September 14th, 2010
04:47 PM ET

Reaction: Did Obama hit the mark on education?

Parents and teachers Greg Clark, left, and Mike Reily take in President Obama's Back-to-School Speech from the teacher's conference room at John Burroughs High School in Burbank, California.

President Barack Obama spoke to the nation’s students, teachers and parents in the second back-to-school speech of his presidency. The speech focused on the importance of staying in school and working hard to realize dreams.

It also touched in celebrating diversity and encouraged students to try to see themselves in others.

Did this speech hit the mark? Is this the message kids, teachers and parents needed to hear?

Mike Reily and Greg Clark are teachers and also parents. They watched the president’s speech in the teacher’s conference room at John Burroughs High School in Burbank, California.

CNN’s Jim Roope watched with them and the three had a conversation about its message.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Education
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. NoDropouts

    Philadelphia is a city of stark contrasts when it comes to educational opportunities. At the school where Obama spoke, nearly all students move on to four-year universities. Meanwhile, a large percentage of students in Philly’s other public schools don’t even make it through four years of high school — about a third of the city’s students don’t graduate at all.
    But Philly is also epicenter of innovation when it comes to reducing the dropout rate in its public schools. The change has been slow, but it has been noteworthy. And to that end, it’s unfortunate that the president didn’t remark upon the transformation happening in the City of Brotherly Love.

    If he had, here are 13 things we wish he would have said in his speech:

    September 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Big Tex

    BO continues to tell students to be responsible for their actions and their school. Yet these students who do listen to CNN and local news stations continue to hear BO blame the previous administration for everything wrong in the world. As one tenth grade student said during his speech "it is too bad the President doesn't take responsibility for his job'.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Helen

      Why not blame the previous administration? I don't understand how they could not be to blame for beginning with a balanced budget and going out leaving trillions in debt.
      This is not a quick fix situation, and most unfair to blame Obama for not fixing it, especially when so many in congress are working to please their contributors.
      We have a mess, folks, and a lot of people are working hard to make it worse. It would help to put the 8 year spenders back in office??? Boehner and his lobbyist cronies are very encouraged, and meanwhile our middle class shrinks, the fastest way to third world status.

      September 15, 2010 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
    • 10th grader in agreement

      Well said, tenth grader!

      September 15, 2010 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. AqChicago

    Of course it helps when a well educated President like Obama speaks to the school students. His content, which is available to everyone tp read, speaks for itself. Anyone with another predetermined agenda and a dsilike will obviously find fault even with this speech. Just try to call a spade a spade.

    September 14, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mdmooser

    Telling children the further they go in school is a parallel to how far they will go in life. Stay in school, focus, pay attention to your need to do well in your classes so you can have a life full of as many opportunities as possible. Say anything negative about that message and you show your ignorance for all to see. If only you could learn by listening to ..............

    September 14, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Urban dropout

    40 percent of urban students graduate from high school. Thank God it is not 30 percent.

    September 15, 2010 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. philipe12

    And those who do graduate are lacking basic skills, totally unprepared for the uncertain future? As if all that awaits them is a video game.

    September 15, 2010 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. philipe12

    And as if the goal is to graduate rather than to learn.

    September 15, 2010 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. philipe12

    Jesus didn't attend university nor did his followers so I doubt thanking God for graduating percentages is in order here.

    September 15, 2010 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. philipe12

    The avg. Ivy Leaguer cannot pass an 8th grade final circa 1901. Reading, writing, and arithmatic somehow escape even our brightest students. Our system has failed our children. We need a completely new one as these applied bandages to our current system keep falling off faster than kids grades/abilities. . No?

    September 15, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Sallie

      You can't just make stuff up like that. There is no way to prove that what you just said is true.

      September 15, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |