Democratic front-runner Barack Obama got all Bill Cosby on a predominantly African-American audience in Texas last week, and the crowd ate it up. Thanks to Joanne Jacobs for pointing to this Los Angeles Times article that I’d overlooked.
Spending alone will not cure what ails education, scolded Obama. “It doesn’t matter how much money we put in if parents don’t parent,” he said. “It’s not good enough for you to say to your child, ‘Do good in school,’ and then when that child comes home, you’ve got the TV set on,” Obama lectured. “You’ve got the radio on. You don’t check their homework. There’s not a book in the house. You’ve got the video game playing.”
“So turn off the TV set. Put the video game away. Buy a little desk. Or put that child at the kitchen table. Watch them do their homework. If they don’t know how to do it, give ‘em help. If you don’t know how to do it, call the teacher.”
“By now,” reports the Times, “the crowd of nearly 2,000 was lifted from the red velveteen seats of the theater, hands raised to the gilded ceiling. ‘Make ‘em go to bed at a reasonable time! Keep ‘em off the streets! Give ‘em some breakfast! Come on! Can I get an amen here?’”
“Whooooooooooooooooo, went the crowd. “You know I’m right,” Obama laughed. “And, since I’m on a roll, if your child misbehaves in school, don’t cuss out the teacher! You know I’m right about that! Don’t cuss out the teacher! Do something with your child!”
Tellingly, the first of many comments on Joanne’s blog is from a teacher who posts, “Up to now I’ve been sitting on the fence, but Barack Obama may have just gotten my vote!”
Bet there are more than a handful of teachers thinking the same thing today.