I've read through the Ed. Department's teacher's guide for the address several times (this is the pre-K through 6th grade guide) and am left wondering what this speech will cover. There's a lot about what the President will ask the kids to do and how the kids can help the President.
Maybe it's innocuous: "study hard and go to school." Typical for modern presidents, where our view of his role, sadly, has degenerated into a lot of this sort of thing. But harmless and actually a bit of good for the kids.
But I wonder whether or not this will be where Obama makes his push for community service, which his campaign had said he'd require of all students. The Mrs., who grew up in Communist Eastern Europe, rolled her eyes and said that was what they had to do every school year--two weeks of working out in the fields. You weren't actually required to do that, interestingly enough. You'd just have to repeat the school year if you opted out, that's all...
There's also the problematic phrasing in this teacher's guide:
"Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?"
Ummm...it is not important to listen to any of them! It is important for them to listen to us. We have absolutely no obligation, under any interpretation of our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, other founding documents, writings of the Founding Fathers, or of the whole premise of our system of government, to "listen to" our elected officials (or bureaucrats, for that matter). Our system is predicated on their listening to us, and there is not the converse idea of our needing to listen to them.
We are not wards of the state. We are free men. Our President needs to listen to us, and we go about our lives without needing him to tell us to do things for him. Now, again, if he's just going to tell the kids to study hard, that's fine. It's the advice of any adult to a child. But he gets no special consideration by being President, and he needs to remember that.