Is this all it takes?!

schoolhousePeople all across the nation today have been given a golden opportunity to show how little they understand what it takes to educate our youth. From the highest office in the land all the way down to the regular concerned parent, it is being revealed to the shining light of day that NO ONE HAS ANY IDEA what it takes to teach a child something.

I am, of course, referring to President Obama’s speech to school children scheduled for Tuesday. In this speech, he will exhort our students to work hard, pay attention in school, and get good grades. I can’t believe that no one has thought of this before! If only previous presidents had realized that in order to solve the problems of low performance in our public schools all they had to do was talk to our students! I know that my students will be overawed by the words of a 48 year old lawyer they’ve never met. They will probably fall all over themselves immediately upon receiving these words of wisdom to make up the work they have so far refused to do, become honor students, and go on to amaze the world with their brilliance and dedication to excellence.

A few flying dolphins down from the President on this Crazy Go Round are all the excellent folks hell bent on forbidding their schools and teachers from allowing this broadcast in their childrens’ classrooms. These people seem to think that President Obama actually does possess the magical power to brainwash the most advertised-to (and cynical)  generation of Americans EVER into becoming neo-liberal nazis who’s sole desires are to collectively own health care, tax businesses into the ground, and chant “Death to Republicans.”

Of course every bit of this is predicated on the idea that the students that see this address will actually 1. be awake, 2. understand what the President is saying, and 3. not treat it like every other commercial they see (which is to say, stare blankly at it until it’s over and then go back to drawing on themselves with a sharpie). My entire professional career is about getting my students to pay attention to ANYTHING I say for a whole 30 seconds at a time. (Well that, and to get students to remember to take their hats off when they come inside.)

I suppose that I just find it amazing that the same people that deplore the state of our schools and students can give them so much credit when it suits them. You can’t have it both ways people, and I’ll thank everyone to stop playing politics with the education of our kids.

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