President Barack ObamaObama is Right on Education
Some of the President Obama's critics do not seem to realize that his story is the true message of inspiration and education.
By Yussuf J. Simmonds
Sentinel Assistant Managing Editor
President Barack Obama's ascension to the highest office in the nation, and indeed as the most prominent leader in the entire world is a direct result of his life experiences and his education. His story puts the often-verbalized American slogan--anyone could grow up to become president--in context and that made him the ideal candidate to speak to America's children about education. The children need not look any further. His life is the message.
During the campaign, one of Obama's focuses was on education and as president he is seeking to keep his campaign promise and there seemed to be many more supporters than detractors of the president's initiative. When he said, "And no matter what you want to do with your life, I guarantee that you'll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You're going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You cannot drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You've got to train for it and work for it and learn for it." He knew exactly what he was talking about--not just theoretical or rhetorical, put practical. He has practiced what he is preaching.
The Sentinel spoke with Odessa Taylor, Principal of Virginia Road Elementary School who has been an educator for most of her professional life. In response to the president's speech she said, "I think that President Obama, as the president of the United States of America is the best possible person to say to children, 'stay in school, don't quit, don't give up and do become an informed citizenry.' I think he was right on; he's lived what he is asking them to do."
The president continued, "You'll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You'll need the insights and critical-thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You'll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy."
Taylor went on to say, "He knows what he's talking about; he is the evidence." And in reference to the American ideal about growing up to be president, Taylor said, "He is the embodiment of the message. He is the inspiration that all the children can aspire to because of his beginnings and because, not his endings because I believe he has a tremendous life after the presidency."
There are some segments of society that would disagree with the President if he says there are seven days in each week so it must be understood that despite his good intentions, the president will always have critics. And to some extent, that is democracy at work. But to criticize just to criticize with no valid reason is lunacy, and there seem to be a large segment of the population that is on the lunatic fringe.