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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Kids Respond to President Obama's Back-to-School Speech

Oakland middle school students respond to President Obama's address. What did your students think?

On Tuesday, President Obama spoke directly to the nation's students in a back-to-school address. Lots of news reports focused on the relative lack of controversy surrounding the event, compared to last year's speech. But political hubbub aside, we wanted to know: what did kids think of the speech? We'd like to suggest that kids are, in fact, the best authorities on what impact Obama's words had.

Senior producer Grace Rubenstein visited Claremont Middle School in Oakland, California, where sixth-grade history teacher Lacy Lefkowitz jumped on the opportunity to use the speech in a lesson. While her students watched the President's live address, she coached them on Cornell note-taking techniques.

Obama told students to "instill a sense of excellence in everything you do," and said their success will determine the success of their country.

What did your students think? Please share your students' responses in the comments field below. (Lefkowitz's second-period class happened to be all boys; we'd like to hear your female students' thoughts, too!)

Find more resources and discuss your thoughts on the speech in our Reform Starts Here group.

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Ms. Martin's picture

Anthony, EJ and Sal, you guys are rock stars! Keep up the good work, it is an honor to be your teacher.

Ms. Martin

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