WASHINGTON (CNN) – One of the most unexpected controversies of the Obama administration came to a head Tuesday as the president delivered a hotly debated back-to-school speech to students across the country.
Many conservatives over the past week expressed a fear that the president's address would be used to push a partisan political agenda. Obama, however, avoided any mention of political initiatives. He repeatedly urged students to work hard and stay in school.
"There is no excuse for not trying," he told students at a high school in Arlington, Virginia.
"This isn't just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you're learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future."