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Quote of the Day: Gephardt: “The Department of Education Should Not be Producing Paid Political Advertising for the President…” (1991)

September 3rd, 2009 by MarkTwain · No Comments

It’s funny that as President Obama prepares for an unprecedented address to the nation’s school children next week – among justified cries of brainwashing from conservatives – former minority leader Dick Gephardt (son of a milk truck driver!) had a real problem with President George H. W. Bush doing the exact same thing during his presidency! The one difference: H. W. wasn’t on a mission to “remake America” as Obama promised he would during his campaign.

From PolitiFact.com:

“We searched previous media reports to see if former President George W. Bush ever gave a nationwide address to schoolchildren, but based on our search, it appears he did not. He did, however, regularly visit individual schools and discuss the importance of education with students.

We did learn, however, that President George H.W. Bush addressed the nation’s students in a televised speech during school hours in 1991. ”I can’t understand for the life of me what’s so great about being stupid,” Bush said, according to news reports from the time. He told students to ”block out the kids who think it’s not cool to be smart” and ”work harder, learn more.”

Democrats at the time criticized the speech. “The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students,” said Richard Gephardt, then the Democratic majority leader in the House of Representatives.” Read more…

Related:

Statement from Lt. Governor Kinder on president’s Schoool Programming

Since taking office in January, President Obama’s administration has take steps never before seen by any presidency in the realm of government intervention.

“Over the course of the past nine months, we have seen the government take over automobile manufacturers, financial institutions, they have hired and fired corporate executives and are now attempting to take over control of our privately run healthcare system.

“Now, we learn that the President will make a televised speech to elementary school students all across the country.  And while elected officials often make classroom visits, this may be the first time that the White House has distributed curricula directly to the teachers to accompany the president’s speech.

 “While I have the utmost respect for the office of the president, and for this president, this public relations tactic has gone too far.  The distribution of teaching curricula from the White House to the classroom clearly usurps the authority of our local school boards and school administrators.

“We have seen the federal government intervene into our lives in ways that many of us thought we would never see.  This is a clear infringement on the rights of our students and those of Missouri parents.

“I believe that if parents choose to keep their children at home during this presentation, they should be able to do so without any consequences being imposed upon their children.  And if local school districts across Missouri choose not to make this speech mandatory for students, they should not face any penalties for the state or federal government.  Parents who are concerned by the president’s school programming should contact their local school administrators to make their voices heard.

“It is important to vindicate parental rights, as parents are primarily responsible for their children’s education.”

 

Video: Children Sing Praises to President Obama

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  • 1 Andrew // Sep 3, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    As an educator I am offended at the actions of this President and its Dept. of Education. I have seen the “lesson plan” it is not learning, it serves no functional purpose than to get the student to regurgitate what the President says. This is indoctrination.

    Of course it’s also offensive that our current Sec. of Ed. has no experience in side of a classroom, no experience as a principal, and no degree in education. I’m not kidding, that’s the truth. Arne Duncan has a degree in sociology from, you guessed it, Harvard. He is a pinhead that runs around speaking facts that a simple PTO President might know. He played pro-basketball though and learned a lot about teamwork…whatever!

    Keep your eyes on Arne the Duncan as he destroys what remains of our public education system.

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