U.S. presidents focus on education with good reason
September 15, 2009
To the Editor:
President Bush focused our attention on our students’ poor academic performance and passed legislation to improve it. Last week, President Obama continued this focus by addressing the nation’s students.
Grand Lake Elementary responsibly sent an “opt out” form home so that all students could view the speech yet no student was required to view it. At the secondary level, the opportunity to view the speech was random and denied to many students.
Ironically, a Speech Class is required for graduation from MPHS. The district apologized and pointed out that the speech was online. Secondary students who viewed the speech on their own received a powerful message about education and community in America.
The east Grand School District reported a bombardment of polarized political calls last Tuesday. One wonders how our students are going to be able to guide this country through a myriad of economic and political complexity with China, Korea, India, Russia and the Middle East if their critical thinking skills are deemed too fragile for a president’s speech.
The reason both the former Republican administration and current Democratic administration are focusing on education is that America’s schools, parents and students are not measuring up. Sending your child to publicly funded education and expecting 100 percent of the job to be done by the state is the epitome of a socialist mentality. At Middle Park High School, 50 percent of 10th graders scored below proficiency in math, science and writing on the 2008 CSAP. Did any of the irate parents who called on Tuesday ask what they could do to ensure that their student wouldn’t be in the half failing three core subjects by the second year of high school?
In the Internet age, our students compete for jobs with peers on the other side of the world. Many developed and developing nations do a better job of producing bilingual and mathematically and scientifically literate students than the United States. This is why presidents keep talking to us.
“A house divided cannot stand.” If your child doesn’t know which Republican president said this and why, you should call the school to inquire when it comes up in the curriculum or take your child to the library today. The point of President Obama’s speech and extensive Republican legislation is to take responsibility for improving our children’s education. If we fail at this it will be a shared loss, not a polarized one.