On Tuesday morning the president delivered a televised address to classrooms in the capital city (and across the rest of America), challenging them to set and achieve educational goals. After national media voiced fears that Obama’s speech would push a partisan political agenda, his administration announced that school administrators and teachers could decide whether or not to air the back-to-school message. Springfield Public Schools also left the decision up to parents — they could request that their children skip the address.
Jimmy Rice, from the office of communications and community relations with Springfield Public Schools, told IT that there were “just a handful of students from among each participating school who opted out of viewing the address.” About 90 percent of Springfield Public Schools viewed the address in some form, he added.
Despite the flap, the only thing that Obama pushed was the students:
“We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems,” he said. “If you don’t do that — if you quit on school — you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.”