How Obama's Pep Talk Became a Publicity Headache
What started as a simple question on a suggested lesson plan tied to President’s Barack Obama’s national pep talk to students ended up as the first major political misstep for a recently minted U.S. Department of Education team that’s launched an aggressive campaign to reform K-12 schools.
While pushing Mr. Obama’s larger message of personal responsibility, hard work, and persistence in education, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his staff spent the days leading up to the Sept. 8 televised address deflecting largely partisan warnings that the president would impose his policy views on a captive audience of schoolchildren.
Within 36 hours of the first charge that Mr. Obama would “indoctrinate” students with his “socialist” agenda—leveled in a Florida Republican Party leader’s press release —the issue had caught fire in the blogosphere, before jumping to talk radio and cable news shows and then...
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