The Government Accountability Office has rejected the Department of Education’s defense of media-outreach efforts that the congressional watchdog agency has deemed propaganda.
In an opinion Sept. 30, the GAO found that the Department of Education violated a federal law prohibiting covert propaganda by paying commentator Armstrong Williams to advance its policies. In a separate Sept. 30 letter, the GAO found that a prepackaged video news release by the department that promoted free tutoring also constituted propaganda.
The Department of Education disagreed with the GAO’s conclusions. However, in a July 6 letter to department General Counsel Kent Talbert, GAO General Counsel Gary L. Kepplinger said his agency stood by its earlier conclusions. The department did not comment on the most recent statement by the GAO.
A version of this article appeared in the July 26, 2006 edition of Education Week