First of all, even as ‘innocuous’ as his speech is, he shouldn’t be allowed to give school kids the time of day. The controversy is about two things: the god-like worship of this character-flawed, socialist empty suit, and the Department of Education lesson plan that accompanies the speech.
UPDATE: So much for leaving politics out of it:
Prior to his nationally broadcast speech to students on Tuesday, President Barack Obama made a pitch for health care reform in a discussion with 40 freshmen at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.
The president traveled to Wakefield High to give a speech on education reform. The speech was posted in advance on the White House Web site to quell fears that the president intended to plug his political agenda to impressionable minds.
Although the president avoided controversial topics in his speech, he did promote health care reform in a face-to-face discussion at Wakefield High School.
The text of the speech is here:
Via The Heritage Foundation:
……the Department of Education has released lesson plans for teachers in grades pre-K-12 to accompany an upcoming speech on education by President Obama on September 8th.
……The lesson plans – one plan for pre-K-6 students and another plan for students in grades 7-12 – provided specific activities and assignments for children to do before, during, and after the president’s speech.
……On Wednesday evening however, the administration edited part of the pre-k-6 lesson plans after public outcry about enlisting children’s participation in political activities. The original lesson plan asked children to “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.” It has since been changed to say “Write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.”
The lesson plan for students in grades 7-12 is equally disquieting. The Department of Education directs teachers to “…focus students on quotations that… propose a specific challenge to them.” The plan asks students, “What resonated with you from President Obama’s speech? What lines/phrases do you remember? Is he challenging you to do anything?”
The assclowns at the Village Voice opined about a speech given by Ronald Reagan to school kids in 1988. The presentation included a voluntary Q&A. That’s where the political issues were discussed; not in the speech.
Reagan’s speech here: http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1988/111488c.htm
It was a loving tribute to America, not a call for servitude to the president, nor was it mandated by the government.
Matter of fact, when George H.W. Bush gave a speech to school kids in 1991, the liberals shit their pants and proceeded to investigate and hold hearings:
The controversy over President Obama’s speech to the nation’s schoolchildren will likely be over shortly after Obama speaks today at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. But when President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC, the controversy was just beginning. Democrats, then the majority party in Congress, not only denounced Bush’s speech — they also ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue.
Unlike the Obama speech, in 1991 most of the controversy came after, not before, the president’s school appearance. The day after Bush spoke, the Washington Post published a front-page story suggesting the speech was carefully staged for the president’s political benefit. “The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props,” the Post reported.
With the Post article in hand, Democrats pounced. “The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students,” said Richard Gephardt, then the House Majority Leader. “And the president should be doing more about education than saying, ‘Lights, camera, action.'”
Democrats did not stop with words. Rep. William Ford, then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate the cost and legality of Bush’s appearance. On October 17, 1991, Ford summoned then-Education Secretary Lamar Alexander and other top Bush administration officials to testify at a hearing devoted to the speech. “The hearing this morning is to really examine the expenditure of $26,750 of the Department of Education funds to produce and televise an appearance by President Bush at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, DC,” Ford began. “As the chairman of the committee charged with the authorization and implementation of education programs, I am very much interested in the justification, rationale for giving the White House scarce education funds to produce a media event.”
By the way, there’s a video that has been shown in conjunction with Obama’s speech called “I Pledge”. It was made back in January of 2009 before THE ONE was officially coronated. It’s a propaganda film starring Dear Leader’s adoring Hollywood hacks. Very. Creepy.
It starts off with a message to their idol, letting him know “he’s not alone”.
Then comes a parade of entertainers with their “pledges”:
“I pledge to sell my obnoxious car and buy a hybrid”
“I pledge to work to make good the 200 year old promise to end slavery”
“….to the abolition of 21st century slavery”
“…to free one million people from slavery in the next five years”
One of the worst parts is when one of them kisses his biceps and pledges to “be of service to Barack Obama”.
Another promises to submit: “…..I pledge to be a servant to our president”
They pledge to “end slavery”, yet they’re more than willing to serve Obama as their lord and master.
And while we’re on the subject of slavery, what “slavery” are they talking about? Last I checked, Lincoln abolished slavery in the United States back in 1865.
If these concerned activist turds want to tackle real slavery, they might start with places like Benin, Togo, Nigeria, Gabon, Sudan, India, Haiti, and Pakistan. There’s a child slavery market that exceeds anything ever done in the Old South.
They only seem interested in third world cesspools when Madonna and Angelina Jolie go shopping for kids to adopt. There’s plenty of children right here in America that could use a rich Hollywood benefactor, but apparently, it’s more chic to go slumming in Africa.
Andrew Breitbart has more:
Here’s a suggested alternative lesson plan from Jon Kraushar:
1. President and Mrs. Obama have chosen to send their daughters to private school, at a cost of about $29,000 a year for each girl. What choices, if any, should other parents have about where their children go to school and about how to pay for educating their children?
2. Why is it important that the president and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of Congress, or the governor listen to what citizens say, whether in town hall meetings or in any other form of citizen communication? Why is what citizens say important to these elected officials?
3. When elected officials pass laws should they and their staffs also be obliged to follow those same laws or should they be exempt–and in either case, why?
4. If an elected or appointed public official breaks the law what should be done about that?
5. When elected officials publicly make a promise, what should be done if they go back on their word and do something completely different–including the exact opposite of what they said they’d do?
6. President Obama is a big believer in personal responsibility. How does “personal responsibility” apply to elected officials and to citizens, in general?
7. How much control should individual citizens have over their lives versus the amount of control given to government when it comes to things like education, health care, saving and investing for retirement and any other issue?
8. What limits, if any, should there be on freedom of speech, such as on the radio, on TV, on YouTube, in print, in classroom discussions, etc.?
9. What do you think about giving some students special preferences in admitting them to schools or awarding them money or prizes: what guidelines do you suggest?
10. What is the one piece of advice that you would to each of the following groups: Teachers? Principals? Parents? Your fellow students? The American people?
A lot of parents pulled their kids out of school today so they wouldn’t be subjected to the Department of Education’s sales pitch. We’re inundated enough with the socialist rhetoric being pushed from Obama’s MSM conglomerate.
Themes covered in the speech; “responsibilty, getting your homework done, staying in school, and working hard”, are best left to the parents, and not a piss-poor example of a “president”.
It wasn’t just about “doing well in school”, it’s likely about opening oppotunities for more politically-charged “pep talks” from PrezBo.