Posted by Audiegrl
On Tuesday, President Obama will be delivering a speech to American school kids encouraging them to study hard and stay in school. Sounds good, right? Not so fast, to the folks on the right, this is all a super secret plot of our Socialist/Marxist/Communist/(Any-other-word-you-can-add-ist-to) President. Oh, my God! Obama is trying to indoctrinate our kids…(of course this is only after he kills your grandma..).
The over-the-top drama is being led by conservative blogger/nutcase Michelle Malkin and conservative radio screecher Dana Loesch. They are so offended that they are calling September 8th the “National Truancy Day.” Yes, you got the right. They are asking people to pull their kids out of school that day!
Surely they realize that August was “National Truancy Prevention Month”, where people around the country were actually trying to keep kids in school. So far schools in Texas are making the viewing optional, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Others in Columbia, Missouri are ignoring the address altogether.
Lets start with Texas. Great state, lots of cool places to see, popular sports teams, but if you are interested in geting a great education in Texas, I have bad news for you. Out of all of our states literacy rates, Texas ranks 49, next to last place, which is held by Mississippi. Missouri fares a little better with a ranking of 30. So if I was an educator in these two states, having my students listen to a positive message from the President that tells them about the importance of education, it would be a no-brainer. Unless I was a Conservative…
We shouldn’t be surprised by these actions. Earlier this year, a national coalition of right wing Christian and anti-tolerance organizations promoted truancy as a response to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s 13th Annual National Day of Silence on April 17. Students were asked to take some form of a vow of silence on that day to bring attention to anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Students from more than 7,500 middle and high schools participated in 2008. But of course, the right wing groups called it the equivalent to the Hitler Youth. Sound familiar? What is the right-wings fascination with describing Progressive programs they don’t like by using Hitler comparisons. What’s up with that?
According to ThinkProgress..On Fox News this morning, NPR’s Juan Williams defended Obama’s effort as “innocuous,” saying that “on the face of it, it seems to be almost patriotic…you should hear the president speak about the value of education, staying in school, hard work.” But Family Research Council President Tony Perkins wasn’t convinced that the speech would be benign. To buttress his argument, Perkins asserted that “the president really hasn’t pushed any educational reform issues yet in his administration”:
Perkins is speaking without regard for the facts when he says that Obama hasn’t “pushed any educational reform issues yet.” In fact, Obama has put a strong emphasis on education reform. For instance, the stimulus bill contained an unprecedented investment in education, which was aimed at incentivizing reform:
To help struggling schools, the federal government will use stimulus funding to encourage states to expand school days, reward good teachers, fire bad ones and measure how students perform compared with peers in India and China, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said yesterday.
So ok, I understand we have a two-party system and that they are the supposedly loyal opposition party…I get that. But why should we allow them to politicize education for our kids? Seriously, if the kids survived George W. Bush reading them ‘My Pet Goat‘, I’m sure they can survive a educational pep talk by President Obama.
My message to them, leave the damn kids alone and stop makin’ stuff up!
Hat tip goes out to Jed Lewison of DKosTV, for finding this video. On the eve of the 1992 presidential campaign — October 1, 1991, to be exact — President George H. W. Bush pitched his education plan in a speech broadcast live to school classrooms nationwide. Please take a moment to read Jed’s diary entitled Another wingnut meme goes down the drain .