The President as Educator

Every now and again an American politician makes a silly pronouncement about education to the effect that our primary and secondary schools should be in session longer each day, and for more days throughout the year.  Apparently, our current president is no exception. According to the Associated Press, Mr. Obama recently suggested that the “challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom,” and that American children, including his own daughters, might need to spend more time at school.  

The article goes on to quote Mr. Obama’s Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, saying that “our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today.” Mr. Duncan goes on to explain that, "young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here. I want to just level the playing field."

President Obama’s Secretary of Education has never been a teacher.  Secretary Duncan has never attempted to keep the focus a classroom filled with 8th grade girls and boys during sixth period on the first warm spring day after a bleak, slush-filled winter.   Mr. Duncan might just want to save his grand theories on education for his staff meetings, or his talks with the teacher-in-chief.  Then the Secretary could use his interview time with the AP to thank those us who show up day after day, year in and out, to teach the children of America.

And maybe the President, a former law professor, could do the same.  Yes, Barrack Obama has been an educator; his title at the University of Chicago was “senior lecturer,” a prestigious position, no doubt.  But teaching the eighth graders is a little closer to the ground.  A little more real.  Maybe Professor Obama could let us do our job, and maybe he could do his job.  

In case he forgot with all the hubbub over the past few months here is his job description: he is supposed to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and to the best of his ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.  

Seems pretty clear, doesn’t it?


Every now and again an American politician makes a silly pronouncement about education to the effect that our primary and secondary schools should be in session longer each day, and for more days throughout the year.  Apparently, our current president is no exception. According to the Associated Press, Mr. Obama recently suggested that the “challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom,” and that American children, including his own daughters, might need to spend more time at school.  

The article goes on to quote Mr. Obama’s Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, saying that “our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today.” Mr. Duncan goes on to explain that, "young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here. I want to just level the playing field."

President Obama’s Secretary of Education has never been a teacher.  Secretary Duncan has never attempted to keep the focus a classroom filled with 8th grade girls and boys during sixth period on the first warm spring day after a bleak, slush-filled winter.   Mr. Duncan might just want to save his grand theories on education for his staff meetings, or his talks with the teacher-in-chief.  Then the Secretary could use his interview time with the AP to thank those us who show up day after day, year in and out, to teach the children of America.

And maybe the President, a former law professor, could do the same.  Yes, Barrack Obama has been an educator; his title at the University of Chicago was “senior lecturer,” a prestigious position, no doubt.  But teaching the eighth graders is a little closer to the ground.  A little more real.  Maybe Professor Obama could let us do our job, and maybe he could do his job.  

In case he forgot with all the hubbub over the past few months here is his job description: he is supposed to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and to the best of his ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.  

Seems pretty clear, doesn’t it?