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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.

Read more on this topic on Jay Mathews' Class Struggle blog, where he calls Wakefield High "my favorite school"»

Posted at 4:37 PM ET on Sep 2, 2009  | Category:  Education
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The question of who in their right mind would oppose this or any president from offering encouraging words to our nations school children is a good one.

In 1991 after then President Bush spoke at a Washington jr. high schools the Washington Post said "The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props". It is good to see that they have somehow become more receptive to such a speech today.

Congress at the time had the GAO investigate what government money was spent on the "media event" for the president.

While the GAO said that the expenditure was OK, the National Education Association denounced the event.

Again it is good to see that all of these groups are taking a more enlightened view of today's speech.

What ever could have happened to change their minds?

Posted by: kinsella2 | September 8, 2009 9:18 AM

I am saddened by comments of those who value education so little and have such fear that they disrespect our President with lies and distortions. Who in their right mind (no pun intended) would oppose any President of the U.S. taking time to encourage students to stay in school and get a good education. I am a southern white middle class professional. Each time I am exposed to yet another ridiculous distortion of truth I am startled by the sheer level of hatred and the depth of the underlying racism toward the President and I realize how far we still have to go to achieve the aims of our visonary founders. It seems only fair and balanced to me that the President have a chance to speak to the children who are being taught in their homes and churches to hate him. Young minds grow stronger when given the opportunity to grapple with differing view points.

Posted by: judymyers99 | September 5, 2009 10:24 AM

Someone wrote: I just thank God my sons teachers have all been Christians so they can weed out the liberal agenda in the classroom."
WHAT? I repeat, WHAT? Just for fun, let's address this asinine remark. Number one, what makes you think all your sons' teachers have been Christians? And exactly WHAT liberal agenda are you concerned about? Freedom of speech? Freedom to practice your chosen religion? Those are NOT conservative ideals, those came from FLAMING LIBERALS like our founding fathers--you remember them, don't you? The ones who wanted FREEDOM for all?

Posted by: cheryl8122 | September 4, 2009 4:13 PM

It is absolutely amazing when you read the total vitriol spewing forth from the Fox article. Actually, I find it horrifying. I am so sorry so few people value education and have no civic consciousness. It is wonderful that our President--and however much you hate that fact, he IS our President--would take the time to try to encourage students to buckle down and work hard toward their education. I absolutely do not understand the sheer level of hatred toward the President. These people are unbalanced.

Posted by: cheryl8122 | September 4, 2009 4:10 PM

michellemikhail -

"I just thank God my sons teachers have all been Christians so they can weed out the liberal agenda in the classroom. I am also glad that I am a parent and can teach my kids not only about God but about this great country of ours and who has the right plan and who has the wrong one."

It sounds like you'd be much more comfortable in Afghanistan. They have a theocracy there where they indocrinate the kids into the local superstitions like yours.

And aren't you just a little worried that your kids teachers might turn out to be strict Christians (unlike yourself, apparently)? Your children will then be STONED TO DEATH the next time they are stubborn, as the "Lord" commands in Deuteronomy 21:18-21.

Let's hope your teachers are fake, cafeteria Bible-followers like most of you who overlook the frightening barbarism in your Bronze Age document.

But Allah al Akbar, I hope you're able to move to a real theocracy soon. You're not living in one, no matter how hard you wish upon a star.

Posted by: B2O2 | September 4, 2009 1:06 PM

Where are questions that relate to criticism of the President's agenda in the Department of Education recommended questions? One of the purposes of education is to promote indepedent thought, not to blindly follow in lockstep with an administration's objectives. Students - particularly at the higher grade levels - should be encourged to identify weaknesses in the administration's programs and make those criticisms part of a balanced classroom discussion.

Posted by: jgmotter | September 4, 2009 12:40 PM

Government hasn't done a thing for the kids and education, it's gone to the dogs. Government needs to stay out of our business, let capitalism do it's thing and we all benefit. I don't care who is President, Obama or President Bush, they need to stay out of our daily lives,do their job by keeping America safe and quit pushing their agenda by trying to brainwash the kids. I just thank God my sons teachers have all been Christians so they can weed out the liberal agenda in the classroom. I am also glad that I am a parent and can teach my kids not only about God but about this great country of ours and who has the right plan and who has the wrong one.

Posted by: michellemikhail | September 4, 2009 9:15 AM

I think it better we be patient and wait listen to Mr presidents speech before blasting it out!
I see something good coming.
we really can.

Posted by: mulyson | September 4, 2009 3:23 AM

I think it better we be patient and wait listen to Mr presidents speech before blasting it out!
I see something good coming.
we really can.

Posted by: mulyson | September 4, 2009 3:20 AM

I think it better we be patient and wait listen to Mr presidents speech before blasting it out!
I see us something good coming.
we really can.

Posted by: mulyson | September 4, 2009 3:19 AM

HEY! Leacher!

Leave those Kids ALONE!

Posted by: SAINT---The | September 3, 2009 5:07 PM

So why doesn't the WaPo do a little research and report that Ronald Reagan used an address to students to preach about low taxes?

http://mediamatters.org/blog/200909030020

Where is the bipartisanship and honesty in Journalism?

Posted by: alysheba_3 | September 3, 2009 4:38 PM

Since JakeD asked:

HERE'S WHAT POTUS SHOULD ADDRESS: THE HORROR OF STEALTH 'DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS' BEING USED TO COMMIT CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY RIGHT HERE AT HOME.

Since you asked me, JakeD, I'll tell you that under normal circumstances, a presidential pep talk to students would be appropriate and in keeping with past presidential addresses directed at students.

But these are not normal times. POTUS already has asked and received a national platform in front of a joint session of Congress to pitch health care reform. This address, coming so close to the appearance before Congress, amounts to overexposure, what could be perceived by his critics as an unreasonable media grab.

THIS is what Obama should be addressing:

The Obama administration has approved and encouraged the proliferation of silent, injury- and illness-inducing, emotion-altering microwave and laser directed energy weapons. As I have written, these weapons have been deployed in a covert ideological war against those flagged by bureaucratic autocrats as "dissidents" or trouble-makers or those slandered for reasons of hate and ideology as undesirables.

The mainstream media has failed to comprehend the significance of this transition from gunpowder, bullets and munitions to stealth directed energy weapons. A silent purge is ongoing in America, and I fear that naive political and opinion leaders are in its cross-hairs.

That's what President Obama should be addressing at this moment, not schoolchildren.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 3, 2009 2:40 PM

Worth reposting:

"Yes, we must prevent Obama from appearing on TV and preaching his "socialist" agenda to our precious children. By the same token we must prevent "astronauts" from appearing on school TVs and preaching their "techno-faith" to our poor unsuspecting youth. After all, streaming video from so-called "astronauts" may force our children to be exposed to the myth that they are on a "planet" in a place called "space", "orbitiig" a "round" earth that rotates on its "axis", all the while "revolving" around the "sun" which techno-faithers insist is the center of a "solar system" which exists in a "universe" of which the earth is only a small part. I refuse to allow my children to be exposed to any notion contrary to the fact that the Earth is, indeed, flat, is the center of creation (which is but 6,000 years old), and which the rest of creation revolves.

Posted by: caebling | September 2, 2009 9:23 PM"

Caebling, that was WONDERFUL. Thanks!

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | September 3, 2009 11:38 AM

I view this as the extreme opposite. If you notice, whenever Obama is making strides toward any goal, just like his progress during the election, the ignorant and envious come out in full force, including all the radio fanatics and Republican columnists. So I think it's more a positive sign that progress IS happening.

Otherwise they'd be bragging about all the "great" things Bush did, IF there were ANYTHING at all like that to rub in!

Posted by: Maerzie | September 3, 2009 10:43 AM

Its so funny to hear NeoCons and Birthers nut-off about President Obama visiting a school....as if these students are not Americans or something.

Perhaps they just have burning memories of George W. Bush and where he was when he was notified of the 9/11 attacks...and how he froze and kept reading about the pet goat! LoL...I'm sure the students will always remember meeting the President of the United States.

Posted by: free-donny | September 3, 2009 10:09 AM

is he going to wear his yellow shirt and annonce himself as 'Mr Obama'...and welcome to my socialist neighborhood.

Posted by: JWx2 | September 3, 2009 6:05 AM

im laughing, the crazies are out in force tonight. have you ever thought that some of these kids might get the extra motivation they need to do better? 14 trips to camp david is an exaggeration at best and even if it was true is nothing compared to the time bush spent in texas. we must stop these terrorist, now watch this drive

Posted by: whatdyousay | September 3, 2009 2:53 AM

Obama is going to try and convince kids to study hard so they can earn the money to pay back all the debts that he and his predecessors have racked up. He won't tell them about the higher taxes they will have to pay if they're successful in school and later in the workplace. Don't buy it, kids. Tell our Asian creditors to go jump in the lake.

Posted by: wootendw | September 2, 2009 10:35 PM

As Peter Griffin from Family Guy said about The Godfather "itsists upon itself", I tire of Obama because he insists upon himself. Don't get me wrong, it's great that he wants to give kids a good message about education. But, why does he have to plaster himself everywhere everyday and why can't we have a day's peace from his ever present self-glorification??

Posted by: chrojo01 | September 2, 2009 9:50 PM

I know that King Obambi hasn't filled over half of the policy making decision slots in his administration,

So much for Valerie Jarrett's remark of "He'll be ready to rule, Day One."

Now comes His Hinda55, King Obambi to school to give a lecture to all the kiddies.

When I was growing-up, political activites were verboten on school campuses and it was done to protect young minds from being influenced, let alone cause disruptions.

Where the heck is Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education? Why isn't he doing any speechmaking?

I don't know about you folks, but Mr. Rock Star better wake-up and attending to the affairs of the nation and not stay on a never-ending vacation.

How many trips to Camp David has this ding-a-ling had since coming into office? 12, 14, 15?

What more can I say?

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | September 2, 2009 9:28 PM

Yes, we must prevent Obama from appearing on TV and preaching his "socialist" agenda to our precious children. By the same token we must prevent "astronauts" from appearing on school TVs and preaching their "techno-faith" to our poor unsuspecting youth. After all, streaming video from so-called "astronauts" may force our children to be exposed to the myth that they are on a "planet" in a place called "space", "orbitiig" a "round" earth that rotates on its "axis", all the while "revolving" around the "sun" which techno-faithers insist is the center of a "solar system" which exists in a "universe" of which the earth is only a small part. I refuse to allow my children to be exposed to any notion contrary to the fact that the Earth is, indeed, flat, is the center of creation (which is but 6,000 years old), and which the rest of creation revolves.

Posted by: caebling | September 2, 2009 9:23 PM

The Crazies are going crazier by the minute.

Posted by: ottoparts | September 2, 2009 7:58 PM

Of course, leave it to the Fox people to refer to this as Obama's "indoctrination plan" -- see the story (and the bizarre responses) at http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/09/02/critics-decry-obamas-lesson-plan-students/.

Can we please once and for all designate Foxnews (or at least foxnews.com) as a tabloid, and be done with it?

Posted by: woebegoner | September 2, 2009 7:19 PM

LOL!!!

PRESIDENT OBAMA DELIVERS NATIONAL ADDRESS TO AMERICA’S SCHOOCHILDREN [sic]
Wakefield High School
4901 S. Chesterfield Rd.
Arlington, VA 22206

Media Pre-set: 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM (All equipment must be dropped at the site by 7:00 AM; media will not have access to their equipment from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM.)
Media Access: 10:00 AM

Throw: 60 ft.
Cable run: 600 ft.
Live truck parking: Trucks should enter the entrance off Dinwiddie Street and will be directed on site. All live trucks must RSVP with vehicle information. Trucks must plan to park by 7:00 AM. Live truck operators must bring cable ramps.

Media entrance: Entrance number 2, off Dinwiddie St.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/MEDIA-ADVISORY-President-Obama-to-Speak-Directly-to-Students-in-National-Address-on-Educational-Success/

Posted by: JakeD | September 2, 2009 6:45 PM

My hope is that school children get back to actual education instead of listening to this speech.

Posted by: JakeD | September 2, 2009 5:14 PM

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