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Obama to make 'back to school' speech next month

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The remarks will be broadcast to students nationwide and available online
  • Plans for a similar speech last year prompted conservative criticism
  • This year's speech will take place on September 14

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama will deliver his second annual "back to school" speech to the nation next month, the White House announced Wednesday.

Last year, Obama's plan to address students prompted accusations from conservatives that it was intended to push a partisan agenda.

Some school administrators decided to show the president's speech, but others did not. A number left the decision in the hands of individual teachers.

In his speech last year, Obama avoided any mention of political initiatives.

This year's speech will take place on September 14, the White House said. It will be broadcast in schools and online nationwide, according to the statement.

Some of the controversy over Obama's speech last year involved a proposed lesson plan created by the Education Department to accompany the address. An initial version of the plan recommended students draft letters to themselves discussing "what they can do to help the president."

The letters "would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals," the plan said.

After the criticism from conservatives, the White House distributed a revised version encouraging students to write letters about how they can "achieve their short-term and long-term education goals."