I just received this email from an irate friend (who shall remain nameless) regarding the latest federal “change agent” activities within the government schools. Normally, I would let this kind of thing slip but did you know that the schools are pushing an assignment as part of the Obama government school “visit?”
If you visit the official government website where the Obama “Lesson Plan” is presented, you will read that teachers are directed to engage the students before, during and after the speech with specific learning goals. Here are a few sample lesson plan ideas:
Before the Speech:
Brainstorm or Concept Web: Why does President Obama want to speak with us today? How will he inspire us? How will he challenge us? What might he say?
During the Speech:
Listening with a purpose: personal responsibility, goals, persistence. Teachers might ask pairs of students to create a word bank from the web of any one of the terms (personal responsibility, goals, or persistence) at the top of a double‐column style notes page. On the right‐hand side, students could take notes while President Obama talks about personal responsibility, or goals, or persistence, trying to capture direct quotations. At the end of the speech, students could then write the corresponding terms from the word bank in the left hand column, to increase retention and deepen their understanding of an important aspect of the speech.
Listening with a purpose: Inspiration and Challenges. Using a similar double‐column style notes page as the one above, the teacher could focus students on quotations that either propose a specific challenge to them or inspire them in some meaningful way. Students could do this individually, in pairs or groups.
After the Speech:
What is President Obama inspiring you to do? What is he challenging you to do?
My question is what if your little Johnnie or Susie is not inspired by the President but rather infuriated by the President and his agenda? What if little Johnnie or Susie writes an excoriating piece about the President? Will the government school come down on little Johnnie or Susie? Will their lack of inspiration or cooperation with the “change” being pushed by Obama affect their grade in social studies? Will it be a black mark on their record? Will they be blacklisted in by the Arizona Education Association?
If you are concerned about this latest incident, you need to make four phone calls.
First, call the principal where your child attends school and let them know how you feel about it. They are likely being directed by the Superintendent of the district to oversee the assignment.
Second, call the school district office and talk to the Superintendent of the District. They are likely the one pushing the assignment.
Third, call Superintendent of Public Instruction for Arizona, Tom Horne, and let him know how you feel. I’m willing to bet that Horne’s office is not crazy about the federal government pushing the Obama lesson in the State of Arizona. He may even be assessing how the State of Arizona may avoid or oppose this despite heavy teacher union pressure.
Fourth, call your congressman and let the know how you feel. I know. This is another battle we have to fight but remember, it’s for YOUR children.
Finally and most importantly, be a parent and sit down with your children and explain to them what you believe and why it is important to you and your family.
Here are three references to the Department of Education regarding the lesson plan for the Obama “visit.”