Sunday, June 12, 2005

Obama's speech at PUSH

He begins with 'it is good to be home' and the crowd feels good. 'We're not moving to Washington - we live here. And my job isn't to represent Washington to you, it's to represent you to Washington.' It's good to see a national star with a Chicago address who is proud to be in Chicago. He reminds us that Reverend Jackson made it easier -- made it possible -- for people like Barack to get elected to the U.S. Senate. And he's right. It's funny how this beautiful building on the south side isn't filled to capacity with people - more of us should support this organization.

Obama touched on the need for the Voting Rights Act reauthorization and then talked about a south suburban school that lets out their students at 1:30 pm. There is no money for any afterschool programs: no band, no sports, no music, no plays, nothing. And the children know that they are left behind and not really the object of anyone caring about their well-being. There's a state law that only requires five hours of school a day. And that is unacceptable, because the Chinese are going to school a lot more than five hours a day, and the Indians are going to school a lot more than five hours a day, and it's no surprise that they are graduating four times more Ph.D.'s in every field than we are in the U.S., and we simply can not sustain our standard of living without more education for our workers. The status quo is unacceptable. And he promised the students that that school would stay open until 3:30 pm the next time he saw them.

(Which means that the state law that only requires five hours of schooling a day ought to be a part of the coming Big Improvement in public education, in whatever form SB 750 emerges. It's not just more money. We need more hours of school)

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