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Obama Tells Parents to Shape Up!

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Do you agree with his comments?

Momlogic's Julie: On his recent trip to California, Obama called out parents everywhere, and urged us to do more.

I am a huge Obama supporter, but I have to admit ... this rubbed me the wrong way. I AM instilling good values in my kids. I don't let them play video games until they've done their homework. I attend every parent-teacher conference, thankyouverymuch.

But I am still frustrated that, no matter how much I pay in federal and state taxes, the schools simply are not getting enough funding. I am expected to give more, more, and more time and money that I just don't have.

I do believe education is a group effort between the school and the parents. But when my second-grade son gets two hours of homework a night, I have to wonder if the system just isn't working.

Obama seems to be saying parents aren't pushing our kids enough to strive for excellence, and that's why our kids are outperformed by China and India in math and science.

I push my kids to strive for excellence. I just need the state to back me up and make sure the schools are doing their part, too.

What do you think of Obama's comments?


next: Is Haleigh Cummings' Dad an Unfit Parent?
14 comments so far | Post a comment now
jb March 23, 2009, 4:41 PM

I am a SAHM who has four kids. I stay home to be there for my kids. My kids bring home so much homework, they don’t have much free time after school. My complaint is they always have special activities at school instead of classes. They have gone to the movies and the mall during school hours for good grades. They have school dances during school hours. They had a make up day for a snow day and were told to bring ipods and games, because it would be a fun day instead of classes. They need to teach during school hours and let me take my kids to the mall instead of teaching them in the afternoons. I would like school to be instructional instead of fun. Save the fun time for home instead of homework.

curvymom March 23, 2009, 6:31 PM

At my kids’ school, they have a problem with giving the kids candy every day. It is given for rewards, birthdays, for completing homework on time, for answering questions correctly, for cleaning the classroom, etc.

They used to educate the kids about proper nutrition and healthy eating. Now they use candy as bribery. My kids come home every day with empty candy wrappers in their pockets that a teacher or principal has given them during the day as some sort of reward.

I have contacted the principal about this, and his response was “I will bring this up at a meeting. Thank you for your concern.”

I now have 3 cavities between 2 girls to deal with next week.

They also let the kids bring iPods and hand held games to the classroom. If they get done with work, they can play them in class. To me, this creates a distraction to the other students.

The schools take the kids on expensive field trips (sometimes $10 each, I have 3 kids). In these tough times, this is getting to be too much

Charles March 23, 2009, 7:18 PM

This IS Obama speaking, so he won’t ever say it’s the government failing us, it MUST be the parents failing their kids because the parents don’t care enough.

When will the Democrats learn that the government isn’t the solution, it is the problem?

ame i. March 23, 2009, 7:41 PM

Obama can shut up as far as I’m concerned. I’m a stay-home mom but rarely stay home because I volunteer at my younger (3rd grade) daughter’s public school at least 3 times a week. She has a maximum of 20 minutes of homework 3 days a week.
My older daughter, 5th grade, attends a private, university prep school this year. She has at least an hour of homework 4 days a week.
My younger daughter only gets 50 minutes of P.E. and a few minutes of recess twice a week, music and art on alternating weeks.
My older daughter has foreign language, computer tech. lab, science lab, art, and music every week.
The failings aren’t with most of us parents but with our sad excuse for a public school system.

Anonymous March 23, 2009, 10:08 PM

ame i. - I’ve seen your comments all over the site today. This is the first that wasn’t completely annoying!

Bec Thomas March 23, 2009, 11:13 PM

I really wish he would stop saying China and India are out preforming us since the numbers are extremely skued. The majority of China and India’s population live in horrid 3rd world conditions and those people are not counted in their education numbers. They are only counting the elite of their soceity unlike us who count all of our soceity. It’s nothing but political manipulation to try and pass what Obama feels is the right education policy. Personally I don’t think kids need to be in school for longer hours and more days a week, they are children and should get the chance to be children.

Emma March 24, 2009, 12:22 AM

If you are a parent who is doing everything that you can do, why are these comments bothering you? Obviously Obama wasent’ talking to yo if you are doing such a good job so just relax and keep doing what you’re doing.

Kristen March 24, 2009, 6:34 AM

I think his comments are correct about parents needing to involved but I think he is leaving out a lot of stuff. What about getting rid of bad teachers? What about what Bec Thomas said about skewed numbers? I am all for accountability but this has gone too far.
I also have to ask Obama, why aren’t you recruiting more teachers to get class sizes down? I feel sorry for teachers in this country, they are expected to teach to the lowest and highest levels and ok that can be done in a class of say 12 to 15 but it could be rather difficult when dealing with 20 or more kids. PLUS you also have special needs or gifted children who have been ” mainstreamed”. Then you also have kids who have ADD and ADHD and food allergies, ect. How are teachers suppose to deal with all of this?
THis is why we homeschool!!!

CAROLINA GIRL March 24, 2009, 9:04 AM

Obama is all about being seen he’s on late night he’s on magazines he’s saying this he’s saying that.Obama doesn’t have a clue.He needs to go back to the White House and do his job.These banks are stealing our hard earned money and he’s giving it to them. Maybe he should give more money to our schools so they can educate our children instead of letting these banks wipe their butts with Americas money and then flush it down the toilet.

Allison March 24, 2009, 10:58 AM

I have 2 kids in high school and one that will start school this upcoming year.
My kids are active with school related activities (band and sports) then come home with homework for nearly each class. I’ve talked to teachers who say that they are “pressured” to give students at least 20-30min worth of homework each night. I don’t have a problem with kids spending that much time on homework for one or two classes but if 5 of the 7 classes (minus the 2 classes Phys Ed and Band) that is far too much homework each night… more than an hour and a half to over two hours a night if all five give homework. And that comes after the mandatory rehearsals afterschool if you are in band or sports.
When do kids have time to be kids?? It’s no wonder there is so much news about kids/teens getting in trouble for vandalizing schools and other shenanigans. I bought my children a video game system Christmas 2001 when the XBox came out and once it broke I vowed never again. They are much better off outside in the fresh air doing things with their friends like most of us parents did as kids.
Two teachers I have spoke to have told me that they don’t even have time to get the homework papers graded and into the computers because they are required to give so much homework and the school district says they can’t afford to hire a second teacher for that particular subject.
And then what about the kids who already struggle with, for example, algebra? They don’t understand so they don’t want to turn in their homework much less actually sit down and try to do it. Many parents today don’t even remember how to do algebra so how can we help? We just about need to go take classes ourselves just to help our children understand their homework.
With the exception of projects that require extra research perhaps the kids shouldn’t be given homework. Let the teaching stay in the classroom so that kids can go back to being kids. They’ll be stuck inside soon enough spending time at a job anyway trying to pay their part of this historical government deficit.

Buddha March 26, 2009, 2:14 PM

Maybe our kids can’t keep up with the Chinese kids because our government only requires them to go to school 180 days a year while China goes 245..

Pademelon March 27, 2009, 4:40 AM

Personally, I think a lot of you are reading too much into this. Firstly, he’s speaking to parents as a group, not as individuals. I believe that those of you who say you’re doing all you can are probably excellent and dedicated parents. However, there are a lot of bad parents out there and even more that are mediocre and could do more. Secondly, the man has only been in office 60 days. With the state the US is in, do you really expect him to be firing bad teachers already? I’d be surprised if he’s even been able to figure out where most of the problems are and how to best go about fixing them. We’re talking a war, strained international relations with just about everybody, the recession and you’re complaining he hasn’t gotten down to the brass tacks firing bad teachers? What did Bush get accomplished in his first 60 days? It’s not a slight, it’s a genuine question. Obama doesn’t have to do much to be featured in magazines and a single night on Leno is not taking out a big chunk of his time. After all, it’s not like he’s driving when he commutes. All the speeches and the Leno appearance are evidence that (whether you like him or not) he’s attempting to talk to the people and restore faith in the presidency. I can’t stand the state public schools are in or that children seem to be learning less and less but it’s a cluster problem. There are good teachers becoming over-worked and jaded and bad teachers who don’t care, good parents and bad parents and, at every level of government, people who want to cut school funding or misappropriate it as well as those who realize that money is badly needed. We have to start somewhere and telling those parents who could do more to try to contribute what they can is something he can do that doesn’t cost anything.

karen March 30, 2009, 4:32 PM

i agree with pademelon….he is speaking to parents as a group…there are many parents who are doing their best w/ their kids education. however, there are alot of kids in the lower income area who doesn’t have the parent support when it comes to school work. my friend teach in a title one school, and its very frustrating for him to get parents to make sure their kids do their homework or check their homeworks. Regardless of what he does to get the parents to be more involved in their child’s education, he received little results from those parents. the kids comes to school not having any homework done, or parenting signing reading log w/out checking to see if the child actually read. It’s frustrating when people blame the teachers, in a good community w/ parents who are middle class and are involve w/ their children’s education, the children does well in class…but in a lower income community, the chidren doesn’t do as well because there are more english learners, less parents support.

Jnqfcdpa June 23, 2009, 2:29 PM

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