September 2009


The graphic video of the afternoon melee emerged on local news stations over the weekend, showing the fatal beating of Derrion Albert, a sophomore honor roll student at Christian Fenger Academy High School.

Tragic.

Before 2006, an average of 10-15 students were fatally shot each year. That climbed to 24 fatal shootings in the 2006-07 school year, 23 deaths and 211 shootings in the 2007-08 school year and 34 deaths and 290 shootings last school year.

Tragic.

FoxNews.com article

Maura says:

Chloclate = chocolate

Sometimes pronounced, shlocklate

So, there is much controversy surrounding the President’s address to the students.  I confess, I don’t like it one bit, but not because of his political affiliations.  It is because of his ideology and talking directly to students without their parents foreknowledge fits his modus operandi.  Of course, the lesson plans established by the Department of Education were outrageous, but enough about that.

Here is a quote from his speech (at least the printed remarks):

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

via Raw Data: Obama Speech to American School Children – Political News – FOXNews.com.

Now, based on his words alone I am with him 100%.  In fact, this is something that we don’t hear enough about in the education world.  Personal responsibility on the part of the students is exactly what ought to be stressed by everyone from the President down to the lowest man (or woman) on the government payroll.

Matching his rhetoric to his actions is something entirely different.  Is some one who speaks so eloquently about the need for personal responsibility really going to advocate for a government-knows-best health care system?  Is someone who cherishes personal responsibility as a noble virtue going to bail out banks and auto companies with other people’s money?

Rush Limbaugh spoke about this on his radio program today.  Thomas Sowell talks about it from a slightly different angle in a recent column.  Both men are probably more qualified than I am to analyze the complex world of national politics, but I didn’t need their help in coming to similar conclusions.  This speech, while good on the surface, lacks substance from the man who uttered the words.  In other words, show me the responsibility in Obama’s agenda and maybe I’ll become a believer in the hope and change he’s peddling.

Obama’s advisers think the answer to every problem is more cowbell, if by “cowbell” you mean “Obama.” It’s like Obama guru David Axelrod is the Christopher Walken character from the Saturday Night Live skit about Blue Oyster Cult (if you don’t know the reference, Google “cowbell”).

Every time someone comes up with an alternative to throwing Obama on TV, Axelrod says, “No, no, no. Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription . . . is more Obama!”

via David Axelrod as Christopher Walken by Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online.

[Full disclosure: I’ve never seen this skit]

This is the summary paragraph from VDH’s post:

The cycle [of appeasement and war] will play out as in the past, because, in this age of enlightenment, affluence, and leisure, we just cannot accept that human nature remains the same and thus predictable. It remains too depressing to concede that for a few evil opportunists good will is seen not as magnanimity to be appreciated, but as weakness to be tested. And who but a dunce would believe that continual military preparedness is far cheaper — and more humane — than the perpetual “peace dividend” and lowering of our defenses?

via From Preparedness to Appeasement by Victor Davis Hanson on National Review Online.

A little lunch time blogging from school…

For grades 7-12, the Department of Education suggests teachers prepare by excerpting quotes from Obama’s speeches on education for their students to contemplate — and ask as questions such as “Why does President Obama want to speak with us today? How will he inspire us? How will he challenge us?”

Activities suggested for after the speech include asking students “what resonated with you from President Obama’s speech? What lines/phrase do you remember?”

via Critics Decry Obama’s ‘Indoctrination’ Plan for Students – Political News – FOXNews.com.

How will he inspire us?

What resonated with you?

There is no problem with the President addressing students per se, but suggesting a lesson plan that asks how he will inspire us?  Or what “resonated” with you from his address?  That goes to the border of politicizing the event.  Even if you don’t think it’s politicizing the event, it is definitely narcissistic of the President and his team to ask how students will be inspired by his address.  Is this the model of behavior that we want our students to emulate?