Texas school districts push back against Obama speech

The president's address to American students, with its obnoxious study guide, has generated a push back in the great state of Texas. The superintendant of the Comal Independent School District in the San Antonio area has issued this letter on the district's website. Some key passages:

For those of you unfamiliar with this situation, in a letter received by CISD this week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated the following, "President Obama announced that on September 8 - the first day of school for many children across America - he will deliver a national address directly to students on the importance of education." [....]

Although most of us agree that these ideals are notable, subsequent suggested activities developed by the Department of Education, brings into question, for many, the political implications of this endeavor. From the school districts' point of view, it is not our responsibility to emphasize one group's philosophy, values or ideology over another; that is reserved for you as parents to determine. However, it is the responsibility of the Comal Independent School District to effectively use the time that is allotted to instruction and ensure that our instruction is dedicated to the goals and objectives defined by our state, local school board, and our curriculum and instruction team.

That being the case, Comal Independent School District will not participate in the President's address or in the questions or activities that follow such address. To do so puts our staff in a very precarious position of having to answer questions that rightfully should be addressed by you the parent. [emphasis added]

The Dallas Morning News reports on reactions in the Metroplex:
Dallas school officials won't require students to watch the speech, and instead will allow teachers and principals to decide. The Highland Park school district did the same, saying, "We trust our faculty members to decide on appropriate instructional content."

Richardson ISD said it would show the speech a day later to those students whose parents give permission, and that no class time would be spent discussing it.

Some area districts backtracked on earlier plans to show Tuesday's speech in classrooms.

Allen school officials scratched plans to have some students view the speech live, saying they will record and review it, and then possibly replay it the following week in history and government classes. The Carrollton-Farmers Branch school district made a similar decision.

Mesquite ISD officials said they debated Wednesday whether to allow students to watch it live in some classes. But the district said Thursday that the speech will not be shown because it conflicts with some lunch periods.

Lovejoy ISD also decided Thursday not to show the speech, in part, because the district doesn't have the bandwidth to support live Web video on WhiteHouse.gov