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Obama Speaks on Student Kuleana

Despite the controversy leading up to the speech, and the outrage that Obama would take up precious class time to talk about his educational policy, his speech to the nation's students was a simple one on their kuleana. Kuleana is the Hawaiian word for responsibility. As Hawaiians, we understand that our kuleana, our responsibility is never a selfish act. When individuals do not fulfill their kuleana, the whole community suffers. We can be the most dedicated group of teachers, with the most experience, the most aloha, the most education, but if our students are not willing to put in the hard work necessary to learn to their greatest potential, (their kuleana), then our future, our community, our ahupua'a will not thrive. The president's speech wasn't about any educational policy, it wasn't about politics, it was not tied to NCLB, test scores, statistics. It was tied to personal anecdotes of kuleana. It's too bad that some felt that it was a waste of precious class time. He spoke on the most important American lesson: our responsibility is to put in the hard work necessary, regardless of our circumstances.


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