The Obama administration is rethinking its course recommendations for students ahead of Obama's address to the nation's school children next week. Rewriting its suggestions to teachers for student assignments on how to "help the president."
White House aides said the language was supposed to be an inspirational, pro-education message to America's youths, but its unintended consequences were evident.
Among the activities initially suggested for pre-K to 6th grade students was to "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president."
Another assignment for students for hearing the speech was to discuss "what the president wants us to do."
This suggestion about writing letters has since been changed to: "Write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals. These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals.
There has been a firestorm from parents who are outraged and refusing to allow their children to participate in Obama's speech.
The reasons are varied. It is unlikely that the speech would have been a blip on the radar without the advance "teaching points." Other presidents, including Reagan and George W. Bush have also made speeches to school children. However, there was no advance teaching points designed to focus on the president, his message and how children should respond to it.
Some parents are concerned mostly about the wording of the teaching points. Others are concerned because of Obama's policies.
There is no doubt that six months into the presidency, Obama has become one of the most polarizing presidents in our nation's history.
Frankly, I'm pleased that the right is mobilizing. This is just a small thing, it seems. But people who have never been politically active before are now standing up for what they believe and no longer letting the left set the agenda. It's about time.