Obama Exhorts Kids to Pay Attention in School

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

WASHINGTON (AP) - In a speech that drew fire even before he delivered it, President Barack Obama will tell the nation's schoolchildren he "expects great things from each of you."

The White House posted Obama's remarks, scheduled for Tuesday, in advance on its Web site at midday Monday.

Obama's planned talk has been controversial, with several conservative organizations and individuals accusing him of trying to delve too directly into local education. But White House officials, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, have said the charges are silly.

In the remarks set for Tuesday, Obama tells young people that all the work of parents, educators and others won't matter "unless you show up for those schools, pay attention to those teachers."

Obama made no reference in his prepared remarks to the uproar surrounding his speech. He used the talk to tell kids about his at-times clumsy ways as a child and to urge them to identify an area of interest, set goals and work hard to achieve them.

He noted that he was raised by a single mother and that she made him buckle down and work harder at times, and said he's glad she did. The president acknowledged that "it's hard to be successful," but told the students in his prepared speech that the country badly needs their best effort to cope in an increasingly competitive global economy.

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