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Department of Indoctrination - "Get Schooled" by Progressives

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March 15, 2011 - Indoctrination U: Union thugs using kids as shields in Wisconsin - See the outrageous video of kids being used as pawns by teachers to support their union protests
March 14, 2011 - Education Secretary Can't Say Where Constitution Authorizes Education Department - ducking the $106.9 billion question about why the Department of Education exists
March 14, 2011 - Obama prods Congress on education law renewal - pushing his federal education agenda to increase spending on failing schools and unions.  Later version of the story
National School Choice Week - January 23 - 29, 2011
February 14, 2011 - AP Source: Obama to seek changes in Pell Grants
January 21, 2011 - For-profit schools sue to stop new rules - Is the Dept of Education trying to shut down competition with traditional colleges and universities?  Why does this department exist?
January 18, 2011 - Student tracking finds limited learning in college
January 15, 2011 - Trouble lurking ahead for Obama's education focus and Obama's education focus faces big hurdles - revised spin.  Trouble?  What trouble?  Hurdles to overcome?
January 13, 2011 - New guidelines would make school lunches healthier - Perhaps this will have the unintended consequence of teaching children to resent government intrusion in their lives.  Will they become a generation which quietly accepts a nanny state, or fights vigorously to resist it?
January 10, 2011 - Ex DC school chief takes reform message nationwide
December 13, 2010 - Obama: Nutrition bill vital to children's future - Feeding the unions.   Who do you suppose is going to serve those additional 20 million after school dinners? How are cash-strapped school districts going to pay for this without becoming even more reliant on federal funding - and other unfunded mandates? Note that this also has the pernicious effect of reducing the personal responsibility of parents for the care of their own children.  It's the big government nanny-state again.
December 6, 2010 - Teachers union target Michelle Rhee to raise $1 billion for education reform - announcing the launch of Students First -
October 19, 2010 - Obama seeks to boost Hispanic achievement - Executive order to vote?
October 15, 2010 - FACT CHECK: Obama's education claims missing facts - When did facts get in the way of his rhetoric?
October 12, 2010 - School cafeterias to try psychology in lunch line - So, is it OK for the federal government to be spending $2 million on an experiment to test whether they can use psychological methods to trick your children into eating more healthy food at the school cafeteria?  Are you OK with this sort of federal propaganda in your schools?  Do you want your kids to be programmed by federal bureaucrats who think they know what is best for everybody?  Call your members of Congress and tell them to cut off all funding for this Department of Agriculture program, and anything else like it.
October 12, 2010 - Number of ed civil rights complaints on the rise - What a coincidence.  Did anybody else notice the "You have the right" lobbying campaign by "Get Schooled" in Sept 2009?
October 9, 2010 - Obama: GOP plans to 'shortchange' education - another scare tactic - but his agenda is scarier.
September 28, 2010 - Waiting for Superman review: A masterpiece of moral clarity by John Nolte on BigHollywood blog - very interesting review, worth considering
September 28, 2010 - Obama: Education key to economic success - trying to rally young voters by telling them that Republicans are a threat to their future, rather than his own policies.
September 27, 2010 - President Obama's hypocritical stance on school vouchers
September 27, 2010 - Obama presses for longer school years
September 25, 2010 - For-profit education under assault - with many thoughtful comments
September 24, 2010 - Schools need a hero - Heritage article about Waiting for Superman
September 24, 2010 - Global public education bailout introduced - S.3797 and H.R.5117 - This progressive initiative for global education has actually been floating around for several years.  It doesn't seem likely to gain traction in the current economic and political environment, but that doesn't mean the framework isn't being developed to push this agenda forward in other ways.  The House bill was introduced and referred to committee again in April 2010, but the Senate version was just introduced on September 16, 2010 and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
bulletSeptember 20, 2010 - NEA applauds Senate sponsorship of Education for All Act
bulletVarious blogs have been pushing the EFA Act of 2010 recently, as has the AFT union
bulletApril 21, 2010 - Education for All Act wants universal education back on track - Christian Science Monitor article notes no specific funding target, but that this creates a global framework through the World Bank or a new "Global Fund for Education" consistent with a $2 billion campaign pledge by Obama back in 2008
bullet H.R. 5117 Education for All Act of 2010 - from April 22, 2010 - summary on GovTrack.US - it was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, with no reported action yet.  Similar bills in the last 3 sessions of Congress died without action.
bullet Global Fund for Education - on Facebook

Regardless of good intentions to encourage elementary education worldwide, the net effect is to create a global bureaucracy which will help to establish and fund national education policies, thereby providing a channel for national and global rather than local control of education.  This is completely contrary to the model of local community-based education development as explained in the popular book "Three Cups of Tea".  On the contrary, it is far more consistent with the creeping tyranny and indoctrination imposed through the many Saudi-funded madrassas in Pakistan.  In effect, it creates a global top-down power and funding hierarchy, rather than respect for individuals.  That may be great for government grant-seekers, consultants, and bureaucrats or the growth of unions, but not for the children or the development of free societies of responsible individuals.

September 23, 2010 - Nanny state goes to college - a regulatory strategy to expand federal control over higher education and eliminate for-profit colleges?  Watch the other hand ... while attention is elsewhere.

For those who have forgotten Chicago education history, here's a WSJ column from two years ago.

bullet Wall Street Journal - September 23, 2008 - Obama and Ayers pushed radicalism on schools 

Michelle Malkin - Sept 2, 2009 - Flashback: Bill Ayers declares education the "motor-force of Revolution" - in his 2006 speech in Venezuela to the World Education Forum.  Stunning!

September 21, 2010 - Study: Teacher bonuses fail to boost test scores
September 21, 2010 - Al Sharpton to host new TV series on education
September 21, 2010 - 21 communities to plan 'Promise Neighborhoods'
September 16, 2010 - Obama to announce expansion of education campaign - launching the "Change the Equation" initiative with corporate political cover.  Watch as companies which rely heavily on government contracts choose to support this initiative, just by pure coincidence.
bullet Ernst & Young LLP Joins Change the Equation, a Corporate Initiative to Stimulate Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education in the US
bullet Raytheon Extends Commitment to STEM Education Through Support of Change the Equation
September 15, 2010 - White House plans community college summit Oct. 5 - Jill Biden
September 14, 2010 - Obama: Students should work hard, focus on school - updated version of the story, and the prepared text of the speech on the White House website.  Like last year, the speech itself isn't controversial - but watch what is happening behind the scenes.
September 13, 2010 - Obama to students: Work hard, focus on education - He's back in your schools again, pushing his federal education agenda and programs such as "Race to the Top".  Note the related movie release of "Waiting for Superman" coming to theaters near you, as reported below a few weeks ago.
August 30, 2010 - Education Secretary urged his employees to attend Sharpton's rally - Why?  It's another example of why we need to finally eliminate the Department of Education completely, as Reagan had intended.  Note the characterization of the Sharpton rally as a "back to school event".
2010 update - Do you remember the Obama speech to schools in September 2009?

That was the launch of the "Get Schooled" initiative with Viacom cable channels and other supporters such as the Gates Foundation.
If you scroll down that page, you'll see their "You Have the Right" video from the campaign last fall.

Here's the latest. They're back.

They're launching a new video about education - produced by the people who brought us "An Inconvenient Truth". They just did the preview in Chicago, and it will launch later in September. Watch for "Waiting for Superman".

Here's the trailer, if you can't wait to see it.

Soon after this was announced, Obama announced plans to do another inspirational speech to every classroom in America again after Labor Day as he pushes his education agenda again this fall and seeks the support of teacher unions and students in the 2010 midterm elections.

He just signed a $26 billion state bailout, with $10 billion of it allegedly to save 140,000 teacher jobs. That will probably be about as reliable as other rosy stimulus and bailout projections.

Have a look at this page - students rights, how to lobby your governor, etc. No political message here, of course.

The following notes are from September 2009.  See recent updates below.
Why have many parents been objecting to the Obama speech to all children in their schools on September 8, 2009?  Was this just a silly partisan fuss over nothing, as the White House alleges?

Have a look at the Get Schooled initiative below before you assume that this was a silly partisan fuss and that any problem is now over since the speech and teacher notes were cleaned up a bit. 

Our response and other blogs follows below, with suggested actions for parents, including expressing your concern to your members of Congress rather than just local school officials.  Congress returns from the August recess shortly after this speech.  Tell them about your concerns.

You can read the speech on the White House website.  After the controversy, this carefully edited speech may suggest that this was all a silly partisan fuss over nothing, but there's a larger context of growing federal control over education, plus the online social networking of kids and parents.  This can support the Obama education agenda by building up a direct channel to encourage such families to lobby members of Congress, governors, and state and local officials for their "rights".

Education is vitally important.  Who can dispute the President saying that?  This "straw man" tactic distracted his critics from the "Get Schooled" launch the same day - with Obama support.

That is somewhat like what Organizing for America was set up to do at the DNC, but this builds up a channel for activist Obama supporters to reach out directly to many kids and parents at any time.  This is about more than Obama giving a simple inspirational message of encouragement to all kids.  It uses the power of the White House to reach directly into every classroom and household in America.

By remarkable coincidence, September 8 coincides with a TV event that evening to kick off the "Get Schooled: You Have the Right" program.  Did you notice the launch of "Get Schooled" in April 2009?   One of three role models profiled in this program on all Viacom networks is an Obama speechwriter.

See the Media Advisory which the Department of Education recently posted about Get Schooled.  There was just a brief mention of it before this at the end of the revised teacher instructions, as below.

Note that it also leads into a Facebook "Get Schooled" social networking initiative, thus creating a potential channel for further direct communication with all children who are persuaded to participate.  There is already a "Get Schooled" (#getschooled) initiative to reach out to kids on Twitter as well.

This is not an isolated speech to offer harmless encouragement.  This builds a channel to drive student and parent activism for pushing the education "rights" agenda forward this fall.  The Get Schooled site encourages the lobbying of governors (many of whom are up for election in 2010) - but says nothing about lobbying big city mayors with perpetually failing school districts.

If you followed the Van Jones story (see Glenn Beck), wait until they establish this social networking channel for radicals to have direct contact with any impressionable kids and parents in America.  This isn't about staying in school and studying hard. This is the community organizer in chief building up a channel for his activist friends to reach into every classroom and household in America by abuse of White House power.

September 8, Michelle Malkin blog - Get Schooled: Nickelodeon and friends want your kids to "change the system"  Wake up, parents.  This is about far more than an Obama speech today.

Look at this August 27 press release from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation about Get Schooled, or this September 2 Reuters / PR Newswire press release story about their plans for September 8.  There was also an earlier August 13 press release, so this has obviously been planned for many months.

Take a look at the letter of August 26 below, as previously posted on the US Department of Education website, from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  This letter was sent directly to all school administrators - but there was no related press release by the Department or the White House, nor was there any reference to this initiative yet on the White House website.  The Department has doled out a lot of stimulus money to schools in recent months, so who would dare to ignore such a request?

To find this, you had to go to the page for school administrators on the Department of Education website - not the pages for parents or teachers, or the home or news pages, where there was no mention of it.

About Viacom - from a recent press release (CEO speaking 9/16 at a Goldman Sachs media event)

Viacom, consisting of BET Networks, MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures, is the world's leading entertainment content company. It engages audiences on television, motion picture and digital platforms through many of the world's best-known entertainment brands, including MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Noggin, COMEDY CENTRAL, Spike TV, TV Land, BET, Rock Band, AddictingGames, Atom, Neopets, Shockwave and Paramount Pictures. Viacom's global reach includes approximately 170 channels and 400 online properties in 163 countries and territories.

For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit .
Do you trust the Obama White House to guide the education and goals in life of your children?
August 25, 2010 - Obama planning second back-to-school speech
July 29, 2010 - Obama defends education policies to critics - Race to the Top program defended in speech to the National Urban League, touting the fact that 32 states have been pushed into changing their education laws to comply with the Obama agenda in order to compete for funds.
July 15, 2010 - House bill would make school lunches healthier - By what far-fetched interpretation of the Constitution does the federal government, through the Department of Agriculture, have any authority to tell local school districts what food must be served to kids in school?
July 11, 2010 - Duncan: Congress needs to act now on school money - Back to using schools as an excuse to push their spending agenda, just like adding pork to the war supplemental funding
June 23, 2010 - 31 states combine to create new academic tests - Setting national high school testing standards to be more consistent with international ones?  Once again, the federal education bureaucracy is starting to intrude on state policies through the power of taxes and spending.
March 28, 2010 - Source: Feds pick Delaware, Tenn. for ed grants
March 28, 2010 - Obama: Loan changes overcome 'politics of moment' - This creates enduring college student dependency on the federal government. It also provides a way out of debt by doing the bidding of the government for a number of years. That is clearly intended to appeal to a younger generation trained to expect benefits from government as a matter of "social justice" entitlements rather than from their own efforts.  Support the Hillsdale College alternative. Reject all federal funding of education, at any level. Stand up for liberty - especially in education.
March 12, 2010 - Obama's education law overhaul to focus on college
March 12, 2010 - Texas ed board adopts social studies standards - Comment:  Don't mess with Texas history.  Liberals may still rule over the school curriculum in many states, but there is still hope that states won't be bought out to support the federal education agenda of the Obama administration.
March 3, 2010 - Fire the teachers? When schools fail, it may work
March 1, 2010 - Obama seeks money, interventions to stem dropouts
February 22, 2010 - Obama prods states to raise academic standards - Comment:  Why don't the governors prod Obama to stay out of their business?  What has Obama done to demonstrate that he is capable of telling every school district in the country how to run their own schools better, even if we were to accept the premise that it is not unconstitutional for the federal government to even meddle in this?  He has been pushing his education agenda at the states since before September by dangling a lot of money in front of them at a time of tight budgets.  Will governors now do anything for money?
February 17, 2010 - Is America Listening To Its Teachers? - Comment: If so many teachers feel that their views are not being heard in the debate about education, as this MetLife survey of teachers suggests, did anybody ask whether that includes not being heard by their union leaders?

Did anybody ask whether the union efforts to move the focus of the debate to Washington DC, and to push initiatives through the Dept of Education into all states, has contributed to that disconnect between those engaged in the "debate" and what works in practice?

Did anybody survey the parents or students about their perceptions of what would work better? After all, who do the schools serve? Are they there to do what the teachers think is best? That would be like a company producing whatever the employees think is a good idea, whether or not there is a market for it, at the expense of the government. Sure sounds like a liberal progressive elitist approach to me by those who think that we the people are too stupid to know what is good for us.

January 19. 2010 - Obama to seek $1.35 billion more for education - Comment:  Even more money is being pushed into the Obama "Race to the Top" education agenda to control local schools and coerce states which need money into changing their laws to comply with his plans.  The drive for statist control of education goes on.
November 4, 2009 - SPIN METER: Rankings unfair to US higher ed? - Comment: Interesting story.  Once again, you need to create the perception of a crisis in order to ram through policy changes.
October 25, 2009 - AP - THE INFLUENCE GAME: Bill Gates sways govt dollars - Comment:  As with the Annenberg Project in Chicago, philanthropists with good intentions can expand the ability of politicians to impose changes by providing both money and political cover for their actions.  Whether those changes will eventually prove to be good or bad may be open to debate, but it is a slippery slope for private foundations to try to use government power and influence to impose their own ideas.
Wall Street Journal - September 23, 2008 - Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism on Schools - Comment:  Wake up, America.  This speech in isolation is not the problem.  It's where this is leading.
Michelle Malkin - Sept 2, 2009 - Flashback: Bill Ayers declares education the "motor-force of Revolution" - in his 2006 speech in Venezuela to the World Education Forum.  Stunning!

By a remarkable coincidence - Sept 5: Tens of thousands protest Chavez in Venezuela  - protesting indoctrination in schools and also Chavez opponents, supporters rally in Venezuela

Since apologists brought up the fact that Ronald Reagan also sometimes visited schools ...
Have a look at the difference in what President Reagan said during this 1987 school visit.  Once again, this was a typical photo op visit to one school by invitation - not a sudden intrusion into every school in America.  Note the closing line of his presentation to a sixth grade civics class in Columbia, MO:

The President. When you're studying these particular things, this particular course, remember how important it is. Because Thomas Jefferson—you all know who he was back in our history—Thomas Jefferson said: "If the people have all the facts and know the truth, the people will never make a mistake."
Thank you all very much.

"Prior to his remarks, the President and Secretary of Education William J. Bennett listened to a classroom discussion on the Constitution's separation of powers."

Here's the text from September 1, 2009 - before it was hastily removed after some criticism.

Letter From Secretary Arne Duncan to School Principals
August 26, 2009

Classroom Activities

Grades preK-6      PDF (64K) | MS Word (32K)
Grades 7-12         PDF (108K) | MS Word (80K)

Please note that the time of this speech has changed to 12:00 noon eastern standard time.

Dear Principal:

In a recent interview with student reporter, Damon Weaver, President Obama announced that on September 8 ?the first day of school for many children across America ?he will deliver a national address directly to students on the importance of education. The President will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.

Since taking office, the President has repeatedly focused on education, even as the country faces two wars, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and major challenges on issues like energy and health care. The President believes that education is a critical part of building a new foundation for the American economy. Educated people are more active civically and better informed on issues affecting their lives, their families and their futures.

This is the first time an American president has spoken directly to the nation's school children about persisting and succeeding in school. We encourage you to use this historic moment to help your students get focused and begin the school year strong. I encourage you, your teachers, and students to join me in watching the President deliver this address on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. It will be broadcast live on the White House website 12:00 noon eastern standard time.

In advance of this address, we would like to share the following resources: a menu of classroom activities for students in grades preK-6 and for students in grades 7-12. These are ideas developed by and for teachers to help engage students and stimulate discussion on the importance of education in their lives. We are also staging a student video contest on education. Details of the video contest will be available on our website in the coming weeks.

On behalf of all Americans, I want to thank our educators who do society's most important work by preparing our children for work and for life. No other task is more critical to our economic future and our social progress. I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead to continue improving the quality of public education we provide all of our children.


Arne Duncan

Revised content September 3 - after criticism on talk radio, in the news media, and online
For the latest version, see .  The content below was copied on the morning of September 3 for reference in case they keep changing their message.

Note the revised instructions to teachers, mainly for the video competition to be for ages 13 and up.  In case these go through further revisions as criticism spreads, this provides a record of their intentions.  The message is still a subtle implication that federal bureaucrats and the White House lead on education, rather than local leadership.

Note the added reference at the end to the Get Schooled launch, with plausible deniability of any direct White House control over this initiative for legal purposes..

President Barack Obama to Make Historic Speech to America’s Students
C-SPAN and White House Web Site to Broadcast Speech Live

Classroom Activities

Grades preK-6     PDF (115K) | MS Word (119K)
Grades 7-12        PDF (170K) | MS Word (184K)

Please note speech scheduled one hour earlier to Noon Eastern Time

On September 8, 2009, history will be made. Will you be a part of it?

At 12:00 p.m., Eastern Time (ET), President Barack Obama will deliver a national address to the students of America. (Please note that this is a change from the originally scheduled time.) During this special address, the president will speak directly to the nation’s children and youth about persisting and succeeding in school. The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning.

The U.S. Department of Education encourages students of all ages, teachers, and administrators to participate in this historic moment by watching the president deliver the address, which will be broadcast live on the White House Web site ( and on C-SPAN at 12:00 p.m., ET. We also encourage educators to use this moment to help students get focused and inspired to begin the new academic year. The Department of Education offers educators a menu of classroom activities—created by its teachers-in-residence, the Teaching Ambassador Fellows—to help engage students in the address and stimulate classroom discussions about the importance of education.

To learn more, please see the following:

Frequently Asked Questions
Classroom Activities (Pre-K ?6)
PDF (115K) | MS Word (119K)
Classroom Activities (7 ?12)
PDF (170K) | MS Word (184K)

To further encourage student engagement, the U.S. Department of Education is launching the "I Am What I Learn" video contest. On September 8, we will ask students to respond to the president’s challenge by creating videos, up to two minutes in length, describing the steps they will take to improve their education and the role education will play in fulfilling their dreams.

Please encourage all students age 13 and older to create and upload their videos to YouTube by October 8. Submissions can be in the form of video blogs, public service announcements (PSAs), music videos, or documentaries. Students are encouraged to have fun and be creative with this project! The general public will then vote on their favorites to determine the top 20 finalists. These 20 videos will be reviewed by a panel of judges including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The panel will choose three winners, each of whom will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

Starting this Friday, you can visit to find out more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. When will the president deliver his address?

President Obama will speak to the students of America at 12:00 p.m., ET on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009. (Note that this is a change from the time originally scheduled.)

2. How can I watch the president's address to students?

Viewers may watch the address via the Internet by visiting the White House Web site, at, where the address will be streamed live.

C-SPAN, the cable public affairs network, will cover the president's speech live on its C-SPAN television channel and provide live streaming video online at The speech also will be aired live on C-SPAN Radio (90.1 FM in Washington, D.C., and channel 132 on XM Satellite Radio).

White House television will make the address available via satellite for access by local broadcast outlets and school districts. The satellite feed will be live for testing and calibration beginning at 11am ET on September 8th using the following coordinates:

Galaxy 28/Transponder 17, Slot C (9 MHz)
Uplink Frequency 14344.5 Horizontal
Downlink Frequency 12044.5 Vertical
For updates related to the president's speech, please visit or

3. What is the duration of the president’s address?

The president is scheduled to speak for 15 ?20 minutes. The U.S. Department of Education provides resources for educators who may choose to use the president’s address as a teachable moment. Two menus of classroom activities, one for students in grades Pre-K ?6, and another for students in grades 7 ?12, may be found here:

Classroom Activities (Pre-K ?6)
PDF (115K) | MS Word (119K)

Classroom Activities (7 ?12)
PDF (170K) | MS Word (184K)

4. Does the White House Web site have the capacity to host all of the potential live viewers for this event?

The White House Web site is equipped with the appropriate amount of bandwidth to accommodate a large viewership.

Will the address be available in some form after the original broadcast date and time?

Downloadable video of the speech will be made available at as well as on will provide archived and "on-demand" viewing options.

6. Will the address include captioning for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers?

The live address broadcast on C-SPAN will include captioning.

7. Is the "Get Schooled" television event in the evening on Sept. 8 hosted by the Viacom network and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation connected to the president’s speech?

While the U.S. Department of Education is a partner in this effort, the president’s noontime address is a separate event.
Get Schooled is a five-year national platform developed by Viacom and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that connects, inspires, and mobilizes people to find effective solutions to education challenges. The initiative provides resources, information, and creative programming aimed at engaging a range of audiences in an effort to address America's education crisis. A television event, Get Schooled: You Have the Right, formally kicks off the "Get Schooled" initiative at 8:00 p.m., ET on Sept. 8.

Suggested action by parents

Call your members of Congress and ask them to object and investigate this.  Tell your PTO, friends, and neighbors about it.  Talk to your teachers and principals.  Tell your local school board members that they should not tolerate this federal political intrusion into local school curriculum, regardless of any alleged good intentions to encourage the children.

Obama can post whatever message of encouragement he wants on the White House or Department of Education or other websites - and parents can decide whether to show it to their kids and discuss it as appropriate.  Schools should not give him this direct, unchallenged reach to influence the trusting children of every household in America, regardless of any alleged good intentions.

Once again, this initiative coincides with with a TV event on the evening of September 8 to kick off the "Get Schooled: You Have the Right" program.  Pay attention to where that initiative is leading - including the social networking links ("Get Schooled" on Facebook and on Twitter) to organize children and parents nationally and communicate directly through those private channels.

Selected responses by US Senators or Representatives to the controversy
Note that Congress is in recess until 2pm ET on September 8 - shortly after Obama's speech.
September 4, 2009 - Charlie Dent, US Representative (R ) PA 15th District - "inappropriate", uninvited, "disappointed", glad that the teacher handouts have been revised; parents should talk to their schools
September 3, 2009 - John Kline, US Representative (R) MN 2nd District - requests public release of President Obama's remarks to school children as the senior Republican on the Education and Labor Committee - joined by House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) Here is a copy of the September 2 letter they sent to President Obama to express their concerns.
September 3, 2009 - Kay Bailey Hutchison, US Senator (R), TX - cautious, but "legitimate public outcry"
Blogger and news media responses to the September 8 Obama speech to school children has launched a petition "Keep Obama's Agenda Out of Our Schools" at 
Try our Conservative Search or Tea Party Search tools to find other references to this story.  Use our similar tools to search whether any Republicans in the House or Senate, or Republican Governors, have made any comments about this topic on their official websites.
September 8, 2009 - Get Schooled Initiative Launches ?Aimed At Broadening Americans? Engagement in Solving the Education Crisis - Initiative releases poll revealing vast majority of Americans do not believe U.S. education system is world's best, have concerns over its impact on the nation's economy - Comment: Press release by the Gates Foundation about the Get Schooled launch tonight.  Never let a good crisis go to waste, right?
September 8, 2009 - Fox News - Obama Delivers Stay-in-School Speech Amid Controversy - Comment:  Hundreds of comments - but few seem to have noticed the Get Schooled launch yet.
September 8, 2009 - George H.W. Bush's Speech to Students Drew Democratic Probe - Comment: Fox News story about how Democrats in Congress and the Washington Post attacked him at the time.  This story originated on the Washington Examiner.
September 8, 2009 - Obama tells students each has something to offer - Comment:  Mentions why Wakefield was selected as the venue of the speech today.

Another version of the same story.

September 8, 2009 - Obama advises caution in what kids put on Facebook - Comment: Ironic addition to his speech today, given the Get Schooled initiative (which leads into a Facebook network)

Updated version of the same story with further details

September 8, 2009 - Washington Post - Ex-Council Member to Lead Protest of D.C. School Voucher Cuts - Comment: Did anyone forget that Obama killed off this successful school voucher program, which largely helped minority kids in one of the worst public school districts - Washington DC?  His former Senate colleague Dick Durbin (D-IL) led the move to quickly end the program earlier this year.
September 8, 2009 - Ed Sec'y Duncan bemoans 30 percent dropout rate - Comment:  Why not discuss how the dropout rate varies across the country, and why it is worst in big cities where progressive leaders have been in charge for decades?  Higher spending hasn't solved the problem, so why is the focus on lobbying governors rather than local responsibility and accountability for results.
September 8, 2009 - Understanding President Obama's Speech - Comment: The perspective of the Center for Education Reform (CER).  Refer to the CER's Parent's Guide for discussion of the speech, or their grassroots action center.
September 8, 2009 - Secretary Shinseki Visits Meade High School, Encourages Students to Set Educational Goals - Comment:  Taking the Obama message into a Maryland school, and promoting volunteerism - as a Veterans Affairs issue?
September 8, 2009 - CPSC Joins President Obama's Back-to-School Campaign - Comment: Taking the Obama message to South Carolina - as a Consumer Product Safety Commission initiative?
September 7, 2009 - Laura Bush backs Obama on school speech - Comment: Wow. CNN must be getting really desperate to defend this speech if it tracked down Laura Bush for comment in Paris.
September 7, 2009 - Obama exhorts kids to pay attention in school - Comment: The text of the speech is finally available on the White House website today.  Following all the criticism, it may seem to be fairly harmless, but don't be suckered like many in the media.  Look into "Get Schooled", and how it leads into Facebook and Twitter social networking for direct, uncontrolled reach to kids across America - including pressure on governors (in a major election year) to support the Obama education agenda.

updated version of the same story later in the evening (to clear out critical comments posted earlier)

September 7, 2009 - AP Analysis: Furor over speech typifies polarization - Comment: Once again, the AP is buying into the White House spin that this is all just silly partisanship by Republicans who are obsessed with saying no to everything Obama does.  He's playing the victim card again as a "straw man" distraction - wouldn't everybody want the President to encourage kids to stay in school?  How can Republicans be so unreasonable as to oppose this?  Then, look into "Get Schooled" to see how this community organizer in chief is consolidating his political reach to kids and parents by building up a social networking channel for supporters of his agenda to communicate.

updated version of the same story later in the evening (to clear out critical comments posted earlier)

September 5, 2009 - Duncan says furor over Obama speech 'silly' - Comment:  There are many important education priorities to address.  Having kids see even more of Obama isn't one of them.
September 5, 2009 - Obama's back-to-school message is responsibility - Comment: AP interview with Arne Duncan, trying to take back control of the news narrative about the Obama speech again.
September 4, 2009 - Obama school speech suddenly a prickly topic for educators - Comment: Another useful Christian Science Monitor review of the story, attracting many comments.
September 4, 2009 - The history behind opposition to Obama’s speech to students - Comment: Useful political background piece by the Christian Science Monitor about the nature of the controversy.
September 4, 2009 - Obama speech to students: Is flap a sign of polarized times? - Comment:  This reasonably balanced report in the Christian Science Monitor still misses the basic point that this was an unprecedented attempt to directly reach impressionable children in every classroom in America.  No matter how innocent the final message may appear to be, it's not just about the lesson plan that was proposed to go with the speech.  This is an abuse of power and interference in local school control.
September 4, 2009 - further Fox News coverage of the controversy, and how the White House has been quickly changing the plans.  They will now make the text of the speech available on September 7 at noon.  Normally, speech texts are only released to news media on the day of the event - so parents would not have even known about the speech in advance, much less the content.

September 4, 2009 - Fox News coverage of "in-artfully worded" instructions to teachers, and how that has now been changed in response to criticism

September 4, 2009 - Gibbs: Furor over Obama's speech 'silly season' - Comment: AP update of the earlier story.  New thread for comments.
September 4, 2009 - Obama speech to students sparks new controversy - Comment: Updated version of the prior AP story yesterday about the controversy.  Still sparking more comments than usual.
September 4, 2009 - Gibbs: Furor over school speech is 'silly season' - Comment:  Still trying to defend this uninvited intrusion into school curriculum.  Note the many comments by readers.
September 4, 2009 - Schools Refusing To Show Obama Speech - Comment:  Accuracy in Media blog by Don Irvine highlights ABC News reporting of the controversy, with many critical comments.
September 4, 2009 - American Enterprise Institute - Education Stimulus Watch: Special Report 2 - a
September 3, 2009 - White House Withdraws Call for Students to 'Help' Obama - Comment:  Note the statutory restriction on the Department of Education imposing curriculum on schools.  This report was linked to an earlier Washington Times story on the same topic.  Anonymous White House staff conceded that some of the teacher instructions "may appear to be inartfully worded". You betcha!
September 3, 2009 - Fox News - Classroom Controversy - Tony Perkins and Juan Williams review the controversy with Megyn Kelly on America's Newsroom.  The examples of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan talking to kids are totally different than direct webcast broadcasts to every child in school.

September 3, 2009 - Obama speech to students draws conservative ire - Comment:  AP version of the story, listing some examples of the blowback across the nation already.
Michelle Malkin - Sept 3, 2009 - Operation "Hall Pass on That" - announcing a new site by the "Nationwide Tea Party Coalition" called "Hall Pass on That" at  with their suggestions for parents about how to respond to the September 8 speech in schools by Obama
Sean Hannity covered the story with Michelle Malkin on his Fox News show on September 2

Fox News - Sept 3, 2009 - Course Correction? 

Michelle Malkin - Sept 2, 2009 - Flashback: Bill Ayers declares education the "motor-force of Revolution" - in his 2006 speech in Venezuela to the World Education Forum.  Stunning!

By a remarkable coincidence - Sept 5: Tens of thousands protest Chavez in Venezuela  - protesting indoctrination in schools and also Chavez opponents, supporters rally in Venezuela

Hot Air - Sept 2, 2009 - WH deletes line about schoolkids helping Obama from speech prep materials - and Michelle Malkin's related Whitewashing the Obama education speech guides
Michelle Malkin - Sept 2, 2009 - Obama's classroom campaign - no junior lobbyist left behind
Michelle Malkin - Sept 2, 2009 - "I pledge to be of service to Barack Obama"
Meredith Jessup - Sept 2, 2009 - Re: Obama's Sept. 8 Address to School Children - Town Hall blog mentions Twitter campaign for a "PASS Day:- Parent-Approved Skip School Day"
Michael Medved - Sept 2, 2009 - Abusing school kids with pro-Obama propaganda - Town Hall blog
GOP Counterculture - Sept 2, 2009 - First buycotts, now PASS and Hall Pass
Watcher of Weasels - Sept 2, 2009 - September 8th - National Keep Your Kids Home From School Day
Right Soup - Sept 2, 2009 - Obama wants your kids in his cult
Fox News - September 2, 2009 - Critics Decry Obama's 'Indoctrination' Plan for Students - Comment: Good review of the initial controversy, with quotes from the American Enterprise Institute and Cato Institute
Fox News - September 2, 2009 - Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly on America's Newsroom

Dana Loesch - Sept 1, 2009 - Keep your kids home September 8
Stephen Green - Vodkapundit blog - Sept 1, 2009 - You've got a better idea?
Michelle Malkin - August 31, 2009 - Soros-tied authors launch bid to dislodge conservative best-selling books - If any of these get into your schools, make sure that the conservatives get equal time, such as Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin or various others.
August 27, 2009 - Newt Gingrich - The Corruption of the Education Bureaucracy and Returning the Focus to Learning   See also

Michelle Malkin - August 27, 2009 - Meet Obama's newest Census collectors: your kids!  No illegal alien left behind.  Note the UNESCO story on the same page, if you thought federal interference in local school curriculum was the limit of the problem.  The environmentalist / global warming crowd is also pushing their agenda into schools.  Pay attention to the curriculum and textbooks for your kids.
February 17, 2009 - Obama wants stimulus to transform schools - Comment: The next bite of the apple - to make local school districts even more reliant on federal funding, oversight, and meddling.  That shifts power away from local school districts to union lobbyists in Washington and state capitals.  It gives the new Secretary of Education (from Chicago) billions of dollars and few strings on how to use it.

See our comments about the Education stimulus and locally controlled values-based education.

Our response to this initiative
It should be no secret to any visitor to this website that SurgeUSA is not a big fan of either Barack Obama or the Democratic leadership in Congress.  That, however, is not relevant to this debate.  This initiative would be just as objectionable if it were done by a local mayor, governor, Senator, Representative, or any prior US President in the proposed manner.  It is just more offensive because it seems to encourage students to develop an emotional bond with Barack Obama by further study of his life and political speeches.  Children should not be exposed directly to unchallenged and unscreened content of this nature in the classroom, where the teachers already have a planned curriculum.

It also seems to lead into a social networking initiative to organize students and parents across the country to lobby their governors on behalf of Obama's education agenda under the guise of an independent initiative launching the same day, "Get Schooled: You Have The Right".  Since many governors are up for election in 2010, this tactic is even more suspicious than at any other time.

Note, for example, that the teacher instructions encouraged them to have students read books about Barack Obama, and to study and quote from his speeches.  There is nothing about studying American history, our Constitution, former presidents, our system of government, capitalism, or the limited role of the federal government in education, which is supposed to be locally controlled.  It's all about being personally inspired by Barack Obama.  It's all about creating an emotional connection between our children and Obama - which is exactly why this is manipulative propaganda, regardless of how innocuous his overt message to students may seem to be after final editing in response to critics.

The transparent objective is for kids to "Get Schooled" to help push his education agenda this year by learning more about his proposals and such things as helping to promote an "Education Bill of Rights"..

Here's a suggestion for their video competition -  "I pledge allegiance to my benevolent leader Obama, whose life story has inspired me to serve his vision for changing the world through more government programs and community activism, and to avoid a greedy, evil career for profit in business"  Would that win the prize for learning the new ABC's in school (Adore Barack Constantly)?  Are we there yet?

Think that's absurd?  Read this story about an August 28 incident in the Salt Lake Tribune, in which a video by pro-Obama celebrities was shown to impressionable school children.

Then take a look at this story about what is being done at the National Endowment for the Arts to encourage artists to help Obama push his agenda.  This is progressive liberal propaganda.

Watch for Glenn Beck's program on September 8 on this topic.    Maybe that's why the National Endowment for the Arts got more funding despite this recession - along with a big discretionary budget increase for Arne Duncan to control at the Department of Education.  Surely that wouldn't influence school administrators to do what he says at a time when state and local budgets are so tight.  All to promote better education, of course.  Does anybody remember Obama's history on the board of the Annenburg Challenge project in Chicago.  Do any parents remember or worry about the William Ayers approach to childhood education?  This is about money and political power.

Under the guise of encouraging kids to stay in school and study hard, this is an unprecedented direct reach by the federal government to try to influence every child in every household in America, as Duncan even admits in his letter.  It should stay unprecedented!  This is outrageous indoctrination, no matter how benign the eventual message may seem to be after facing criticism.  It should not be accepted by school administrators.  All parents should tell them and the teachers to refuse to comply.  If they don't, then September 8 should be the day when no child is left behind at school.  Keep them at home.

Would school administrators and teachers welcome and trust their local mayors or governors to make such an address to all students without any prior review of the content, and ask their students to write down how they can be of "help" to those officials?   Yes, prior Presidents have recorded messages encouraging kids to stay in school, or to not use drugs, and former Presidents and First Ladies have staged school visits as media events to reinforce the idea that they regard education as very important.

That is very different than this sort of live event.  This sets a precedent for the direct, unchallenged communication of any White House message to our children, without prior review by the schools or any parental control.  If this had gone ahead as originally scheduled, most parents would probably have learned about it on the evening of September 8 when their kids came home from school and told them about it.  There had been no press release about it by the Department of Education or the White House.


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Still think all this is crazy?  Practice your German (with the subtitles) and learn to applaud on cue with this video clip, "What Obama Wants".  This video was in response to another video, "The Obama Deception", which has already attracted millions of YouTube viewers.  Wake up, America.  This is dangerous.  Even if you don't believe some of the crazy conspiracy theorists behind videos such as these, the basic point is valid.  The era of big government is back with a vengeance, and it is up to us to stop it - including their intrusion into education as a very dangerous area for control by radicals.


"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."

Thomas Jefferson

Stick that in your lesson plan, Obama.

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Last modified: 03/15/11