Administration’s Suggestions for Teachers: Read Books about Obama, Post Obama Quotes on Classroom Walls

September 8, 2009 - 9:54 AM
The Education Department's corrected lesson plans designed to accompany President Obama's speech to students on Tuesday still call for teachers to read books about Obama and to post quotations from Obama in large print on classroom walls.
(CNSNews.com) - The “corrected” lesson plans the U.S. Department of Education is suggesting that schools around the country use to turn President Obama’s speech to students today into a “teachable moment” still call for teachers to read books about Obama and to post quotations from Obama in large print on classroom walls.
 
The Department of Education created two “menus of classroom activities” for use with the president’s speech.  One is designed to guide Pre-K through 6th grade teachers, and the other is designed to guide 7th through 12th grade teachers.
 
The “menus” caused some controversy last week because the original version for Pre-K through 6th grade suggested that students, “Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.” In the corrected version, the guide now calls for students to: “Write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.”
 
However, the corrected Pre-K through 6th grade “menu” currently posted on the Department of Education Web site and linked from the White House Web site suggests that teachers of Pre-K through 6th grade classes read books about Barack Obama in order to “build background knowledge” for instructing students about the president and his speech.

The first point on the Pre-K through 6th grade lesson plan says: “Teachers can build background knowledge about the President of the United States and his speech by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama.”
 
The “menu” for 7th through 12th grade suggests that teachers post “large print” quotations from Obama’s speeches about education on their classroom walls.
 
“Teachers may post in large print around the classroom notable quotes excerpted from President Obama’s speeches on education,” says the lesson plan.
 
The lesson plans do not suggest posting on classroom walls quotations from any other American president, living or dead.