My daughter, who attends middle school, told me that she understood the the take-away message from Obama’s speech to be “The future is your responsibility,” a thought she found unpleasantly burdensome. Generally, she thought the speech was long and boring.
As for the “tomorrow belongs to you” aspect of Obama’s little talk, my mind irresistibly floated to the song below. I am not comparing Obama to Hitler. This song is not a Nazi song. It’s an American Broadway song. It’s just that the song’s title and refrain were such a perfect match for the way in which my daughter understood Obama’s message:
My daughter, incidentally, wasn’t the only child to find Obama dull.
UPDATE: My elementary school aged son just got home and he too thought it was boring. Some kids simply tuned out altogether.
UPDATE II: Two bloggers make the excellent point that sending a direct message to children about education is not the President’s job and that in itself makes Obama’s speech suspect. (See here and here.) And yes, other presidents have spoken to school children, but those have usually been one and one classroom experiences, not broadcast to a nation of captive children, and no president before has ever been so dismissive of his constitutional boundaries.