From Joan Walsh at Salon:
One of the greatest things about electing Barack Obama as president, for me, was his appeal to young people, especially disaffected kids of every group, including (OK, maybe especially) young African-Americans. In a country where schools are overcrowded and underfunded (as liberals complain), while many families and communities can’t or won’t take their kids’ education seriously enough (what conservatives and some liberals say), Obama has always been someone who’s able to balance both critiques. And he speaks to young people with passion, conviction and humor (plus references to L’il Wayne that John McCain couldn’t pull off) about taking responsibility for their own education.
So I was thrilled to hear he was going to deliver a back-to- school speech next week. I like seeing him play that paternal role, Father in Chief, not just for his own daughters, but for all of our children. All of our kids need to be reminded that education is a precious opportunity they must seize, whether they live behind the high gates of a tony private community or in a violence-plagued housing project. After all the fighting of the summer, finally something we can agree about, right?