Part of middle and high school curriculum are courses in social studies. Back in the day, this meant students would actually have to read the local papers and discuss topical issues of the day. For many kids, this was the first time they ever read a newspaper. Now with newspapers going the way of the dinosaur, students turn to the internet (like everyone else) to get their social studies news.
Last year, President Obama carried on a time honored tradition of having presidents address students as they begin their new school year. Thanks to broadband technology, his speech was available to be beamed into classrooms across the entire nation. Of course, participation was optional. However, this set off a firestorm of protests. Shrill cries of “forced indoctrination” and “re-education” bounced through the talking heads echo chamber. Then the President released the text of his speech. Turns out he was emphasizing the importance of education and the need to study hard. Not so radical.
This year, President Obama carried on the tradition with another encouraging address delivered to students across the country. The President stressed that the more opportunities they will have in life is directly tied to the amount of education they achieve. The further they go in school, the further they can go in the competitive job marketplace.
Unlike last year, there was hardly a blip about “brainwashing.” In fact, one of the President’s harshest critics, former Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer apologize to the President for his comments last year calling his speech “socialist indoctrination.” This time out Greer says he and his children are looking forward to the President’s speech. What a difference a year makes!
The President stressed in his speech that the future of each student is in thier own hands. Along with teachers and parents, he encouraged the students to work hard, stay focused and dream big. That is a perfect winning formula for success for students at any grade level.