Wednesday, September 9, 2009

WHY IT MATTERS: The Obama Speech

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Oh please.
A president has a right to make speeches and urge kids to study and get a good education. And the activities are obviously intended to part of what the White House hopes will be a teachable moment around the Obama speech.
In their zeal to use a sledgehammer to kill a fly, these folks are missing the REAL problem with the activities. They are silly.
There are two sets of plans, one for preK-grade 6 and the other for grades 7-12, written with some unfortunate educational gobbledygook (a "concept web"!?!?) and some sloppy language.
They tell teachers, for example, to “build background knowledgeable about the president and
his speech by “reading books about presidents and Barack Obama.” Last I looked, Obama was one of the presidents.His speech says the national address, at noon next Tuesday will “challenge students to work hard, set education goals and take responsibility for their learning.” It can be watched live on the department website.
Good for the president for trying to inspire kids to get a good education. Presidential messages matter, and this one, from the first African-American president, is especially important for communities in which education is not seen as a priority.

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