White House, Department of Education, Revise Language on Students Outlining How they Can “Help the President”

From Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller
ABC News
September 02, 2009

In an acknowledgment that the Department of Education provided lesson plans written somewhat inartfully, surrounding the President Obama’s speech to students next Tuesday [September 8th], the White House today announced that it had rewritten one of the sections in question.

President Obama will talk to students from Pre K thru 12th grade about personal responsibility and the importance of staying in school, White House aides said.

As one of the preparatory materials for teachers provided by the Department of Education, students had been asked to, “Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. “

Today, after Republicans accused the White House of trying to indoctrinate school children with liberal propaganda the White House and the Department of Education changed the section to now read, “Write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short‐term and long‐term education goals.”

“We changed it to clarify the language so the intent is clear,” said White House Spokesman Tommy Vietor.

The idea, Vietor said, was that students should think of how they could help the President in terms of reducing the national dropout rate.

Yesterday, the Florida Republican Party sent out a press release portraying the address as more of a policy speech rather than a specific educational address to children. The White House says that’s not true and there is no evidence that the President intend to discuss any policies.

“As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology,” Jim Greer, Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida said, “The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the President justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other President, is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.”

Continues here.

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