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September 9, 2009
By Mary Kate Cary, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
On the first day of school, the president went to a high school to address students about the state of America's schools. Here's what he said:
... We haven't taken the time to read to our kids, to talk with them, to teach them the art of communication, how to think, how to write, how to speak clearly.
What happens at home really matters. And when our kids come home from school, do they pick up a book or do they sit glued to the tube watching music videos? Parents: Don't make the mistake of thinking your kids only learn from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You are, and always will be, their first teachers.
That wasn't Barack Obama speaking in the library at Wakefield High School in Virginia this week. It was George H.W. Bush, speaking in the gym at Lewiston Comprehensive High School in Maine in the fall of 1991, 18 years ago.
Both presidents gave great speeches to high school kids. (Newt Gingrich made a point of saying that every student in America should read or watch President Obama's remarks on the White House Web site. I agree.) But that's where the similarity ends.