November 25th, 2009
06:57 AM ET

Dear President Obama #310: Now playing: Get smart

Reporter's Note: President Obama is perhaps sleeping in late after that big dinner at the White House last night. Me? Well, I’m turning out another letter to Pennsylvania Avenue. Hopefully the clean up crews won’t hinder its progress.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

In all the excitement over your first State Dinner, I failed to mention this whole new initiative of yours about math and science for the school kids, or as your team calls it, the Educate to Innovate Campaign. I must say, right from the get go, that the title is kind of lame. I can just see the table of bureaucratic hacks that cranked that one out. Sure, it kind of rhymes and sounds like it ought to mean something. But what? I guess it means we’re going to educate our children so they can innovate for the future, but I thought we were already supposed to be doing that. Well, maybe it will be like The Sopranos. Lousy title, great program.

I certainly hope so. I don’t know about all those comparisons that you were making with other countries and how they educate their kids, because with all respect I’ve been hearing for many years how much better other folks do these things, and yet we’ve remained a pretty dynamic force in the world. Still, I understand this is about maintaining that position (because heaven knows the Chinese are not just sitting around waiting for us to remain in charge) so anything that encourages not simply more…but better quality education for our young people is a pretty sure winner.

I don’t think it’s a big mystery what we need: Good teachers, attentive parents, enough money to make it worth all the hard work, and enough hard work to make it worth all the money. Let’s hope this program helps push it all that way.

That said I thought the most fun part of last night was watching everyone walk in. Did you see Energy Secretary Chu go the wrong way? It was really funny, and he seemed to have a very nice sense of humor about it as he and his wife did an about face and headed for the dinner plates. How was the food? It looked tasty, but you must feel a little odd eating when you know everyone is watching you.

Hey, guess where I’m going? Up to New York to anchor our 7pm and 10pm shows tonight. But that’s just part of it: Then I am getting onto a 3 a.m. train back to DC, so I can run the Turkey Chase 10K in Bethesda at 8:30 with my family! Ha! And you think you’ve got a tough schedule. We’ll be doing family calls in the afternoon, but go ahead and buzz if you want; we’ll make a moment to say hi between the servings of pumpkin pie.



Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Lori

    Michelle Obama's gown was fabulous but she did not look relaxed. Neither did President Obama.

    I think we need to change our approach to how we administer education. Most credentialed teachers do not really understand the math and science that they are teaching and do not have the ability to inspire students in these subjects.

    November 25, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  2. Enough

    Obama needs to go back to school and take a few math lessons. Simple math would do the trick. He can't seem to balance a check book enough to know we are badly over drawn.

    November 25, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  3. Tim Gibson

    I don't know Tom, I don't feel this education program will make it past the test stage before it receives a failing grade in the ever growing list of failed policy by the Obama administration. Or maybe this is a training program for future czars.

    November 25, 2009 at 8:29 am |