Obama uses daughter's test scores

Urging parents to “set a high bar” for their children, President Obama revealed his daughter Malia, a sixth-grader at Sidwell Friends School, had come home with a 73 on her science test.  Her mother had told her earlier that she should earn  “90 percent and up.’’

Malia vowed to study harder in science.

“So she came home yesterday, she got a 95,’’ Mr. Obama said. “But here’s the point: She said, ‘You know, I just like having knowledge.’’

I like the message, but I wonder if it’s wise for Obama to make his daughter part of the public debate.  It’s tough enough to protect the privacy of presidential children.

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Comments

  1. I find it appalling to put that level of public pressure on a kid. But every kid is different, and hopefully she can take it.

  2. Hey I’ve got an idea! Let’s let the President and his wife raise their own children how they see fit! It’s something I like to call The American Way.

  3. NYC educator, I agree that it probably isn’t the best thing, but its not like he is going to post all her test scores all over the white house website…

  4. Don Bemont says:

    I always feel bad for the kids of celebrities, especially the children of presidents, and I hope this event does not cause Malia extra stress.

    However, people respond a lot better to concrete, personal examples than they do generalities. I learned a long time ago that, on parent conference night, parents will be a lot more likely to respond to stories about how I handled my own sons than abstract principles and guidelines.

    The president’s point is important: those blessed with good minds should not settle for just passing. Around here, at least, that is a direct affront to popular culture, which would have one believe that striving leads to breakdowns and suicide.

    And note that the president is not using his daughter for partisan gain, as most politicians do when they haul the family up there in front of the cameras during a campaign.

    I’m not yet sold on the President’s educational policy direction, but I am giving him a free pass on this one.

  5. It’s always embarrassing when politicians lie about things their kids never said.

  6. I think it’s an abuse of his daughter’s privacy for Obama to so crassly publicize Malia’s grades. For a man who insists his kids are off limits, Obama expediently excuses himself when it helps his cause.

    I find his shabby treament of Malia particularly insensitive and reprehensible because Obama has consistently protected his own shortcomings by refusing to release his own transcripts.

  7. I’m sure he and the First Lady would scream to high heaven if their partisan opposites were to discuss his daughter publicly, and rightly so. But if he’s going to bring her into the debate, doesn’t that make her fair game?

  8. Independent George says:

    But if he’s going to bring her into the debate, doesn’t that make her fair game?

    No, it doesn’t. It makes him fair game, but the kids should still be protected regardless of what the parents might say.

  9. “No, it doesn’t. It makes him fair game, but the kids should still be protected regardless of what the parents might say.”

    Yeah. Like Sarah Palin’s kids were “protected”…like that.

  10. I suspect that he intended to say he practices what he preaches. Not particularly relevant for the President or a President’s children given their special circumstances.

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