BROOKLYN - President Barack Obama's plan to deliver a speech directly to the nation's schoolchildren has drawn a negative reaction from some parents and conservative groups.

Critics say the speech, which is scheduled for Tuesday, will be used to push the president's political ideology. But Education Secretary Arne Duncan calls the controversy "silly" and says the speech is meant to encourage kids to set goals and have a strong work ethic.

The speech will stream live on the White House Web site and on C-SPAN at 12 p.m. Tuesday.