Labor Day + 1

September 3, 2009 20:39 pm

by General Jack D. Ripper · 52 comments

As we approach Labor Day weekend, the traditional close of summer in America, there is a movement, not just in Georgia, but across America, to add one more day of vacation. At least where school children are concerned.

If you are not aware by now, then you should know that President Barack Obama is planning a speech aimed at our nation’s school children and set to air during the school day.

Now there is nothing new about this. As White House deputy policy director Heather Higginbottom pointed out in an interview for the Associated Press, President George H. W. Bush did a similar address in 1991 that was aimed at students and broadcast by CNN. The theme of the Bush speech was to encourage students to study harder. She also notes that Democrats complained then, accusing the President of making a campaign commercial.

However, what may be the most striking difference, besides the fact that Bush did it three years into his presidency while Obama is doing it nine months in, is that the Obama speech comes complete with action lesson plan on how the student can help the President.

In the face of the criticisim, the White House has quickly changed their initial plans.

The White House revised the plans Wednesday to say students could “write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.”

“That was inartfully worded, and we corrected it,” Higginbottom said.

In Georgia, emails have gone around, mainly from grassroots activists, encouraging their fellow parents to keep their children out of school on Tuesday as a protest.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution talked to DeKalb GOP Chairman Frank Auman about the upcoming speech for their article.

The timing of the speech also raises concerns, according to Frank Auman, Chairman of the DeKalb County Republican Party. Though students in Georgia have been in school for weeks now, Tuesday is the first day of school for many students across the country. And a debate on health care reform has communities divided.

“The concern, as far as I can tell, is that rather than being about civics and the presidency, it’s about issues and President Obama,” Auman said.

In Georgia, it is up to the individual school systems to make the decision on whether or not to show the speech. The ones that do will allow students to opt out.

In Cobb, Fulton and Cherokee counties, parents have the option of signing a form to exempt their child from watching the speech, if a particular school is planning to view it. Students will not be penalized for choosing not to listen to Obama’s message, school system officials say.

In Forsyth County, the speech will not be shown at all, but teachers can download it to incorporate it into their lesson plans later.

MSBassSinger September 3, 2009 at 9:34 pm

My daughter called me about the Obama “edumercial”, and she was seriously not happy. She doesn’t want her kids exposed to blatant political propaganda in school. I encouraged her to talk (calmly) to the school administration tomorrow, and get the facts before deciding what to do.

If Obama is limiting what he says to strictly encouraging kids to learn, then I have no problem with it, and I told her so. I simply do not trust him (or teachers in general in the “afterglow” of the speech) to not make this a bunch of left-wing propaganda.

I fully expect Obama to trim back his remarks, and what he publishes Monday for people to read will most likely be what he and his people think is sans the propaganda they originally intended. I think these folks are so isolated in their far-left bubble, that the propaganda will still shine through, and they will be bewildered as to why people will object.

Jeremy Jones September 3, 2009 at 10:36 pm

I will not be holding my daughter out of school. As my reasons are lengthy, feel free to visit my blog for my reasons.

http://jeremy2010.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/be-cool-stay-in-school/

Jeremy Jones

Lone Star Georgian September 3, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Need this be viewed through such an insidious lens? The president is going to talk to school children about the importance of doing well in school. When I was a kid, the president was always treated as an inspiring figure by my teachers, no matter what his party or policy views.

I watched inaugurations of both Republican and Democratic presidents in class. I also saw the talk given by George H.W. Bush, whom my mother did not like. Rather than project her own political views onto my education, my mom decided it probably wouldn’t be apocalyptic to let the president tell me to study harder.

I never cared for George W. Bush’s politics, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t use his role as president to provide leadership to kids. I would let my kids watch his speech in class, too.

Cousin Pat from Georgia September 4, 2009 at 11:38 am

Very well said.

I’m having to explain stuff like this to family and friends who seem to think that no President has ever been spoken OF in public school, much less spoken TO students in public school.

Rick Day September 4, 2009 at 12:59 am

In Georgia, emails have gone around, mainly from grassroots activists GOP Operatives, encouraging their fellow parents to keep their children out of school on Tuesday as a protest.

There, I fixed that for you.

Republicans are encouraging parents to have their kids to skip school. Shame!

Jeff September 4, 2009 at 6:54 am

Rick,

I’ll allow “GOP grassroots activists”, but many that I’ve personally talked to about this are not in any way Party leadership, even locally.

ByteMe September 4, 2009 at 7:14 am

I thought the typo needed to be fixed this way:

In Georgia, emails have gone around, mainly from paranoid wingnuts, encouraging their fellow parents to keep their children out of school on Tuesday as a protest.

Anyone else note that Reagan did the same thing… but used some of his time to talk about tax reform? Guess it wasn’t so awful then to Republicans.

MSBassSinger September 4, 2009 at 9:15 am

Is it any wonder things are so partisan when things on the left range from cowardly name calling (paranoid wingnuts, right wing terrorists, etc.) to biting off someone’s finger?

Whatever happened to honest, rational discussion? Surely that is not just the domain of the conservative.

ByteMe September 4, 2009 at 9:20 am

The guy who got his finger bit off admitted he threw the first punch that connected with the other guy’s face. He got what he got for the action he took. Don’t start a fight if you can’t take what comes next.

As for rational: nothing’s rational about irrational hatred of the President, regardless of party. It’s only the paranoid wingnut who sees evil everywhere when his team’s not winning.

MSBassSinger September 4, 2009 at 9:42 am

I don’t know how you get things so wrong without it being intentional.

First, the guy (65 year old Bill Rice) who had his finger bitten off was attacked by the Obama supporter, who came charging at him, calling him an idiot. Bill Rice wasn’t even there for the anti-Obama rally. Rice felt physically threatened, and defended himself.

Second, I don’t know any conservatives who hate the President. We hate his foolish policies that are destined to make things worse. Do you think conservatives would hate J. C. Watts if he were President? The only difference is policy.

It’s only the paranoid wingnut who sees evil everywhere when his team’s not winning.” You just described MoveOn.org, Organizing for America, People for the American Way, etc. when Republicans were in charge. Are you not a better man than to continually resort to baseless name calling? Do you not desire to be taken seriously rather than just be crudely entertaining?

ByteMe September 4, 2009 at 9:49 am

How wrong can you be in one post?

Let me count the way:

He admits he threw first punch:

http://www.prisonplanet.com/man-who-lost-finger-to-bite-by-obamacare-supporter-tells-story-to-cavuto.html

So Rush calls the President a Nazi, but he really doesn’t “hate” him? You going to try to defend that buffoon next? How about Hannity? You think he doesn’t hate the President? Either you’re saying they’re not conservatives or that you “don’t know” them.

Next: I also described the teabaggers, the deathers, the birthers. And I was clear I said it was both parties, but maybe you missed that.

Finally, this:

Do you not desire to be taken seriously rather than just be crudely entertaining?

If I can’t be taken seriously by some people, at least being entertaining is a good fallback position. Being unserious and NOT entertaining is what the GOP is these days, so I wouldn’t want to be confused with that.

Jason Shepherd September 4, 2009 at 10:13 am

Operatives are paid. The emails I have been getting are from volunteers. Some may have titles in Party leadership at various levels, but they do not work for the GOP or any GOP candidates.

That makes them grassroots activists.

ByteMe September 4, 2009 at 10:48 am

Or paranoid wingnuts.

kcordell September 4, 2009 at 6:26 am

Someone posted this on http://www.freerepublic.com in the bloggers forum. Just thought you might want to get a glimpse at some others have to say.

John Konop September 4, 2009 at 7:50 am

I have many policy disagreements with Obama. Yet he has always had a tough love approach about personal responsibility when talking about education. I cannot see why any rational person would object and not show the proper respect toward our President. Office holders speak in front of classes all the time and we cannot just listen to people we agree with.

BTW what is wrong with this?

FROM OBAMA

….”We’ve got to say to our children, Yes, if you’re African American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher. Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that someone in a wealthy suburb does not have to face. That’s not a reason to get bad grades, that’s not a reason to cut class, that’s not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school,” he said. “No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands – and don’t you forget that.”

“No excuses. No excuses,” Obama added, verging off his prepared remarks. “You get that education. All those hardships will just make you stronger, better able to compete. Yes, we can.”….

http://controlcongress.com/uncategorized/obama-naacp-speech-your-destiny-is-in-your-hands-no-excuses

ByteMe September 4, 2009 at 8:06 am

BTW what is wrong with this?

I think you answered your own question with the very next line.

Cousin Pat from Georgia September 4, 2009 at 11:46 am

And this kind of talk is desperately needed in many at-risk communities where Obama is an inspiring figure. This is his most authentically conservative, personal-responsibility-above-all-else position. I find it mind-blowing that so many so-called conservatives don’t want him delivering this message directly to the populations that need to hear it the most.

MSBassSinger September 4, 2009 at 9:19 am

To follow-up, my daughter talked to her son’s principal this morning. While the principal was less than truthful (he said the school was only notified about this yesterday afternoon, and that they were required to show it), he did allow that parents could come watch with their kids and be present during the before-and-after teaching sessions.

My daughter is going to do that, rather than pull my grandson out of school for the day. I am so proud of her. Any hint of ObamaBS or left-wing teacher propaganda, and I guarantee you she will tear into it.

John Konop September 4, 2009 at 9:23 am

MSBASS,

Once again what part of this do you disagree with?

FROM OBAMA

….”We’ve got to say to our children, Yes, if you’re African American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher. Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that someone in a wealthy suburb does not have to face. That’s not a reason to get bad grades, that’s not a reason to cut class, that’s not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school,” he said. “No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands – and don’t you forget that.”

“No excuses. No excuses,” Obama added, verging off his prepared remarks. “You get that education. All those hardships will just make you stronger, better able to compete. Yes, we can.”….

MSBassSinger September 4, 2009 at 9:52 am

I never said I disagreed with that specific statement. What you just tried is called the red herring fallacy.

However, that single snippet of an Obama statement is not the issue. I said I do not trust Obama to keep his policy propaganda out of what he was going to say. I suspect now he has had his remarks rewritten since people are watching, and he may yet say something useful.

What problem do you have with me or my daughter being distrustful of a lying, deceiving President who wants access to our children in the midst of losing his battles on health care, cap-and-trade, etc.? What problem do you have with parents being present during the indoctrination of their kids? Maybe some parents will wake up and realize that in most public schools, their kids are getting indoctrinated every day in left wing propaganda.

Jeremy Jones September 4, 2009 at 9:54 am

EXACTLY! This is one speech on one day, the battle in the public schools is a daily one. If parents want to keep their children out for this one speech, they should really look at what else is going on, and coming from, the DOE.

John Konop September 4, 2009 at 10:12 am

Jeremy

Are you saying you agree with the Obama speech but you think your daughter will be part of an “indoctrination” by listening to the President tell her to stay in school and take responsibility for her own education?

Jeremy Jones September 4, 2009 at 10:15 am

I do not know what the speech will say, so I will answer that part of your question later.

I am responsible for her education. Part of my action to ensure she is educated is to send her to school. Another part is to monitor what is being taught.

Cousin Pat from Georgia September 4, 2009 at 11:54 am

Parents should really look into the workings of all their local school boards, principals, administrators, should know their kids’ teachers by name, and should volunteer to make those schools better (if they have the time and ability). Luckily, many parents already do.

That’s where grassroots activism can do the most good and have the farthest reaching effects.

Bucky Plyler September 4, 2009 at 9:19 am

Prents should have the final say on this , regardless of the politics or issues involved. The parents are responsible for their child’s education and welfare.

John Konop September 4, 2009 at 9:23 am

Bucky,

Once again what part of this do you disagree with?

FROM OBAMA

….”We’ve got to say to our children, Yes, if you’re African American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher. Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that someone in a wealthy suburb does not have to face. That’s not a reason to get bad grades, that’s not a reason to cut class, that’s not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school,” he said. “No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands – and don’t you forget that.”

“No excuses. No excuses,” Obama added, verging off his prepared remarks. “You get that education. All those hardships will just make you stronger, better able to compete. Yes, we can.”….

Bucky Plyler September 4, 2009 at 10:07 am

Hi John. Do you have kids?

John Konop September 4, 2009 at 10:08 am

Yes I have 2 kids in school.

Bucky Plyler September 4, 2009 at 11:16 am

Then, you are responsible for what they are hearing in school. If you are fine with the President speaking to them at school, then you are excercising your responsibility as a parent.

On the flip side, don’t take the track that that parents who want to opt out of the President’s speech are nuts.

John Konop September 4, 2009 at 11:53 am

Bucky

Parents have the right of pulling kids out of school basically anytime within allotted days. Yet I still do not understand why you object to what Obama is telling kids. And do you only have your kids listen to people you always agree with?

Bucky Plyler September 4, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I used to have a dog that would chase his tail all day long.

ByteMe September 4, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Did he ever catch it?

Bucky Plyler September 4, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Sometimes..but he always started the chase all over again.

Cousin Pat from Georgia September 4, 2009 at 11:55 am

Obama’s speech, attend or not, political or not, will be one day. In a student’s life, the particulars will likely be forgotten in a week, and they’ll only remember that they saw the President on TV.

What will be far more important and memorable for them is when they see how their parents and friends react to this.

Jeremy Jones September 4, 2009 at 9:42 am

From Kathy Cox:

At noon, on Tuesday, September 8, President Barack Obama will deliver a “back-to-school” address to students. The 15-20 minute speech will be broadcast via the web and on C-Span. You can learn more information about this event at

http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html.

The White House and the U.S. Department of Education did not involve the Georgia Department of Education in the planning of this event. A letter inviting students to view the speech was sent directly to principals and local superintendents, not to the GaDOE.

There is nothing in state or federal law that would require or prohibit a school from showing this speech to students and the decision lies completely with local school officials.

Instructional time is a valuable commodity for schools. If a decision is made to show the video, it is important that its viewing and any subsequent discussion be tied directly to the standards being taught at the school.

Also, it’s important that students who do not want to watch the video have that option.

If it is decided not to show the video to students, then please be aware that the speech can be viewed on-line after school hours at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/mediaresources/.

If parents have questions about the video, we would encourage them to contact their local school or school system.

Kathy Cox
State Superintendent of Schools
Georgia Department of Education
2066 Twin Towers East
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
(404) 656-2598

John Konop September 4, 2009 at 9:43 am

Jeremy,

Once again what part of this do you disagree with?

FROM OBAMA

….”We’ve got to say to our children, Yes, if you’re African American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher. Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that someone in a wealthy suburb does not have to face. That’s not a reason to get bad grades, that’s not a reason to cut class, that’s not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school,” he said. “No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands – and don’t you forget that.”

“No excuses. No excuses,” Obama added, verging off his prepared remarks. “You get that education. All those hardships will just make you stronger, better able to compete. Yes, we can.”….

Jeremy Jones September 4, 2009 at 9:51 am

John,
Did you even read my reply? I am not advocating to hold children out from school. If that is all he says, then I will applaud him.

Based on the first set of suggested lesson plans, it appears he will be talking about other topics.

My objection is solely based on the idea of the Department of Education spending money on this project. Once we hear the speech, then I will debate, if need be, the content of it. Once we hear it, then I might have stronger objections. However, if I knew with 100% certainty he was going to espouse the merits of using taxpayer dollars for abortions for birth control, I would not advocate keeping her out of school. My job as a parent is to be a part of her education. Knowing the ideas of opposing viewpoints is an important aspect in decision making.

Jeremy Jones September 4, 2009 at 9:51 am
John Konop September 4, 2009 at 9:53 am

Jeremy Jones

We have office holders all the time speak at schools are you proposing this be eliminated?

Jeremy Jones September 4, 2009 at 9:54 am

Nope. Not at all.

John Konop September 4, 2009 at 9:58 am

Jeremy,

His speech is about staying in school and working hard no matter the odds. It also is about personal responsibility of parents and students. Stop the spinning why would you not want your daughter to hear this?

Jeremy Jones September 4, 2009 at 10:09 am

Mr. Konop,
Please read my responses first. I am NOT advocating anyone to take their kids out of school. I wrote on my blog, and here saying it. Why would you lie and claim I do not want my daughter to hear it?

I want her to hear it.

John Konop September 4, 2009 at 10:13 am

I am sorry I read it wrong my bad.

benevolus September 7, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Where did that statement come from? Who was it directed to?

Jason Shepherd September 4, 2009 at 10:51 am

John,

Are you messing with Jeremy?

John Konop September 4, 2009 at 11:50 am

Yes!

Jason Shepherd September 4, 2009 at 11:59 am

Okay, if you’re just messing with him, I’ll allow that :)

John Konop September 4, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Jason Shepherd

You caught me!

This is why people should vote and or send money to SHEP! One has to get up early to get one by SHEP.

http://shepforrep.com/

Bill Greene September 4, 2009 at 1:35 pm

That’s it — I’m taking my kids out of school!

Oh wait, I already did that 17 years ago. :)

http://www.exodusmandate.org/
http://www.sepschool.org/

Goldwater Conservative September 7, 2009 at 3:11 pm

I know, Mr. Konop.

I had no idea, myself, that promoting education was part of the socialist agenda until the GOP told me so.

I received some interesting news yesterday from an old friend of mine that still works in polling.

For one, only a handful of people actually know about this presidential address…so the poll is a rather strong indicator on this “issue.”

When those polled were asked how they would feel in Bill Cosby gave a “back to school” speech to America’s children about the value of education, nearly 93% of respondents approved.

The second question asked subsituted the name Bill Cosby with Barack Obama…80% approved.

There’s really nothing to fret about. That 20% is a group that is not important. It is the 20% that kept W. in office. Half of them do not know Hawaii is a state. How relevant is their opinion, one, and two…screw them. We are talking about the 20% that are not persuadable.

Furthermore, just like the myths that surrounded cap and trade and the myths that surround the health care reform package…I have read a preliminary script for tomorrow’s speech. Healthcare does not come up, safe sex does not come up,…the speech is entirely devoted to education and its importance for the future of our children. Do not forget, unlike McCain or W. Bush…Obama was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His daddy did not get him into college. Obama earned his way into our nation’s top schools. He is the one with the American success story.

benevolus September 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm

And Kathy Cox again caves to the 20% fringe. Why wouldn’t the State School Superintendent encourage parents and teachers to watch and learn from a “stay in school” message? Instead, she quotes the legal obligations.

Pathetic.

John Konop September 8, 2009 at 9:05 am

One would think with her track record via drop outs KATHY COX would be supportive of a stay in school speech!

Data shows inconsistency in Georgia dropout, graduation rates
Kathy Cox must go!

AJC-Georgia loses track of thousands of students each year, suggesting the dropout rate may be higher and the graduation rate lower than the state has reported, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis found.

Last year, school staff marked more than 25,000 students as transferring to other Georgia public schools, but no school reported them as transferring in, the AJC’s analysis of enrollment data shows.

State officials said their records confirm the mismatch. After the newspaper asked where the students went, the state searched further using student names — which are not public information — and other personal details.
That search located 7,100 of the missing transfers in Georgia schools, state education spokesman Dana Tofig wrote in an e-mailed statement. The state does not know where an additional 19,500 went, but believes other coding errors occurred, he wrote. Some are dropouts but others are not, he said.

State officials have touted their statewide student tracking system as among the more advanced in the country. The missing transfers, however, are only the most recent students caught in an informational black hole due to coding errors.

Read more

http://controlcongress.com/education/data-shows-inconsistency-in-georgia-dropout-graduation-rates

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