While talking at a forum in a hall in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Obama told parents that “we’re not instilling the hunger to learn.” He mad the point that “it’s not all about money,” saying that children in China are going to school in dilapidated buildings, with outdated text books but they’re performing well because “they are hungry.”
Harrisburg teacher Jesse Rawls Sr. asked Obama, “How can we get inner-city kids to buy into education?” Obama responded by saying, “The only reason I’m standing here is because I got a good education. We need to change the attitude of kids … [and champion the idea] that everybody is our responsibility.”
He then detailed his plan that would “Identify ‘at-risk’ parents when they go to the hospital to deliver a baby, teach them to read, and encourage their child to get a good education.” (Pennlive.com)
While discussing the importance of reading at a young age, he said that “government can’t do everything,” and he told parents, “Turn off the television, turn off the video games.” He told parents, “don’t go to school and cuss out the teacher” when a note is sent home from the school about their children. He said that motivation must be given to students, especially 9th graders, who show a great lack in interest as they transition over to high school. He said that the mentality that “education is poured in your ear” and the students don’t have to do anything is utterly false and believing that mentality will have terrible consequences.
I’ve gotta say, I agree with Obama here. And this “it’s the parents’ mentality” is a pattern of his. Back in February, he told a crowd in Wisconsin, “We’re going to have to parent better, and turn off the television set, and put the video games away, and instill a sense of excellence in our children, and that’s going to take some time.”
My favorite quote from his whole speech was “government can’t do everything.” I just wish he would use this mentality when it came to health care. I like McCain’s plan of allowing people to get health care plans from other states (pushing for more competition between companies) MUCH better than either Clinton’s or Obama’s plans. For more on McCain’s positions about health care, see here.
Anyway, I do like the fact that Obama is saying that it’s the parents’ job, not the government’s to make sure that kids want to learn. The fact that he said this right as these stories, where parents weren’t doing their jobs, makes me feel a little happier about Obama, although I’ll still never vote for him (unless he were pro-life, then there’d be the chance, but I’d still vote for McCain over him):
America has got to get this problem of out of control kids under control, and it really does start with education. If kids are dedicated to education, they won’t go around plotting to stab their teacher, or flushing their newborn babies down the toilet (or even getting pregnant at all!).
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