Obama has frequently called on teachers and parents to help students maximize their educational opportunities.
White House officials said Obama's speech would be the first by a sitting president to students about achievement since 1991, when George H.W. Bush spoke to the nation's schoolchildren from Deal Junior High School in the District.
Posted at 4:37 PM ET on Sep 2, 2009
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