After President Obama's Speech, Ron Kirk Begs Students To Be Cool and Stay in School
|Photos by Patrick Michels|
|Ron Kirk answers students' questions at Booker T. Washington High School after President Obama's speech this morning.|
At a podium in Booker T. Washington's Montgomery Arts Theatre, fronted by a sign reading "My Education, My Future," Kirk took questions from students in the audience and onstage behind him, before watching Obama's speech on a projection screen.
Kirk told students that in his first few months traveling the world and cutting trade deals, he's seen that "we're in a horribly competitive world," and that it'll take hard work for the U.S. to maintain its place as a world leader.
|DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa looks on from the front row.|
"One of the dirty secrets in the U.S. is that the dropout rate is killing us," he said, nodding to DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa in the front row. "Half the kids in DISD won't graduate from high school," he said.
|Following President Obama's suggestion that students make a list of goals for the new school year, one Booker T. Washington student asks Kirk about his goals for the coming year.|
But he was less kind to Texas as a whole, following the widespread backlash against Obama's speech that's been especially sharp locally, calling this one of the "few moments in my life when I'm ashamed to say I'm from Texas," according to KXAS.
After Obama's speech wrapped, Kirk returned to the podium to field students' questions about U.S. trade policy with Mexico, No Child Left Behind, and how to stay motivated after the school day ends. As mayor of Dallas, he said, he stayed focused by keeping an index card on his desk with his three biggest priorities written down, but said he sympathized with students who feel scattered. "There are just so many more distractions now than for any other generation," he said.
|Booker T. Washington students give President Obama a standing ovation before his speech.|