Mt. Lebanon Schools Did Not Need Obama’s Speech

Apparently some Obama party operatives think Mt. Lebanon schools’ decision to allow teachers the option of showing or not showing Obama’s pep talk was politically motivated. They argue that all classrooms should have been required to air the speech and allow students to opt out of watching. Now that’s truly ironic. If students were to opt out, where would they go for the duration of the speech and what would they do? What if all the students got up and left?

The problem is that until a few days before the President’s talk it appeared as though the speech and the attendant class involvement, including having students come up with ideas on ways to help the President’s agenda, was a totally inappropriate politicization of classrooms. After the heavy handed White House effort was publicized, the speech was watered down to an admonition to work hard and stay in school and graduate.

Here’s a thought: for one of the best performing school systems in Pennsylvania with a very low dropout rate and all kinds of positive education reinforcement happening every day, the last thing the students need is another lecture on the importance of staying in school.

And another thing. In the troubled inner city schools where the admonitions contained in the speech might be expected to have their potentially greatest measurable impact, has there actually been an improvement in attendance or an increase in time spent studying? Where is the evidence? If there has been no improvement-even a temporary blip-in these schools, then we can dismiss the effort for what it actually was: an attempt by the President to get face time with students.

Mt. Lebanon’s decision was not politically motivated as claimed by the municipality’s Democrat party leadership. Indeed, the district could have opted not to allow the speech to be aired at all. But the Obama party operatives would certainly like to have made the decision political as long as it favored them and their agenda.