barack obama

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 »


African American Student Initiative Announced by President Obama

President Obama announced that he will be creating a new education initiative targeted to improving the achievement levels of African Americans in education. While in New Orleans giving a speech to the Urban League, the president stated that he would sign an order putting the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans into place.

This new educational initiative “works to make sure that all African American students can receive an education that fully prepares them for high school graduation, college completion and productive careers,” Obama said.

This initiative will be work with the Executive Office of the President and cabinet agencies to identify evidence-based practices to improve African American students’ achievement in school and coll,ege. The White House stated that this initiative will also work to “develop a national network of individuals, organizations and communities that will share and implement these practices.” The goal of this initiative will be to ensure that African American students have the same opportunities as other students. Read the rest of this entry »



$20,000 Pay Raises for Math and Science Teachers with Obama’s Master Teachers Program

During a rally in San Antonio, President Obama revealed a new proposal to his supporters for elite master teachers, a billon dollar effort to improve education for students in the science, technology, math, and engineering fields. The new proposal was strategically unveiled months before the November elections.

The program will include a pay raise of $20,000 dollars for each master teacher, but they must remain master teachers for several years. Not only are the master teachers educating students, they will be teaching other faculty members as well. The beginning of the program will start up with 2500 qualified teachers divided across the 50 states. If the program is successful there will be an additional 7,500 teachers over a four year course. The Obama administration will partner with groups, including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, to produce 100,000 math and science teachers over the next 10 years.

However, the federal government has 80 established teacher quality programs implemented already. Why another one billion dollar program? A report found that the U.S. must grow the number of students in science, math, and related fields by 34% to keep up with economic demand. Read the rest of this entry »



Notre Dame Distances Self from Bishop Jenky’s Slanderous Remarks About the President

Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky might be regretting a comment he made recently about President Obama. During a sermon, Bishop Jenky said that Obama’s political policies were on a “similar path” to those of Hilter and Stalin.

“Hilter and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care,” Jenky said in his sermon. “In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda – now seems intent on following a similar path.”

In addition to being a Catholic Bishop, Jenky is also a member of the Board of Fellows at the University of Notre Dame. In response to the Bishop’s sermon, members of the faculty at Notre Dame have created and signed a petition that asks Bishop Jenky to either “renounce loudly and publicly this destructive analogy” or resign from the Board of Fellows.

Some are arguing that Bishop Jenky’s quote is being taken out of context, but that he was just stating his political and religious belief that Obama should not be re-elected and that Catholics should not vote for him. Read the rest of this entry »



President Obama Visits College Campuses and Jimmy Fallon to Support Higher Education

President Barack Obama is gearing up to visit several university campuses across the U.S., and after his most recent Internet and radio addresses, we can be pretty sure of at least one thing he is going to be telling students. In what could be seen as an attempt to win himself some votes come November, Obama is presenting Republicans as opponents to affordable higher education.

“This is a question of values,” Obama said. “We cannot let America become a country where a shrinking number of people really do well while a growing number of people struggle to get by.”

One of Obama’s plans to keep education attainable is by extending a current law concerning federal student loans for low- to middle-income undergraduates. The current law is set to expire of July 1, 2012. If it does, interest rates on these popular student loans will double, forcing students to pay 6.8 percent instead of the current 3.4 percent. On average, this will cause an increase of $1,000 that each student will have to pay back on their loans. Read the rest of this entry »



White House Rebuts Santorum’s ‘Snob’ Remark Regarding College Education

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn., spoke out against President Obama this weekend. The conservative senator ridiculed Obama for his hope that all Americans pursue a  higher education, alleging that his ideas were elitist.

“President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college,” Santorum said. “What a snob. There are good decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor to try to indoctrinate them. Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college he wants to remake you in his image.”

He is referring to a speech Obama gave in 2009 that was addressed to a joint session of congress, in which the president gave his statement on higher education. Here is what the president actually said:

“And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country — and this country needs and values the talents of every American.” Read the rest of this entry »



President Obama’s Third Annual Back-to-School Speech

Barack Obama Offical PortraitThe President may be facing a lot of tough criticism at the moment, but he was received with an enthusiastic welcome at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School this afternoon, where he delivered his third annual Back-to-School speech.

Banneker, located in Washington, DC, is one of the top public high schools in the nation, and has a perfect matriculation rate. Barack Obama‘s message today was focused on what students can do to not only prepare themselves for the workplace, but also contribute to their communities now.

Obama began the speech by stressing that studying hard is a young person’s first responsibility. He encouraged students to be determined in their school work, rather than worry about grades, and to take challenging courses even if they may not earn a perfect grade. He explained that high school is a time to discover new passions and learn new skills, telling the students to “keep on expanding your horizons.”

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Presidential Candidates’ Stances on Evolution and Intelligent Design

It’s a sticky subject for many people in the world: was the Earth and the animals on it created by a higher power or is evolution really behind it all? Many scientists believe that is evolution, which is considered to be “the most basic and universally accepted tenets of science.” However, what would happen if the leader of our nation didn’t believe in evolution? Would we stop teaching this science principle in schools? Would we fall even farther behind other countries in the STEM subject areas? Well, nobody can say for sure what would happen, but maybe we should take a look at the opinions of the 2012 Presidential Candidates on this subject.

Mitt Romney believes in both evolution and intelligent design. In 2007, he said that he believed that God created the universe, but God also “used the process of evolution to create the human body.”

Rick Perry has said on several occasions that he thinks that evolution is just “a theory that’s out there” with “some gaps.” Recently, he even told a child in New Hampshire this belief. This makes me think that Perry would make a move to change the curriculum in schools concerning this controversial issue.

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New Teacher Evaluations in D.C. Resulting in Hundreds of Firings

Efforts to improve student learning have been on the American agenda in recent years. Funding and curriculum are constant staples in the ongoing debate but teacher grading is beginning to take the forefront. Impact, a program inspired by President Obama’s grant program Race to the Top, has implemented a new evaluation system for teachers, which has resulted in the firing of hundreds of teachers in dozens of school districts.

The program relies on a combination of student test scores and in class observations. Teachers are evaluated by their own school principal and also by hired “master educators”. In Washington D.C. about 165 teachers have already been fired under the new system and 200 to 600 will be cut in upcoming months. Costly nearly $7 million per year to run, Washington’s dedication to weeding out ineffective teachers doesn’t come cheap.

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White House Holds Anti-Bullying Conference

President and First Lady Obama posted a video on Facebook this week to discuss issues of bullying in schools. The message addresses the responsibility of students, parents and teachers to discourage bullying and promotes the anti-bullying conference that will take place at the White House on March 10, 2011.

The conference will include experts from around the country with experience in anti-bullying strategies. Students, parents and teachers will also be included in the event. Discussions concentrating on signs of bullying, outcomes of bullying and prevention of bullying will take place. This conference will be made available to be watched live on stopbullying.gov from 10:30am to 3:30pm EST, and at home viewers are encouraged to participate in the conversation.

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