Sensible Views Weblog

Sensible – [sen-suh-buhl] – having, using, or showing good sense or sound judgment

Book Publishers for Obama – Politically Indoctrinating your Children One Textbook At a Time

with 7 comments

Since when is it ethical for a school book publisher to indoctrinate children for political purposes?

Obama Textbook Title Page - "Out of Many - One"

Check out this blog out of Wisconsin –

Racine, WI Schools LOVE Obama… Blog post link

A Racine mother wrote in with information about a textbook that was the required reading in her son’s 8th grade advanced literature class… which contained 15 pages all about Barack Obama and his “life of service”, while not one page was devoted to John McCain and the fact that he risked his very life fighting for our country and spent years in a prison camp at the hands of torturous enemies bent on destroying us. Not one page was devoted to McCain’s 26 years in the U.S. Senate, not one page was devoted to President Bush or the fact that Al Quaeda is now scattered and on the run due to his war on terror.

If you follow the links in the blog post, you’ll see that the publisher is a pretty devoted Obama lackey, as evidenced by the frequent use if his checkbook to pour funds into Obama’s campaign machine.


Yes, We Can.

7 Responses

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  1. From what I can tell from the only page shown on the original website (Racine, WI Schools LOVE Obama), this story looks like its the speech Obama gave at the 2004 DNC — a speech that was widely heralded as beautifully written. I know several teachers — Independent, Democratic, and Republican (yes, we have several in our department alone) — who actually studied his speech in their AP classes. It contained the exact kind of diction and syntax advanced students analyze. If this is the case (I won’t spend my own money to purchase an 8th grade textbook, and that’s the only way to see it online unless someone wants to share), it is quite common for publishers to include biographical information about the speaker/writer. For example, you’d find background information on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when reading “Letter From Birmingham Jail” (which I teach in my freshman honors class), and you’d find information on Nathaniel Hawthorne when reading “Young Goodman Brown.” That this story was found in a literature text and not a history text tells me it’s most likely his speech. If there are speeches from John McCain and/or George W. Bush that are regarded as highly as Mr. Obama’s has been, then maybe they should have been included as well. As far as this being some kind of indoctrination of our kids into Mr. Obama’s campaign, a book that has a copyright date of 2008 was planned WELL in advance of the final candidates (i.e. Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain) being chosen. In all likelihood, the pieces for the text were chosen years in advance. The books are then printed and sent out to schools for them to peruse and purchase, if they desire, for the 2008 school year.
    As always, if you don’t like the free public schools your state provides for your child, you can always opt to pay thousands of dollars a year in private school tuition.
    Oh, one more thing, Al Qaeda isn’t actually “on the run”; they’re in Pakistan and Afghanistan mainly because your boy George decided Iraq was more important. Wonder what the history books will say about that 10 years from now.


    October 15, 2008 at 4:07 pm

  2. It might be common to add speeches to textbooks, however, I doubt that Obama’s speech was written entirely by him, as most politicians have speech writers on staff… and it might be okay to include a speech from one politician in an election year if they also include speeches from other candidates as well. Certainly they could have included a different speech from someone who wasn’t in a hotly contested national election and who isn’t considered a media darling.

    Quite honestly it is obvious that it was done out of political favoritism, seeing as the publisher is a substantial contributor to the Obama campaign, as is evidenced by the link provided in the post I gave the link for.

    I home school my children. If the democrats, who are so vocal about freedoms, would give families the freedom of school choice in the form of vouchers, we might see some real improvements in the school systems and get back to studying academics instead of having to be contented with publishers inoculating curriculum with partisan propaganda… no matter how flowery the speeches may be.

    If the history book is published by this guy, I’m sure Bush will get his summary lynching.


    October 15, 2008 at 4:59 pm

  3. Again, what you don’t seem to understand is that books — especially textbooks — are laid out and sent to press LONG before they’re sold. Samples are sent to the schools usually the year BEFORE they’re to be used as “new”; the schools have to order them ahead of time. So those books that the original email says are copyrighted in ’08 were created in ’06-’07 at the latest. Obama’s nomination wasn’t finalized until this summer — the summer of ’08, long AFTER the book had been published. If this was some Democratic ruse to indoctrinate our public school children, then how could this work? Hilary was supposed to be the nominee; she “had it in the bag,” so to speak, this time last year. Your argument doesn’t fly.
    As far as vouchers, it has been proven time and time again that the reason private schools seem to fair “better” than public schools is because they can pick and choose their students, weeding out those who don’t have high test scores and/or the drive to succeed. Many also require parental involvement. In contrast, public school has to accept EVERY child by law, regardless of special needs, disability, test scores, parent involvement, or any other issue.
    Some articles for you to peruse,should you want to:


    October 16, 2008 at 9:28 pm

  4. While the book may have been published in the summer of 08 – too late for purposeful intent by the publisher, the school district can see preview/galley copies of books they want to add to their curriculum… hopefully they don’t just order them from a catalog without examining the contents PRIOR to placing a large order for the school district – Egads! That would make it kind of hard for the teachers to get their lesson plans ready over the summer without the teacher’s editions of the textbooks. Several of my closest friends are authors who have published books and I also live in the publishing center of the nation… and when publishers are trying to market their books, galley copies and freebies are given out in hopes of a sale many months prior to official publication…

    Anyway you slice it, it doesn’t LOOK good, and gives those teachers who might be tempted to use his chapter so close to the election as a chance to try and whip those zealous 8th graders into such a partisan frenzy that they’ll all want to pile into an extended van and rent a house in Ohio so they can participate in “early” voting.


    October 16, 2008 at 11:20 pm

  5. Wow, look who’s “whipped into a frenzy.” First, I did not say the book was published in ’08; I said Obama was nominated in ’08. Read the beginning of my last post. Second, getting a bunch of 13 & 14-year-old kids “whipped into a partisan frenzy” is something out of a bizzarro world! What?! They’re READING A SPEECH written by a politician. Give it a break, “Sensible.” Thank goodness you home school your kids; I would hate having you second guessing every word that came out of my mouth. Oh, wait, maybe The Grapes of Wrath IS really an allegory for Barack Obama’s life! I’ll run that by my juniors on Monday and see what they think!
    Thanks for the laughs; it was really what I needed to end a long week of indoctrinating America’s youth into Communism and Socialism. It’s tiring work, you know. ; )
    (That last part was a joke, just in case you were too frenzied to get it — my job is to get kids to think for themselves by analyzing the world around them. What they do with their openmindedness is ultimately up to them.)


    October 17, 2008 at 1:41 pm

  6. Wow! Look who’s offended at me pointing out that the book was published in ‘08 after you cited a copyright date of ‘08 (which indicates the official publishing date of any edition – publishing date and copyright date are the same)…

    And even though he was officially nominated (at Hillary’s request by acclamation) in late August of ‘08, he had been the “presumptive” nominee for several months – the media began to assume him to be the nominee all the way back as far as mid May of ‘08.

    I personally don’t think you have any reason to be so upset. I never indicated that I thought you were indoctrinating kids yourself… but thanks for the “admission”.

    I’m glad I could amuse you so much. It’s what I live for. Make sure you tip your wait person on the way out.

    I’m also glad I home school my kids. Apparently public school teachers can’t take a joke, either. (Which is what the partisan frenzy was all about… you know… Ohio? Partisan? Children voting… HAHAHA!! I thought it was hilarious.)

    The reason I home school my kids is because of the anti-religious hostility my eldest daughter experienced at the hands of a public school teacher who, instead of using his classroom to teach my child, decided to make an example of her “ignorance of the fact that there is no god” in front of a whole class full of children who took great pleasure in torturing her socially from then on, thereby making her remaining months in public school a living hell, thank you very much. She cried herself to sleep every night she had to stay there because “everyone hates me because I’m a Christian!” I could have chalked it up to just one teacher, however this was the fourth teacher in four years to openly ridicule her in front of other children.

    It was my assessment that I didn’t feel public school was a safe place for my child to learn and that the environment was too hostile toward (her) religion for her to be able to advance academically without her having to compromise her faith, so I pulled her out and placed her in Montessori and ultimately brought her home by choice… where we concentrated on academics and on her healing from her traumatic experience. She is now 26 and makes nearly as much money as my husband does, who makes enough for us to live on one income so that I can stay home to teach my other two children, one of whom has autism…

    Any other intolerant observations you’d like to make, oh anonymous one?


    October 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm

  7. If you will view the video located here you will see that Obama was the “presumptive Democratic nominee” as far back as Sept 07. (See news title at bottom of opening clip under Obama speaking.)

    Plenty of time.


    October 22, 2008 at 1:36 pm

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