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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

President (I hope) Inspires Our Students

Today the President of the United States talks to the students of the United States and I think it is a good thing.

This is an action with precedent—he will be following in the footsteps of President George W Bush.

On the other hand, the Department of Education has stirred up some controversy with its lesson plan, which played right into the hands of those who are protesting the Administration's plans to reshape the US economic landscape with TARP and the bailout of GM and Chrysler and now health care.  Even the Education Department admits it erred.  I do think the protestors have been distracted by this tempest in a teapot.

Dan Phelps of The Lowell Sun, referred to the protestors as "silly."  Well, Dan is a local columnist and a little over-the-top language is part of his style.

On the other hand, for Education Secretary Arne Duncan to refer to his fellow citizens as "just silly" after his Department messed up the proposed lesson plan, which invited the criticism, shows that the Administration has lost the sure hand it has shown in getting its message across to the American People.  I am hoping that Rahm Emanuel has quietly taken Mr Duncan to the wood shed for his comment on one of the Sunday Talk Shows.

As a side comment, former Speaker Newt Gingrich just said on Fox News that he read an advance copy of the speech released by the White House and it is a terrific message for our school children.  And, he noted the precedent and said, "fair is fair."


Remember, Bush did it in 2001.

Regards  —  Cliff

  I tried to find a link to the article on page A6 of Monday's edition of The Boston Globe, and failed.  I will keep a copy upstairs if anyone wants to check it.  EMail me ( or call me—I am in the book.


Renee said...

I haven't watched it yet, only media snippets. My mother watched it, at the time she was in high school (late-60s) she would of been a potential drop, living in an unstable home. It was good for it's directed audience, at risk student in junior high or high school. A 3rd grader without these concerns would zone out after two minutes I assume, by my mother's response.

My mother's concern is suggesting the students from very unstable homes, may over-reach goals. My mother became an LPN, which differs from an RN in education. My father doesn't have a four year degree, but a two-year from a community college. One of the reason I could finish college and attend law school, was because of free room and board from my parents.

Many people take advantage of Middlesex Community College partnership with UMass Lowell, to transfer over if they don't they have a reliable degree. On the other hand some student's lives are so unstable, this may not even be an opportunity, these students should be identified, if they want to put in the work in high school. Sadly I think there would be a good number of teenagers, that voluntarily remove themselves from their home life, not because they 'teen angst' but their parent's lives are just too chaotic.

I have to pull it up, but there was a study of at-risk female teens, that were placed in proper healthy foster homes, with foster parents engaged with them and not only did it overall improve their behavior and education, but also reduced the teen pregnancy rate.

OK I will go on the rant, but this is my beef with contraception in at-risk teenager girls and in high schools in general. These girls, don't need the Pill. What they need is someone to show them what it means to have someone actually care and love you in a home setting!

C R Krieger said...

Renee has some good points and I particularly agree with her point about the fact that "birth control" is more about self control and less about chemical and mechnical methods of suppressing pregnancy.  The drop in the US birthrate over the last century had more to do with industrialization and less to do with the invention of modern birth control.  Today the birthrate is less than half what it was in 1909.

Regards  —  Cliff

Renee said...

Here's the study regarding at-rick teenage girls.

"The specialized foster care program places the teen in a highly supervised foster parent setting. The state-certified foster parent or parents have been given additional training on how to work with high-risk youth, and were provided with ongoing consultation, support and crisis intervention services from program supervisors.
"One of the most interesting aspects of this research is that the MTFC program was created to reduce crime, not pregnancy," Kerr said. "It specifically targeted changing the girl's environment: her home, her peers and her school experience. The focus was on giving her lots of supervision, support for responsible behavior, and consistent, non-harsh consequences for negative behavior. And this worked to reduce pregnancy rates.""

While I know I'm a social conservative, I do consider myself a fiscal moderate. I don't mind spending taxes on things I agree with.