Educators across America found themselves at the center of a political storm this week as conservatives exploded in anger over President Obama's plans to give a speech to the country's schoolchildren.What government policy is at the root of this controversy? Compulsory education, meaning laws that require children ages 5-16 (roughly) to attend school.
A stunned White House insisted the address, planned for Tuesday, and accompanying suggested lesson plans are meant simply to encourage students to study hard and stay in school.
But some parents said they aren't buying it. They said they're convinced the president is going to use the opportunity to press a partisan political agenda on impressionable young minds.
President Obama has every right to address any group he wants. But, he does not have the right to compel anyone to listen. The difference between this speech, and a standard evening television address, is that the audience is captive.
Aside: The location of the speech is Wakefield High School, my alma mater (class of '75). I will be attending my 35th reunion next summer.