*UPDATE – Quincy News reports that the Quincy Public School District held an emergency school board meeting to decide how to handle the presidential address. Apparently the Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, contacted principals DIRECTLY, totally blowing past the school board and superintendent, not to mention parents.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan contacted principals at school districts to “deliver a national address directly to students on the importance of education.”
Isn’t parental important also of great importance. Did the state forget this?
Superintendent Lonny Lemon said the Board Office has fielded numerous calls since 2:30 today. He said he has had both pro and con calls regarding the president’s address.
“This is not a win-win situation,” Lemon said. “Some parents are not going to have a problem with it, but some are going to want the president to speak when the family can make a decision (regarding the speech).”
Lemon said he was going to discuss the matter with his building principals and the School Board before making a decision on if the Quincy School District will allow teachers to participate in the speech.
Listener Bob writes:
I talked to Alli Rudich who is the Principle of McKelvey Elementary in Maryland Heights where my
son attends to express my concern about Obama’s telecast to public schools. I planned to inform her my son would NOT be attending classes that day. She told me that her school was NOT participating and that the school has a curriculum to follow and Obama was not part of that curriculum. I was very pleased to hear her say that and thanked her for that position. Call your childs school. Hopefully, they will follow Mrs. Rudich’s lead.
Kudos to McKelvey Elementary.
The odd thing about this is that I’m told by multiple sources that the directive for the 9/8 address didn’t come from the superintendent or school board, as these things ought to originate when concerning curriculum and addresses – but it came from the administration who apparently leap-frogged over proper protocol. There’s a reason that we have an educational hierarchy in place and if the president did disregard this that’s even more troubling.
I’ve heard some from those concerned about the financial impact that such a mass absence could have on schools, as they lose money when students are absent. That seems almost like emotional blackmail to me: well, we’ll lose money if you keep your kids out of school that day. Really? Then do what McKelvey did and CHOOSE not to ENDANGER those dollars by not thrusting this on surprised families and allowing parents the choice as to whether or not they want something like this presented to their students! Durr! Jeebus people! That anyone would try to blame the parents for the actions of the administration and schools who choose to go forth with this address is ridiculous.
I’m also giving you full disclosure here – this is reason like, 98 why I homeschool. HOWEVER. My kids get to decide when they hit 7th grade whether or not they want to continue their home education or enroll in the 20th century school system. This little action will set a precedence and it greatly affects our consideration of whether or not we’ll enroll our kids. Additionally, in Missouri, we’ve already had to protest to defend our rights to educational choices and parental rights – homeschooled or not – so decisions like this affect us ALL.