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  • Real Reasons for “Back to School” Outrage

    Parents across the country have raised alarm about President Obama’s planned “back to school” address to American students. When the Department of Education released a lesson plan that included asking youngsters—how can you help President Obama?—parents’ concern that their children were being “organized” for political purposes was justified.

    Since Thursday, the Department of Education’s “lesson plans” have been scrubbed of potentially political questions. When President Obama speaks to American students later today, we’re likely to hear a positive message that few will disagree with—about the need for students to stay in school, work hard, and take responsibility for getting a quality education. Here’s hoping that students take that message to heart.

    Unfortunately, there are serious reasons for American parents to be outraged as kids’ head back to school—for reasons that the President isn’t talking about much at all these days.

    This year, American taxpayers will spend $10,000 per-student on the average students’ public school education this year. A kindergartener starting school this year can expect to have $100,000 spent on his or her education.

    Yet for millions of kids, this six-figure investment will lead to dismal results.

    National test scores show that less than half of all American students are proficient in reading or math. At least a quarter of all students drop out of high school. In many big cities, fewer than half earn high school diplomas. International test scores show that American teenagers are well-behind their peers in many other countries.

    Who is responsible for this widespread and unacceptable failure? Well, the list is long. For starters, there are the special interest groups—led by the teachers unions—that continue to use their considerable political muscles to ensure that public education employees’ interests are placed above children’s interests. Then, there are the politicians that continue to cave in to these special interest groups, denying or delaying promising reforms that we know will improve children’s learning opportunities.

    But it’s too easy to simply blame the self-interested unions and politicians lacking courage. The truth of the matter is that our nation’s educational failure is everyone’s responsibility. We all should share the blame, because we all have a voice in this debate.

    If we fail to raise our voices on behalf of educational opportunity, millions of children will continue to pass through our nation’s schools without reaching their potential.

    So as students start another school year, here’s some homework for adults: Become informed and make your voice heard in debates about education. Learn about what we’re spending on our public schools and what we’re seeing in terms of student performance. Follow is the education debates in the state legislature and on the local school board. Write a letter to the editor and make your opinions known. Challenge your elected representatives and demand that they put the interests of kids’ ahead of the special interest groups.

    It will take hard work, but if enough people get involved and demand serious reform, we can open the doors of educational opportunity to all American children. The future of millions of children and the United States depends on it.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Real Reasons for “Back to School” Outrage

    1. Jim says:

      I WISH OBAMA WOULD MAKE AN EFFORT TO GET

      CONGRESS AND THE SENATE, AND HIS ADMIN AND

      HIMSELF, TO READ. !!!!!!!!!

    2. Peg Fisk Port Cheste says:

      As a retired teacher with thirty years of teaching behind me, I did not object to Obama's speaking to school children. But all teachers know that giving "talking points" or "suggested projects" or "lesson plans" are euphemisms for "This is how to teach it." I read the original "talking points" of Obama's speech–which were changed because of the objections–and it's clear that Obama was asking for children to support him. That is why so many of us objected–not because the president was speaking, but because children are not to be used politically. It is why–when I taught–I objected to teachers wearing political buttons in my school. It's not our job to propagandize–it's our job to teach.

    3. FeFe, Baltimore says:

      The true reason is schools don't have the burden of proof in court.

      Litigation is expensive and untimely, and more so when the parent bears the burden of proof. But it is precisely the questioning of those with authority that leads to due process. Despite the thorn it brings to the parent/teacher relationship, exercising your rights to be "fully informed" is essential when advocating for your child's education. School systems have unlimited taxpayer legal dollars and teachers have union legal representation all to fund parent attrition. School boards, teachers, everyone involved has personal immunity too. The very people who get their special needs training from taxpayer funded seminars and conferences to declare they know best and what the educational outcome of your child will be, are not considered the experts. Shameful.

      Enter Dear Leader Obama atop the politburo nightmare of hearing officer cronyism as the shining example of government employees taking the living parent taxes provide in one hand, and stopping them with the other hand because parental rights only extend beyond the schoolhouse gate from government largess. B.S.

    4. Dennis S, Sandusky O says:

      In my opinion, the reason the President talking to school children got so many parents excited was that the President no nonger has the majoriy trust of the American people. Mr. Obama has lost credibility since his actions after the election have not even come close to his campaign promises. His cabinet and avisors are surely no better than the previous president. A complete loss of faith in the vetting process has left many of us wondering how can he appoint advisors that would not pass the backgroung checks to work in any job requiring trustworthy workers. I, am opposed to President Obama speaking directly to our youth on the grounds that I cannot believe that he would keep his word and keep away from political issues. This is so sad!

    5. Rebecca, Charlotte says:

      "We all should share the blame, because we all have a voice in this debate."

      Sorry, total BS. The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the parents who aren't making sure their children are learning. The buck stops with the parents. Oh and, if teachers actually did their jobs THAT would help, too.

    6. Pingback: Two fingers up at the 4th Estate … the long and short of rabble babble « Paradise Preoccupied

    7. Dee Smith says:

      People are unaware of how many lawsuit occur each year in public schools. A lot of money is wasted for special needs children.

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