Author Topic: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!  (Read 5445 times)

Jenne

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Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« on: September 04, 2009, 04:39:16 pm »
Because, you know, the Republicans just want to preach 1) prayer 2) abstinence and 2) creationism...

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/09/03/03speech.h29.html?tkn=[S[F%2FucaQBHZXpUmtN0IgGsnLn%2BbVMeL5d3A

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Updated: September 4, 2009

Officials Move to Quell Furor Over Obama Speech
 

By Dakarai I. Aarons

Premium article access courtesy of Edweek.org.

 
The White House and federal education officials scrambled Thursday to reassure school leaders that President Barack Obama’s national speech to schoolchildren next week will touch on important educational goals, despite criticism from some conservatives that the president is planning to use the speech to “indoctrinate” children with his political views.

“The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning,” the U.S. Department of Education said in an e-mail urging schools to participate in what it called a “historic moment,” to be broadcast live Sept. 8 on C-SPAN and the White House’s Web site.

But the planned 15- to 20-minute noontime speech—and, especially, a menu of classroom activities (for younger and older students) suggested by the White House in connection with it—continued to draw denunciations, leading some school officials to say they would let parents opt out of having their children watch.

Some districts in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin have decided not to show the speech to students, citing the controversy and the already-packed schedule of what will be the first day of school for many.

So intense was the criticism that the White House Wednesday modified at least one recommended classroom activity, which had originally suggested that elementary-age students “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.”

Among other suggested activities are having younger children create posters of students’ goals and having older students write about people who exhibit personal responsibility, which will be a theme of Mr. Obama’s speech. The full text of the speech will be posted online Monday at whitehouse.gov.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne minced no words in his criticism of the suggested curriculum.

“An important part of educating students is to teach them to read and listen critically. The White House materials call for a worshipful, rather than critical approach to this speech,” Mr. Horne, a Republican said in a written statement.

“There is nothing in these White House materials about approaching the speech critically, or engaging in any critical thinking whatsoever, but only adopting a reverent approach to everything they are being told.”

But Timothy Mitchell, the superintendent of the Chamberlain School District 7-1 in Chamberlain, S.D., said some teachers in his 950-student district were considering showing Mr. Obama’s speech in the classroom—and that’s fine with him.

“I think you have seen a lot of modern-day presidents during the first days of school going to address students,” he said. “[Mr. Obama’s] using technology to get a wider audience as leader of the free world to tell kids education is important. I think it is great coming from a leader telling that to kids.”

Some parents, urged on by conservative bloggers, have said they will keep their children home from school on Tuesday.

But Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, said he’s “certainly not going to advise anybody not to send their kids to school that day.”

“Hearing the president speak is always a memorable moment,” he said.

Mr. Perry, however, also said he understood where the criticism was coming from.

“Nobody seems to know what he’s going to be talking about,” he said. “Why didn’t he spend more time talking to the local districts and superintendents, at least give them a heads-up about it?”

Presidential Precedent
 
Mr. Obama is not the first president to address schoolchildren directly—Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush made such speeches during their terms in office—nor is he the first to draw controversy.

The elder President Bush’s 1991 speech set off a similar partisan war, with Democrats accusing the Republican of using children as political pawns and demanding that then-Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander—a Republican who is now a U.S. senator from Tennessee—explain why the Education Department spent more than $20,000 on the event. ("Democrats Question Use of E.D. Funds for Bush Address," October 9, 1991.)

The current controversy began online Tuesday afternoon after Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer issued a press release headlined “Greer Condemns Obama’s Attempt to Indoctrinate Students.”

Mr. Greer said in the release: “As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology,” and “I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda.”

By Wednesday afternoon, many bloggers were criticizing both the president’s planned speech and the suggested classroom activities. Many local administrators were grappling with whether to show the speech, take part in the classroom activities, and cope with parental calls that children be allowed to opt out.

“I think it’s really unfortunate that politics has been brought into this,” White House Deputy Policy Director Heather Higginbottom said. “It’s simply a plea to students to really take their learning seriously. Find out what they’re good at. Set goals. And take the school year seriously.”

The American Association of School Administrators has not issued formal guidance to its members on Mr. Obama’s speech, but did communicate with all of its state-level directors to make sure they were aware of it, said spokeswoman Amy Vogt.

“The decision to air the president’s speech will be a local decision, depending on individual schools’ instructional demands/schedules, and our members are addressing this at the local level,” she said in an e-mail Wednesday.

School leaders’ responses vary.

Virginia and South Carolina, for example, have encouraged local school districts to make their own decisions on whether to let teachers show the speech.

In the 200,000-student Houston Independent School District, individual classroom teachers will decide whether to build a lesson around President Obama’s speech. Teachers who do so will send home letters to parents saying students have the option to forgo the lesson and be given alternative work, said district spokesman Norm Uhl.

Such opting-out isn’t unprecedented, he said, and he noted that the district has gotten calls from parents who are both supportive and not supportive of the choice.

“We had parents calling with concerns, and when parents are concerned about curriculum, just like with sex education, we like to give them a choice,” Mr. Uhl said.

The 49,000-student Atlanta public school system has encouraged its teachers to show the president’s address in their classes and incorporate it into social studies lessons.

Students and parents who have concerns will be free to opt out, just as students can opt out of saying the Pledge of Allegiance, said schools spokesman Keith Bromery.

“We routinely do not allow politicians during election times to come in the schools to promote themselves,” he said. But Mr. Bromery also said: “This is not a campaign. This is the president addressing a segment of his population, pretty much like he does when he goes on television at 9 p.m. We don’t see this in any way as being partisan or being part of the campaign.”

Such an outbreak of anger about the president’s speech is not surprising in the current polarized political climate, said Jeffrey Henig, a professor of political science and education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

“Most Americans, even most Republican Americans, would never have thought it was a concern for the president to talk directly to students,” he said. “And they wouldn’t have thought it was a concern to raise notions of civic concern and of community responsibility.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Vol. 29, Issue 03



My kids will be hearing it in class.  Our district is letting the parents know they can opt out, but they prefer them not to.  The language in that PSA was...interesting, to say the least.

But still, the Reich-Wing "furor" is hilarious to me.

AFK

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Re: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2009, 04:42:30 pm »
My wife said one of her superiors was absolutely flipping out about this.  She heard him calling up the school his kid attends and threatened the principal if they showed the speech to the kiddos. 

And oh, btw, Reagan addressed kids in school in 1988.  But it's different when the Dear Leader of the Right does it.  And I think Bush Sr. did something similar as well. 
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Cain

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Re: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2009, 04:44:22 pm »
Uh, wasn't George Bush Jr famously reading "My Pet Goat" to some schoolchildren during a very important day in recent American history?

That's some major league scary indoctrination, right there.

Jenne

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Re: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2009, 04:47:19 pm »
It's such extreme LAIL, that I only mention it because it's made the EDUCATION journal circuit.

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2009, 07:46:55 pm »
Barack Obama is the first president to address schoolchildren.  Ever.

 :lulz:
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Sir Squid Diddimus

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Re: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2009, 03:19:29 am »
I for one will be livid if my child does not get to listen to the pres.
I had to sleep throughlisten to Bush1 and Reagan, it's his turn.

Florida, of course, is in an uproar about it. Women are crying. Crying, on the news.


There are not enough matches+gasoline to fix this state.

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Re: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2009, 04:54:06 pm »

Florida, of course, is in an uproar about it. Women are crying. Crying, on the news.


Remember when I said Bush's presidency was as funny as things could possibly get?

I was wrong.   :lulz:
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

MMIX

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Re: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2009, 07:45:59 pm »

Florida, of course, is in an uproar about it. Women are crying. Crying, on the news.


Remember when I said Bush's presidency was as funny as things could possibly get?

I was wrong.   :lulz:

Quote
Barack Obama is the first president to address schoolchildren.  Ever.


You sure were wrong - Barak Obama is the only President EVAR and it is all HIS fault All of it

Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders.     St George Carlin

Faust

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Re: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2009, 09:01:59 pm »
Barack Obama is the first president to address schoolchildren.  Ever.

 :lulz:
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Re: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2009, 11:41:24 pm »
I for one will be livid if my child does not get to listen to the pres.
I had to sleep throughlisten to Bush1 and Reagan, it's his turn.

Florida, of course, is in an uproar about it. Women are crying. Crying, on the news.


There are not enough matches+gasoline to fix this state.


sorry squid I really don't understand that state

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Re: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2009, 03:07:22 am »
don't try.
it's no use.

AFK

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Re: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2009, 10:58:08 am »
I don't think the New Wave of Stupid is anything special to your state.  It seems to be taking over the entire country.  People are losing their damned minds because the President wants to deliver a generic "stay in school" message to students.  I swear, I think a right-wing yahoo would assasinate President Obama at a Deli if he ordered the "wrong" sandwhich. 
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Kai

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Re: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2009, 12:35:52 pm »
What I'm seeing here is that the right is far more crazy than the center. I can't recall people making this much of a fuss over little things like this during GWB's presidency, except to laugh at poor speaking skills.
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AFK

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Re: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2009, 01:18:03 pm »
What I'm seeing here is that the right is far more crazy than the center. I can't recall people making this much of a fuss over little things like this during GWB's presidency, except to laugh at poor speaking skills.

And that's just it.  That fucker took us to war in the wrong desert, he was viewed by many on the left to have stolen an election (some think two), he had Big Telecom bending over backwards to spy on us, all kinds of shit, and there wasn't all of the crazy shit being said about Bush.  Is there even an angry left wing?  If so where are they?  Are they too busy yelling at their Starbuck's barista?  What's up? 
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Re: Obama's REALLY REAL agenda: Indoctrinating Schoolchildren!
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2009, 02:18:57 pm »
What I'm seeing here is that the right is far more crazy than the center. I can't recall people making this much of a fuss over little things like this during GWB's presidency, except to laugh at poor speaking skills.
The left went right, and the right went insane.
I'm interested as to how all of this is going to play out. Something's gotta give, eventually.
Is it plugged in?