Study Hard

Gee whiz. Call me naive, ignorant, misinformed, or uninformed, but I just cannot understand the hoopla about President Obama’s education speech yesterday. I heard it and felt like saying, “Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for telling the young people of America that education is important AND that it takes a lot of hard work. “ How can the parents of the nation’s children be opposed to that? Don’t they know that education is the ticket to a better life for their little darlings and that it comes with a price?

From teaching Human Growth and Development, I’ve learned that accountability is BIG today. From reading the newspaper and online sources, I’ve learned that most people think that accountability rests with the teachers and administrators, not with the students. To solve these shortcomings and problems, homeschooling, private schools, charter schools, and all kinds of other options have become available. Are they successful? Not always. Not if the parents don’t get involved with the education of their children. Do they check their homework? Take an interest in their courses? Go to parent/teacher conferences?

Last week I read an article in The State by Dr. Steve Millies, a professor at one of SC’s colleges, and I found myself thinking, “You’re so right!” I could identify with his experiences completely. He sometimes asks his students if they think he should be accountable for making sure that they learn, and they always say yes. He then asks them how many completed the reading for the day’s class, and perhaps two or three hands remain up. What a glaring disconnect between what students expect from their teachers and what they are willing to do on their own!  Folks, I see this attitude in my classes every day.

I agree with Dr. Millies in his assertion that we indeed have a problem with public education in America. I also agree that that the problem doesn’t rest solely with the schools and teachers but also with the parents and students.  Turn off the television set and read a book.  Listen to our president. He knows what he’s talking about


Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

7 thoughts on “Study Hard”

  1. MJ: I think the speach was rewritten just a bit after all the hoopla.

    One thing (as a parent) that concerned me was the President’s question, “What can you do to help the President?” Excuse me?!

    Then there was all the accompanying materials from the Department of Education that I did (as a parent) not have access to. I want to know what it is my 5 and 7 year old children are being exposed to.

    I think the final speach, as presented, was worthwile and generally helpful.

    I think the BIG DEAL was the not knowing. And based on what I have observed from the President (saying one thing and doing another aka being less than honest) concerned me that my young children would be “taught” something that I may need to “un-teach.”

    I'm not a contentious person...really I'm not. I'm just wondering how Obama's question is that drastically different from that of Kennedy's (ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country). I also keep thinking of "public education" and what a privilege and right that is for all of America's children, especially when so many of the world's children go uneducated (especially the females). The schools operate on government funds. Can't the president speak to the children?

  2. I agree. I felt the hoopla was pretty disrespectful, to be honest. Regan and Bush gave similar speeches and everyone just sat in their classrooms and listened. Is it because his name is Barack Obama? Is it because the right has painted him as something he is not (a leftist and an extremist) and because we are LDS we tend to associate with the right-handed end of the political spectrum? Sigh. I don’t know. But it’s at times like this I’m sure glad I homeschool!!!

    You can probably imagine what many in the South are saying. Many feel that it's because of his heritage, his genetics.

  3. One thing that is a travesty in our society is the culture that insists school is not necessary or cool to be involved in.

    Not every student believes that, but enough to perpetuate an ignorant and uneducated segment of the populace.

    It always amazes me to know that once school was a privilege that the underclass could only aspire to! And the fact that children today can get their education for free??

    What a gift from their community! Their nation!

    Beautifully said!

  4. @nosurfgirl:

    OBAMA is not a leftist? That’s funny. Name one conservative policy of Obama’s. Just one. Some in his own party have said that he was the most extreme left senator on record. Just look at his record.

    I think the speach as given was great. The problem was the “study guide” the Department of Education wanted to give to go along with it. The Federal government has no right dictating to the states what to do. But then again that’s just what the Constitution says.

  5. MJ regarding Kennedy’s question vs Obama’s question. Look at them closely. Kennedy is asking what we citizens can do to help our COUNTRY. Obama was asking what our underage citizens can do to help HIM. Big difference in where you put the focus. On the country as a whole or the individual. Helping the COUNTRY will help everyone. Helping the INDIVIDUAL will have a somewhat limited affect on the country.

    It's funny how different people's perceptions can be. I'm taking a stroll down Memory Lane and remembering how WONDERFUL I thought our nation was when I was a child. I think part of that was because of the "brain washing" I got at home, school, and church. I associated the president(s) with the country itself and sort of saw them as all tied up together. I guess what I'm saying is that today's underage citizens are now "in training" to be the leaders of tomorrow, and to be one of those leaders, one needs to work hard and take responsibility (like Obama said).

    I seem to really be on a roll today. My classes are taking tests online so I have more free time at the computer. Yay!

  6. some times i think our country regrets their decision for our pres, and the way to get back is to be loud and horrid, jimmy carter says he is black and that is unfortunite for some of us because where you are from marla jayne some think a black man can’t think and where i am from they think why did we give them the priesthood, my neighbor is a farmer and i have quit talking to him, bless his heart but he hasn’t seen too many blacks except for maybe michael jackson on t.v. leading around a monkey{although i saw michael’s special that ohpra did and i did gain new respect for this genius of the artss}i just hope he doesn’t get shot…one mormon woman of eleven kids said, i won’t let my children listen to the bum{doesn’t that sound racist} of course i am a mormon too, so not ALL of us feel that way, do we????

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