First Lady Michelle Obama’s Tour of D.C. Begins

Published by Pamela Gentry on Monday, February 2, 2009 at 10:43 pm.

First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Department of Education. (AP)

By Pamela Gentry, Senior Political Analyst
Feb. 2, 2008 – The second full week of the Obama Administration began Day 13 with  First Lady Michelle Obama visiting the Department of Education. This was her first event outside of the White House and pegged as one of the first of several visits she’ll make to federal cabinet level agencies as part of her “get to know D.C. tour.”

“I’m going to spend the next several weeks or months, however long it takes, going from agency to agency, just to say hello, to learn, to listen, to take information back where possible.  But truthfully, my task here is to say thank you and roll up your sleeves, because we have a lot of work to do,” she said.

The First Lady spoke to a crowd of about 350 gathered at the Department of Education with Education Secretary, Arne Duncan at her side whom she praised for his hard work and commitment to education. 

 Obama also took this opportunity to tout the stimulus package now headed to the Senate.  She noted its passage would prevent teacher layoffs, increase Pell Grants and preserver early childhood programs. 

A product of public schools, Obama said, “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the public schools that nurtured me and helped me along.  And I am committed, as well as my husband, to ensuring that more kids like us and kids around this country, regardless of their race, their income, their status, their — the property values in their neighborhoods, get access to an outstanding education.”

Here remarks resembled a campaign stop.  Following her official remarks she posed for pictures and worked the rope line.

  
Do you think the public schools in the U.S. can improve over the next four years?

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Miss Caila L. said on February 3rd, 2009

I HOPE SO! We need students who are not afraid in becoming cultural citizens, knowledgeable of other countries customs and expectations of the future world. We also need students who will learn to be more assertive than critical. We need more students who will dare to DREAM! It is critical to the future of our country that our students do not become victims of criticism but great achievers, striving always to do their best! It begins with my dream, “A HOME FOR EVERY CHILD IN AMERICA”

seschris said on February 5th, 2009

Our young black children need to be encouraged at home to study hard and long to be the best students that they can and to engage in extra curricular activities that help develop self confidence, public speaking skills, team building, critical analysis, effective communication and decision making. Only with a solid educational foundation will our black children be qualified to step into leadership positions to effect changes in our country and ultimately the lives of black people. We have to push them. Don’t ask them if they are going to college; ask them what are they going to major in when they get to college immediately after high school. Higher education should not be an option in the black home…it should be a necessary requirement to be productive citizens and the natural progression after graduating from high school.

Andre' said on February 7th, 2009

It all boils down to accountability. We as a people no longer have the right to use the excuses we’ve relied on for so long. Yes, there are still many challenges we face and will continue to face as we embrace this new chapter in our county’s history. But as long as we face the challenges and stop running from them we’ll be a better people, individually and collectively. We’ve got a lot of work yet to do. I know that with a whole lotta faith and the same amount of effort we can be the change the world needs. Let’s pull together and live as one. Oneness is the key to bridging the many gaps we have within our own community, the nation, and the nations. GOD BE OUR HELP!!!

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