Dr. Felix Weighs in on President Obama's Speech to Coronado Students

Editor's Note: We have included the video of the speech from YouTube below:

Much has been written and said over the past few days regarding the President’s planned speech on September 8th to the nation’s children. In this speech, the President will talk to children about persisting and succeeding in school. Frankly I am quite surprised by the vehemence shown by some individuals toward our nation’s leader. This lack of respect for an elected official and the accompanying distrust by parents for not only what the President will say, but for the teacher’s ability to monitor a child’s education leads me to believe we have an even larger problem in our society. That problem is the ever-narrowing role and responsibility society is placing on our schools.

Schools are the best place for children to watch the President’s speech. Schools have for centuries been a place where ideas are encouraged, where critical thinking about those ideas is a natural part of the conversation, and where appropriate response and debate can flourish. Teachers in schools lead students to reach deeper, to confirm facts, and think about the circumstances surrounding the information they receive. If schools are truly learning communities, then they should be considered the first place we desire for them to hear such speeches. A parent pulling their child from school in order to keep that child from hearing the speech maligns schools and lessens the worth of the teacher.

This narrow view of education and disrespect for teachers are truly something to fear. A school is a safe place for people to examine the world from many angles and learn how to do that with rigor and enthusiasm. If that is not the case, then we relegate schools to simply a big building where one goes to pass a standardized test. Schools become a place where one needs to have a good memory, not a good mind.

Schools are a place where each generation passes on cultural and social values, traditions, morality, religion, knowledge, and skills to the next generation. What are our children learning about respect for authority when we react in such a manner? What are children learning about our generation when our distrust of one another extends to teachers and schools? At the very least, trust your child’s teacher to make this a learning experience that will enhance your child’s overall education. Trust them to turn this “teachable moment” into an event that will build upon the foundation they will need for future academic and social success, just as they do with similar situations every day.

Jeffrey P. Felix, Ed. D.
Coronado Unified School District
201 Sixth Street
Coronado, CA 92118

Views: 12

Tags: community, cusd, politics, school

Comment by Jim Desai on September 9, 2009 at 10:39am
Very well put.

Thank you
Comment by Jim Desai on September 9, 2009 at 4:54pm
Please give us the numbers on the average school absentee rate, and the absentee rate on the day of the speech. That would give us an idea as to the size of the problem.
Comment by becky barb on September 10, 2009 at 2:18pm
Comment by Jim Desai on September 10, 2009 at 2:53pm
This post raises some very valid and interesting points of discussion. If we can keep the vehemence and indignation out of the discussion, then success is ours, if we don't, then we have ALL failed.
Only the Trolls rejoice.

Having said that; let me raise the following point.

We have decided to let the State educate our children. Is this wrong? If not, what sort of education do we expect from the State? Should we limit ourselves to simply teaching Math? Everything else, including Science, has some element of controversy attached to it. Only 2 + 2 = 4. No "ifs" "ands" or "doubts"

I have 3 kids in CUSD. I send my kids to school, not to learn, but to learn to think.

Dry facts are available from books; learning to assimilate different pieces of information and turning that into a cohesive thought or an opinion.... That is what I call Education.

My 3 kids heard the speech, and we had a great one hour discussion at home. I respectfully suggest that you shortchanged your child when you kept her at home. Your entire family missed a great opportunity to sit down and air your views, to get to know what and how your child thinks, and to expose her to ideas, which come in all forms.

We cannot protect our kids: we can only teach them to protect themselves.

We don't own our kids either. We are their physical and moral custodians. Each kid is a unique individual, with his and her own mind. We parents can influence and mold that mind, but we cannot force it to develop.

PS Great to see you are still around and kicking Becky. The scotch is chilling
Comment by Jim Desai on September 10, 2009 at 3:09pm

Calling Jeffery a "Bureaucrat" is rather dicey. In some way, shape or form all of us on this island derive our money and spend our time working for the State. By that defn, we are all Bureaucrats, and it becomes a little bit of the

..,,,Bureaucrats in glass houses should not throw stones at other Bureaucrats in glass houses......
Comment by Jim Desai on September 10, 2009 at 5:24pm
You write extremely well. You have the courage and integrity to express your views, and that is appreciated by all of us. I am sure there was no intention for anybody, Jeffery or myself, to be offensive.

There is no need to be anonymous.

Nobody is going to harm you for expressing yourself. At worse, you get ignored, This Is America. We are a proud free people. Be yourself.

Lets get back to the topic….

If you can think, why do you assume your child cannot?

If your child can think for herself, then she is able to protect herself from possibly harmful ideas, if that is the case why deny her an opportunity to experience them and thereby increase her thinking ability and her self protection?

There is a reason why, there are no Logic or Philosophy classes. Quite simply put, Logic and Philosophy cannot be taught. They have to be nurtured and developed. They grow when a person is exposed to all different kinds of ideas from all different sources, and he or she then learns to distill them Perhaps you denied your child an opportunity here. No offense intended. What do you think?
Comment by becky barb on September 10, 2009 at 6:36pm
I think, Mr. Desai, I believe you are becoming a softy. That's what I think.
Comment by Jim Desai on September 10, 2009 at 7:08pm
Is this going to be another one of those "boat v/s ship" trivialities? As I recall you ended that by agreeing with me. What did we decide? boat,ship,.......................

Pls explain further..... Only if it is relevant...
Comment by Heather Street on September 11, 2009 at 7:26am
The schools hold our children for at least 13 or more years of their life. They the children choose or not to learn. And if ones best is a c grade they did their best. Not the teachers. If there were more parent involvement they the parent chooses...at home. This speech is history in the making. It will be written in the text books because of the pro and con of it all. Maybe a little like Woodstock but what the heck?

Comment (keep it clean & on topic)

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