September 5th, 2009
12:45 PM ET
September 5th, 2009
07:20 AM ET

Dear President Obama #229: School dazed

Reporter's Note: The President’s upcoming speech to the school kids of America is brining some hard lessons in Pushback Politics.

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Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Thanks to that speech you are giving to school kids on Tuesday, I spent hours on Friday trying to determine if there is any state out there where all the schools are just going to turn it on and give you a listen. And as best I can tell, the answer is no.

Many of the Departments of Education told me they are “encouraging” their schools to watch what you have to say. Some spoke about how important it is for any president to talk to students about staying in school However, they almost all ended with, “But it’s really up to the local school, principal, or teacher to decide whether to watch the speech.” The result is that in every state in this country (except maybe Rhode Island…that was the one for which I could neither find information, nor reach someone) some schools will either not show, delay and review, or let kids opt out of watching your speech.

How many? I really don’t know. Despite all that research the only school district I ran into that openly says it is requiring all kids to watch is in New Orleans. There must be others, but I didn’t find them.