President Obama Speaks to Students
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by laura Black
| 9 Questions
Note from the author:
PARRC practice for ELA
President Obama Speaks to Students
Excerpts from “Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama: Back to School Even” (2009)
From Whitehouse.gov
1 Now I’ve given you a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
2 I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
3 I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox…
4 But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world—and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents, and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed…
5 We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills, and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that—if you quit on school—you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
6 Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork…
7 I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble that I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
8 But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country…
9 [A]t the end of the day, the circumstances of your life—what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home—that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
10 Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future…
11 I expect great things from each of you. So, don’t let us down—don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
1
1 pt
Part A: Which of these is the main idea of "President Obama Speaks to Students"?
Teachers, parents, and students are equally responsible for whether students succeed or fail.
Quitting school early hurts a students more than it hurts the United States.
It is sad but understandable when some students ignore their homework or have a bad attitude.
The future of students and the future of the United States are closely related.
2
1 pt
Part B: Select TWO pieces of evidence that support the answer to Part A
"I've talked about your teachers' responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn."
"I've talked about your parents' responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done..."
"If you don't do that--if you quit on school--you're not just quitting on yourself, you're quitting on your country."
"At the end of the day, the circumstances of your life are no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude.
"That's no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school."
"So don't let us down--don't let your family or your country or yourself down."
3
1 pt
PART A: What means the opposite of the word "neglecting" as it is used in paragraph 9?
ignoring
doing
forgetting
trying
4
1 pt
Which phrase from paragraph 9 best helps the reader understand the meaning of "neglecting"?
"at the end of the day"
"where you come from"
"that's no excuse for"
"talking back to your teacher"
Read the excerpted sentences from the text. Then, match each excerpt to one type of text structure.
5
1 pt
"We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills, and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don't do that--if you quit on school--you're not just quitting on yourself, you're quitting on your country."
chronology
comparison
cause and effect
problem and solution
6
1 pt
"I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story."
chronology
comparison
cause and effect
problem and solution
7
1 pt
PART A: Which point is the most completely developed in "President Obama Speaks to Students"?
Students, not parents or teachers, are most responsible for their future.
Parents and teachers owe it to students to make sure homework gets done.
Barack Obama succeeded through hard work, intelligence, and self-control.
A large family that includes parents, grandparents, and other adults is key to success.
8
1 pt
PART B: Which paragraphs from the passage most completely develop the poing described in Part A?
paragraphs 2 and 3
paragraphs 3 and 11
paragraphs 4 and 9
paragraphs 5 and 11
paragraphs 6 and 7
Ideas from President Obama's speech
1. Students are responsible for their own success in school.
2. President Obama believes he could have been a better student.
3. The president is hopeful that each student will succeed.
9
4 pts

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