Obama to give a second back-to-school speech

Remember how President Barack Obama’s back-to-school speech to students across the nation last year – encouraging them to study hard, stay in school and take responsibility for their education – ignited all kinds of indignation from his political critics?

Well, here we go again. The White House today announced the President will deliver his second annual address to the schoolkids on Tuesday, Sept. 14; more details will be announced soon.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    “more details will be announced soon.”

    Be still, my heart!

  • John W

    You can understand why there was such a fuss. I mean, who does he think he is, usurping parents and states rights and telling the kids to study hard? Surely, that’s against the Tenth Amendment, or something.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    I think he’s telling George W. Bush that he’s never too old to go back to school to learn to speak, read and write English.

  • RF

    He is not doing anything for the areas that really need to heed to his messages. Just take a look at the trouble areas around the Bay. But he does enjoy being in the news on a daily basis.

  • John W

    At the elem. school where I’ve volunteered, I’m told this worked very well last year. I wasn’t there that day, but one of the teachers told me it got a good follow-up discussion going among the kids on what they could do individually and as a group to get the most out of their education. Sounds good to me.

  • Elwood

    With all due respect, John W, I believe the Kenyan prince reading the phone book would sound good to you.

  • John W


    Getting a might ugly there, aren’t we? My comment was about the reported response from the teacher and kids.

  • MHuang

    Maybe he can lecture on what he did this summer…golf, golf, golf, and regulate the American economy into a depression.

    Elwood, don’t bother with John W, he’s some partisan union hack from the school districts, protecting his pension.

  • John W

    M Huang,

    First, Obama has taken only slightly more than half the number of vacations and vacation days as Bush had taken by this time in his presidency. Check it out. I didn’t begrudge the R&R time for Bush or any other president. They’re on duty 24/7.

    Since you’ve pegged me as “some partisan union hack from the school districts, protecting his pension,” a fact check might be in order. First, I spent the last 25 years of my management career in the business world. My public sector work consists of 2 years in the Army, 1 year for a university research center and 4 years as a state employee (not CA). Second, I’ve spent several hundred hours as a classroom volunteer in an elementary school in a lower middle class district but have never been a school employee. Third, I’m a strong proponent of education reform on issues such as accountability, tenure, seniority, charter schools etc. I don’t support Torlakson for state school sup, specifically because of his lack of independence from the unions. Third, although a lifelong Democrat and unapologetic liberal on many issues, I am diamentrically opposed to unions on such issues as card check and public employee retirement benefits. Have often corresponded with Buchanan and DeSaulnier about their siding with the public employee unions and have attended taxpayer association meetings dealing with these subjects. In other words, I don’t drink anybody’s cool aid — far left or far right. And, yes, I made the maximum individual contribution to Obama’s primary and general election campaigns and will support him for re-election. By the way, my only “pension” is a 401k.