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Michelle Obama’s College Record

In the last few weeks, I’ve been writing about the college records of the presidential candidates, VP candidates, and our current president and VP.  But it seems like the brainiest one out of the whole bunch may be prospective First Lady Michelle Obama.

Check out Michelle Obama’s educational background.  According to the Chicago Sun Times, Obama (whose maiden name was Michelle LaVaughn Robinson) was a brilliant and curious child who pulled herself out of her poverty-stricken childhood through hard work and academic talent.  She could read by the time she was four and skipped the second grade.

After attending a prestigious Chicago magnet school, to which she had been handpicked, Obama was accepted to Princeton University, where she was one of only a few African American students.  At Princeton, she majored in sociology and African American studies.  She found her minority status to be a challenge, and wrote an honor’s thesis about that experience.  Despite the challenge, Obama graduated cum laude from Princeton.  Immediately afterward, she attended and graduated from Harvard University School of Law.

Now that sounds like a role model!

Read more about the college records of Cindy McCain, Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe Biden, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney.

Cindy McCain’s College Record

Cindy McCain, the wife of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, may fool you. With her cheerleader blonde good looks — and, indeed, she was a college cheerleader — the first impression that many people have of this child of wealthy parents is that she’s a bit of a trophy wife to her significantly older husband.

But don’t let appearances fool you.  She’s no spoiled snob.  Did you know that Cindy McCain was a special ed teacher?

Cindy McCain — whose maiden name was Cindy Lou Hensley — graduated from Central High School in Phoenix, Arizona in 1972, where she earned the title of Rodeo Queen and was voted Best Dressed.  She then went on to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles (which, according to unconfirmed rumors throughout the blogosphere, John McCain has referred to as the “university of spoiled children.”)  McCain earned a BA in education in 1976, and then earned an MA in special education in 1978.   Although McCain came from a privileged background, she declined a role in her family beer distribution business, and instead went on to become a special ed teacher who worked with children with Down’s syndrome.

Pretty impressive, especially compared to her husband, who graduated 894 out of 899 in his Naval Academy class.

Read more about the college records of Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, John McCain, Joe Biden, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney.

College Records of Dick Cheney Show He Failed out of Yale

President George W. Bush’s college records have often been mocked, as Bush was a solid C student at Yale University.  However, Bush’s Yale experience went significantly better than Vice President Dick Cheney’s. Cheney actually flunked out of Yale.

In fact, young Dick Cheney had a bit of wild youth.  He was arrested twice for drunk driving charges in the early 1960s in Wyoming, where he worked as a lineman for a power company.  He did finally go back to school, although, as the New York Times has suggested, this may have had more to do with wanting to avoid getting drafted into Vietnam than it did with wanting to get an education.

In 1963, Cheney enrolled at Casper Community College in Casper, Wyoming.  Later that year, he transferred to the University of Wyoming at Laramie, where he earned a BA and an MA in political science.  He also began doctoral work in political science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, but he did not finish.

Cheney’s grades for his undergraduate and graduate work are not available, and apparently are in an undisclosed location.

College Transcripts of George W. Bush Show C Average

George W. Bush wasn’t the best college student around.  But at least he’s been up front about his college record, unlike Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Sarah Palin. John McCain, on the other hand, has been quite upfront about the fact that he was ranked 894 out of 899 in the Naval Academy.

In fact, George W. Bush has openly released his Yale University undergraduate transcript.  As you can see, Bush truly was a solid C student.  He never got an A in anything the entire time that he was in college (although he never got a D or an F either).  Bush almost got As in history and anthropology, and earned a high pass in Japanese, of all things.  However, he received a 71 and a 73 respectively in his two political science and government classes.  His lowest grade was in sociology — a 70.

Bush earned a 1206 on the SATs, which is pretty good.  These days, though, a 1200 won’t get you anywhere near Yale, so I wonder how true that was back then, and how much Bush’s father’s connections had to do with getting him in.

College Application Deadlines are Approaching

As November 1st gets closer and closer, the more I start to freak out. On that day I have one of my ten applications due and it’s for one of my top three schools.

The fact that soon I will be turning in my applications for my colleges makes me realize how little time I have left in high school and how little time I have left to spend with the friends I have made and to act like a kid. Once I go to college, since I will be leaving state, I will have to be much more responsible because I won’t have anyone but myself taking care of me. Sure, I’ll still have my family backing me up, but it will be from a distance, and that is something that I have never experienced. (more…)

No Child Left Behind: The 2008 Presidential Candidates’ Positions

So what is No Child Left Behind?  And what are the 2008 presidential candidates’ positions on this controversial legislation?  Here’s a little NCLB 101, and what Obama and McCain plan to do about this legislation.

What is No Child Left Behind?

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was a federal law passed under the Bush Administration to increase public school accountability.  It also increased the focus on reading in the public schools, and gave parents more choices as to where to send their children to school.  NCLB is part of what’s known as “standards-based education reform,” which involves reforming schools primarily through improving kid’s test scores.  Schools that fail to meet the NCLB standards are held accountable and are penalized in various ways–including offering parents the option to transfer their kids out of schools who fail to meet the standards two year in a row. (more…)

5 Favorite Ways to Spend the Weekend in High School

As a high school student, as many other students, my favorite time of the week is by far the weekend. There are so many possibilities and the nicest thing about weekends, you control your schedule! Unlike at school you can decide what you want to do and when you want to do it! Here are my favorite ways to spend free time (and I am sure many of these work for anyone else out there with free time over the weekend!).

1. Football Games (in the fall)- Whether its Sunday football or my High School football team playing on a Friday night, I always love sitting down and catching a game. This really goes for any sport. During the winter it’s basketball and over the spring, while I’m not playing my own game of softball, I enjoy watching college softball or baseball. (more…)

Peers Influence College Student Political Views More Than Professors

Here’s an interesting piece of data to add to the heated debate of whether left-leaning professors are influencing the political and religious views of students.  According to a report from UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute, students are indeed moving further to the left when they come to college.  However, this doesn’t have nearly as much to do with the students’ professors as it does with their peers.  The opinions of peers are a bigger influence on students’ opinions than what their professors have to say.

Imagine that.  Students are more influenced by what their friends say than what their teachers say.  This definitely rings true with my experiences.  As a professor, whenever I heard right-wing pundits bemoaning how left-wing teachers are all in the business of indoctrinating our youth, part of me always wondered, “What? Do they think our students are actually listening to us?”. (more…)

PSAT Perfect Preparation for SAT Tests

This morning the Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors will find themselves sitting through a long couple of hours as they complete the PSAT. For some, this will be their first glimpse of what is to come with standardized testing. For some, it’ll be their second chance, while others will be working to accomplish what 18 students accomplished at East High this year, National Merit Semifinalist.

The PSAT (or Pre-SAT) is a test that mimics the SAT. The questions asked, how they are asked, and the format of the test are made so that they can resemble the SAT without giving the full blown test. The PSAT is great preparation for the SAT because, not only does it put you in a testing situation identical to that when you take the actual test, but it also familiarizes you with the format of the SAT and gives you examples of what to expect on the real test. (more…)

Obama’s Tax Cut Calculator

We’ve heard a lot about taxes in this campaign- but does anyone really know what they stand to save when either of the candidates are elected? All this talk about dollars and percentages, tax credits, retirement savings – it’s a lot.

So the Obama campaign has made it very simple. This new Obama Tax Cut Calculator explains exactly what you or your household stand to save under his administration.

For example:

Your income is $20,000/year (or less), you’re single with zero dependents and zero child care costs, you’re under age 65, do not have a mortgage and do have college expenses – you would receive a $1,000 tax savings from Obama with a $4,000 tax credit to put toward college expenses. It also shows that under McCain, you would receive a $0 savings.

Learn more about Obama’s and McCain’s positions on education.


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