Rhetorical Strategies of Speech “Keeping The Promise To All America’s Children”

Updated April 21, 2022

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Rhetorical Strategies of Speech “Keeping The Promise To All America’s Children” essay

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President Obama and the U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan believed that every child in America deserves an education regardless of race, ethnicity, skin color or ability. Therefore, Duncan created a speech where the argument is that children who have a disability still have the right to receive an education. Their disability should not be ignored or be treated with low expectations. The author claimed that himself and the president are doing everything they can to keep the promise of creating equal educational opportunity a reality. Duncan is addressing his speech to all U.S citizens and perhaps any educational programs/systems. The author did an effective job of convincing the audience that children with disabilities have the right to receive an education due to the strong pieces of evidence, pathos, logos, and the persuasive tone he used.

In the speech, “Keeping The Promise To All America’s Children”, the speaker Arne Duncan used pathos that helped persuade the audience that children who have disabilities the right to have a world-class education. For example, Duncan described how Judy Heumann grew up through a hard time where it made it difficult for her to receive an education like every other child. At just 18 months, Heumann had contracted polio where the outcome was she had to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Duncan states that “The New York City Public Schools refused to enroll her – not because she wasn’t smart enough, not because she couldn’t learn – simply because she used a wheelchair”(Duncan). After she graduated college she decided to apply for a job. Sadly, each job had turned her down but that did not stop her from trying and working harder. In the end, she was offered a job as a teacher but only after she sued the school board. The author used pathos to help evoke sympathy from the audience where it also created the audience to have a better understanding of the argument. Another method that Duncan used was logos. In one example, the speaker had talked about a law that was passed during 1975. The law had guaranteed students with disabilities the right to a free public education. He wanted the audience to remember that before this law, many children were put in separate classrooms and few ever had the chance to interact with peers.

For instance, Duncan used strong pieces of evidence to induce the audience that children with disabilities have the right to receive an education. The speaker claimed that, “The nation has made significant progress for students with disabilities – but we have more work to do”(Duncan). He recorded that about 57 percent of students with disabilities spend more than half of their day in a regular school system. They claim that they are working to put an end to the days of students with disabilities being put into a separate school only because of their disability. In 2007, 60 percent of students with disabilities graduated high school with a regular diploma. A third of percentage were enrolled in postsecondary education.Years ago, people with disabilities were often shone and never received the help they needed in order to be successful. Furthermore, Duncan claimed that “The graduation rate, postsecondary enrollment rate, and employment rate are all increasing, but they’re still far too low. Too many students with disabilities are leaving school, without the knowledge and skills they truly needed to succeed”(Duncan). Therefore, the audience is being informed that even though massive changes have been taken place, the educational system still does not provide enough for the children who have disabilities; this is where a bigger change needs to happen.

Throughout the speech, the tone that was used was very strong and persuasive. Duncan clearly delivered his message to everyone an showed how determined he was to make a change to the way children with disabilities were treated. An example would be towards his conclusion he stated, “Before I close, I want to want to issue a challenge to each of you individually and to the whole field of special education. Everything we do at the U.S. Department of Education is aimed toward meeting the President’s goal that by 2020 America once again will lead the world in college completion. We cannot get there unless students are earning postsecondary degrees at record levels. I know you’ve made tremendous progress over the decades, but there’s still significant work to be done”(Duncan). This gives the audience a better idea and understanding of why Duncan and the president want to create such a big change to the way children with disabilities are looked upon and how they are treated.

In conclusion, the way the author presented his argument was affected due to the strong pieces of evidence, pathos, logos, and a persuasive tone he used.

Rhetorical Strategies of Speech “Keeping The Promise To All America’s Children” essay

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Rhetorical Strategies of Speech “Keeping The Promise To All America’s Children”. (2022, Apr 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/rhetorical-strategies-of-speech-keeping-the-promise-to-all-americas-children/


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