Somebody in the White House screwed up, pure and simple. It was announced that the President would be talking to America’s children on school time.
And he did but apparently with less success than hoped for. Schools were given the choice to opt out and some did because of the uproar. “What will you talk about? Why not in the evening when we can all listen together?” Inquiring parents wanted to know.
Why the ruckus?
I learned a long time ago that the best time to deal with objections is in advance. Don’t tell parents “I’m going to be talking with your kids at school.” That’s not enough information. Tell them what you’ll be talking about. Reassure them in advance that you’re not promoting a partisan agenda or touching on uncomfortable issues. Tell them you’ll have a list of talking points on the internet so they can discuss with their kids what you said when they come home.
There seems to be a certain arrogance these days in the White House, whether from the president or his team I’m uncertain. No idea is so good that it doesn’t need to be sold. There is no personality so big that it escapes the gravity of necessary communication. There is little or no downside to giving people plenty of information. Lacking information, they’ll fill in the blanks with their own ideas, right or wrong.
Education is important and making the most of it is the responsibility of every student. No disagreement there regardless of your political orientation.
Why couldn’t that have been communicated before the ruckus? Maybe more schools would have tuned in.
The Whitehouse did make a copy of Obama’s speech available before today. I read it yesterday. The drop out rate amongst students is climbing – Obama’s words were encouraging students to stick with it and make something of their lives. I think a good and important message.
“Lacking information, they’ll fill in the blanks with their own ideas, right or wrong.”
I like using the phrase, “unsupervised thinking.”