Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Smut or Shakespeare: Kansas Senate Defines What’s Appropriate for the Classroom

If you’re a student (or know a student) in Kansas, major changes may be coming to your curriculum. The state’s Senate has recently passed a bill (SB56) removing legal protections for educators in schools for using curriculum methods that may be viewed as harmful to minors. However, the legislation did not remove the same protections for educators at colleges and universities.

kansas capitol

Seen by supporters as a way to protect minors from “offensive content,” the measure gained traction after a poster in a Johnson County middle school spurred some parents’ ire. The poster, displayed as part of sex-education curriculum, asked the question “How do people express their sexual feelings?” Answers to that question included intercourse and anal sex. None of the answers to the question were depicted in any way on the poster other than with words. Some parents were offended by the posters’ content, and it was removed by the school.

The tide then turned to other materials which some could consider inappropriate, culminating in the bill passing in the Kansas Senate. It will now go to the state’s House of Representatives. The bill would allow for teachers, principals and other educators to be charged with misdemeanors for disseminating and/or displaying materials determined to be harmful to minors.

Nathan Whitman, educator from Burrton High School in Kansas, helped clear up exactly what the “offensive content” would be. He said, “inappropriate content called ‘harmful to minors’ as defined by SB56 is ‘any description, exhibition, presentation or representation, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sadomasochistic abuse when the material or performance, taken as a whole or, with respect to prosecution for an act described by subsection (a)(1), that…the average adult person…find[s]…[appeals to a] prurient interest in sex to minors[;]…depicts or describes nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sadomasochistic abuse in a manner that is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community[;]…lacks serious literary, scientific, educational, artistic or political value.'”

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President Obama’s Perfect Reaction to Fellow Voter’s Girlfriend Joke

Who knew voting could be this fun!? Check out what happened after a man told President Obama not to touch his girlfriend (who happened to be standing next to him to vote)!

The video cuts out the best part of the interaction. After they were done voting, President Obama takes the woman aside and said, “Give me a kiss and give him something to talk about,” as he gave Cooper a hug and a peck on the cheek. “Now he’s really jealous.”

While you probably won’t end up voting next to the President, you should still go vote every chance you get. It’s the best way to make sure your voice is heard.

For a lot of people, the first time they vote is while they’re in college. They’ve recently turned 18 and are ready to exercise their right to vote. In many cases, these people don’t vote until it’s time to elect a President, even if there are other elections between then and their 18th birthday. It’s time for that to change.

Midterm elections are coming up in November, and they are just as important as the Presidential one. If you’ll remember from history or government class, the United States Government is split into three branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Though the Executive Branch may get all the attention when it comes to elections, it’s the Legislative that will be seeing changes following Election Day 2014. Midterms are the time to vote for Senators, new or incumbent, who will help shape the laws of the land.

Also Read: 

Yes, College Students Will Wake Up Early – To Vote!

The U.S. Department of Education Should Think Before it Tweets

Under 30 Vote Most Influential in History

Video from NBC



What Are We Going to Do About Student Debt?

If you haven’t heard, President Obama recently signed an executive order that expands eligibility for the Pay As You Earn program. The program was created to cap monthly debt payments of eligible borrowers to no more than their monthly income. If you have outstanding debt after 20 years, or 10 years if you work for a nonprofit or in the public sector, your debt will be forgiven.

student debt

The program is great for those who are up to their ears in student debt, though it’s also a frightening thought that you may still be in that debt 20 years from now.

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Supreme Court Rules Kansas Public Schools are Underfunded

Crowded classrooms, higher fees, fewer after-school programs and staff – if you’re thinking that all sounds like a scholastic nightmare, you’re close. It’s the reality of education in Kansas.

classroom

The Kansas government made the decision to cut certain funding to schools as a way to help get the state through the “Great Recession.” The cuts made led to a lawsuit being filed in 2010 on behalf of parents and school districts who felt the state had harmed students, especially those in poorer districts. The case has now been ruled on by the Kansas Supreme Court, and they have found the current funding levels in Kansas public schools to be unconstitutional.

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New College Scorecard Available Following State of the Union Announcement

  • During last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama referenced the new college scorecard, promising to help parents “get the most bang for your educational buck.”
  • According to ed.gov, the tool allows for users to evaluate schools based on individual needs such as  location, size, campus setting, and degree and major programs. Read the rest of this entry »


What President Obama’s Re-Election Means for Education

The race to the White House came to an end Tuesday night. President Barack Obama will be serving a second term as the President of the United States. During his 2012 election campaign, he promised to help America build a better education system and wanted America to have the highest promotion of university graduates in the world by 2020.

A few months ago, President Obama proposed a one billion dollar effort to help students excel in math and science, known as the Master Teachers Program. A group of elite teachers will be a part of the program and their salaries will increase by $20,000 in an effort to put the best math and science educators in front of our students. “I’m running to make sure that America has the best education system on earth, from pre-K all the way to post-graduate,” said President Obama during a rally in July. Only time will tell if the program will be implemented in schools across the country or not.

As reported by the HuffingtonPost, Jeffrey Henig, a political scientist at Teachers College, Columbia University, said, “It’s clear the Obama administration will continue to make education a priority.” Henig predicts President Obama will look to improve how academic performance is measured, like designing new assessments students take.

Since being elected in 2008, President Obama has stopped student federal loan rates from doubling and increased funding for Pell grants for students that need financial aid. Additionally, he has adjusted the federal student loan system so that repayments are based on income rather the amount a student has borrowed.

Karen White, political director at the National Education Association (NEA), said during President Obama’s second term she will expect him to focus on early education and college affordability.

Imran Apollo, a student at Wichita State University, comments on why he supported President Obama’s education views, telling us, “Obama wanted to increase the budget for Pell grants, which would increase taxes. Romney wanted to decrease taxes by increasing the requirements to qualify for Pell grants, thereby reducing the overall amount of aid. Romney also stated that increasing aid only encourages colleges to increase tuition costs. While this may be true, I still felt that many families, middle class in particular, would have had significant trouble paying for tuition were they denied Pell aid, or if they received reduced aid.”

Another Wichita State University student, Courtney Seddon, weighed in on the re-election and how it will affect education, telling us, “I think Obama’s re-election will give a lot of educational opportunities to the younger generation; programs like “Pay as You Earn” and debt forgiveness make the financial burden of higher education so much easier.”

The Obama administration’s new program, “Pay as You Earn,” will reduce the payment cap on loan payments from 15% of the borrower’s income to 10%, which will accelerate loan forgiveness from 25 years to 20 years.

Education is a big issue for the country. Americans have high hopes for our education system. During the president’s first term in office he had created new policies and programs to better America’s education system. He has made college more affordable for individuals and eased the financial burden for graduated students.

Also Read:

How Your Grad School Selection Impacts Your Future

Obama Highlights Education in Nomination Acceptance Speech

Lack of Education Apparent in Unemployment Rates



President Obama and Mitt Romney to Speak at 2012 Education Nation Summit

Education is a hot topic in the 2012 presidential election. Debates between President Obama and Governor Romney are ongoing and quite heated as the two butt heads on the issue. But before the candidates can implement their respective strategies, they’ll be sharing their views on the U.S. education system at the Education Nation Summit next week.

With a growing number of students and families concerned about America’s future educational system, it’s an issue on high alert for most voters. The annual Education Nation Summit will be held September 23-25 at The New York Public Library.

As reported by MediaBistro, Condoleeza Rice and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will take part in the event, during which a taped interview with President Obama will be presented. The president and his opponent Mitt Romney will also appear in person later in the summit to discuss their views on education and answer questions from summit attendees.

Both presidential candidates will cover such issues as unemployment, educational challenges, and ever-rising college tuition costs.

The opening early session of the Education Summit will begin with NBC News correspondent Tom Brokaw, and followed by an address from New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. Read the rest of this entry »



Obama Highlights Education in Nomination Acceptance Speech

During his speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, President Barack Obama accepted his party’s nomination to run for president and hopefully take on another four years. Among the topics he covered were weighty issues like the economy, the national debt, battling environmental pollution, medicare, and taxes. He also gave his views and ideas on education and how it should be strengthened.

Obama was optimistic about the state of education in America, saying that some of the country’s worst schools have improved their math and reading scores, and that nearly every state has committed to raising their teaching and learning standards. He spoke to concerns about college tuition, bringing up more than once his commitment to keeping rates low.

“Education was the gateway to opportunity for me. It was the gateway for Michelle. And now more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle-class life,” Obama said in his speech.

The president gave several specific goals for raising the bar with education. For college students, he asked his fellow Democrats’ help in putting two million students into community colleges that will guarantee them a job once they leave. He also wants to cut the growth of the cost of tuition at colleges and universities in half over the next decade. Read the rest of this entry »



Public Schools Receive an “F” Among Parents and Community

An August Gallup poll reveals that more than half of Americans are dissatisfied with the public education system, with only 7 percent of parents of school-aged children believing that public schools provide an excellent education. Home schooling rated higher by the general public than public schools for quality, but private schools received the overall best ratings.

The poll reported that 78 percent of Americans said children in private schools received an excellent or good education. Parochial schools came next with a 69 percent rating, then came charter schools (60 percent), home schooling (46 percent) and public schools (37 percent).

Although 83 percent of parents polled said their oldest child attends public school, only 47 percent thought their child was receiving an excellent or good education. Among parents of K-12 students, the results were similar to the public at large, but they gave public schools a slightly higher rating than home schooling. Read the rest of this entry »



$1.5 Billion Piled on Wall Street Tells Obama and Romney Not to Forget Education

Earlier this summer, 857 desks were placed on the National Mall in Washington D.C. They represent the number of students who drop out of school every hour of every school day each year.

Now, a 6-foot-tall stack of $1.5 billion fake hundred dollar bills sits on a sidewalk near the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, representing how much money the economy would gain if the dropout rate of students were reduced by 1 percent.

Both installations are part of an initiative by the College Board to get people talking about education during the presidential campaign. Dubbed “Don’t Forget Ed,” they want to raise awareness on what their website calls a crisis in America.

“It’s my future that they’re messing with. This election is going to make a really big difference to me…If it’s not about education, then it’s not about me,” said Merone, a student featured in one of the campaign’s videos.

Don’t Forget Ed encourages Americans to get involved through social media sites, signing a petition, and talking to others about the issue. In a presidential campaign focused on tough subjects like the economy, health care, and the budget deficit, the College Board doesn’t want education to be left behind in the debate. Read the rest of this entry »





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