education policy

education policy

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 »



What the Republican Presidential Hopefuls Really Think About Education

If you’re like me, then keeping up with school work, my job, and my social life keeps me pretty busy. As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes I tend to fall behind on political issues and, most recently, the Republican candidates who are hoping to run in the Presidential Election 2012. So, if you are like me, here’s a quick rundown of the political candidates and their views on education.

Michele Bachmann
Bachmann has served in Minnesota’s State Senate and the USA Congress. She is an avid supporter of the Tea Party Movement and founded the House Tea Party Caucus in July 2010. She has said that she does not believe in global warming.

  • Voted against a bill that would designate $40 billion for green measures in public schools
  • Supports teaching intelligent design in public schools
  • Opposed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act in July 2007

Read the rest of this entry »



House Passes Bill to Save Teachers

save-the-teachers-bill-passesStudents may be looking forward to slightly smaller classes than previously feared this fall. In a special session that interrupted the summer recess, the House of Representatives passed a $26 billion bill this afternoon. The bill will save an estimated 160,000 public jobs, particularly teachers and emergency-response workers. The bill will be signed into the law this evening by President Obama.

Although the bill should not add to the national deficit, Republican leaders declared it fiscally irresponsible. It has also been criticized as pandering to teachers unions. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fl, called the bill a “transparent handout to the teachers union” financed by “sham accounting gimmicks.” Read the rest of this entry »



Obama Delivers Speech on Education on Texas

obama-education-speech-texasPresident Obama was in Texas yesterday, fund-raising for his party at the University of Texas at Austin. He again addressed the point that education is a prerequisite for economic growth, a subject he also addressed in a speech at the National Urban League two weeks ago. “The single most important thing we can do is to make sure we’ve got a world class education system for everybody,” the president said.

He also cited the statistic that the U.S. fell from first place in college graduates to 12th place in the world over a single generation. Obama wants the nation to reclaim is position as the nation with the most college graduates, requiring an increase of the college completion rate from 40 percent to 60 percent. “I want us to produce 8 million more college graduates by 2020, because America has to have the highest share of graduates compared to every other nation.” Read the rest of this entry »



Obama’s Education Reform Act Might Cost Us More Than We Thought

student loanAlright everyone, I have a confession to make. I am a Conservative. Especially when it comes to how our government spends money. I don’t think there should be government incentives to buy new cars or new houses. I don’t think there should be millions of government handouts. It makes me ill to see how high our national debt is. (It’s almost $13,000,000,000,000.00 right now, and rising every day.) And, I hate to say this, because I know how many people are excited about the new government regulation of student loans, but I can see it easily driving up our national debt even more.

The new Education Reform Act places the government in charge of regulating student loans. As part of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, the federal government will lend directly to students, according to Al-Jazeerah.com. This is really good for students who take out loans in order to attend college because it will put a cap on the amount of loans they must repay each year and will lessen the financial strain of earning a higher education. It also provides funding for minority and community colleges that desperately need it. Those are definitely good things. Read the rest of this entry »



Minority and Community Colleges Helped by Education Reform Act

male college studentsOn March 30, 2010, President Obama signed the Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

Two major goals of this act are increasing financial assistance to minority students and investing in community colleges.

A big part of this act will be to increase funding to America’s Historically Black Colleges and Minority-Serving Institutions. Almost 60 percent of the nation’s 4.7 million minority students attend these schools; however, these schools have not received any addition funding to help offset expenses.

Read the rest of this entry »



President Obama and the State of Education in the U.S.

classroomThere is a certain level of disconnect with reality in the citizenry of the United States. We pat ourselves on the back, proudly boasting that we are “the best country in the world.” And while that may be true to some extent – people have amazing opportunities and freedoms here – an inability to see that it might be possible that we aren’t always the best in everything we do may be holding us back. Nowhere is that more true than the United States’ lagging educational system.

According to a 2006 investigation by the ABC program 20/20, a Gallup Poll survey showed that 76 percent of Americans were completely or somewhat satisfied with their kids’ public school.

Now, here comes the disconnect:

In 2002, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued a report on the state of education in 24 industrialized nations. The United States ranked 18th out of 24 nations. The report was based on results from three surveys that tested 14- and 15-year-old’s literacy and their abilities in essential mathematics and science.

“A child starting school in Canada, Finland, or South Korea has both a higher probability of reaching a given level of educational achievement and a lower probability of falling well below the average,” UNICEF said in a written statement.

Let that sink in for a moment. We’re in the bottom 25th percentile for education. Read the rest of this entry »



Get Schooled: You Have the Right Airs September 8

get schooled“Get Schooled: You Have the Right.” What does that mean? The right to what? Well, on Tuesday, September 8 at 8 p.m., a nationwide television program will air on more than 20 different cable networks showing the importance of earning an education. Popular channels such as Nickelodeon, Spike TV, MTV, TV Land, and VH1 will all be showing this documentary.

The purpose of “Get Schooled: You Have the Right” is to teach students something that “your teachers can’t teach you. All the homework won’t help you understand. Because some lessons are too big for a classroom.”  The goal of Get Schooled is to start a movement to improve America’s standards for educational levels. Read the rest of this entry »



Obama’s Plan for Higher Education in the Stimulus Package

president barack obamaSo what exactly does President Obama have in mind in terms of using stimulus package funds for higher education?  Information about Obama’s higher education plan — and everything else in Obama’s proposed American Reinvestment and Recovery Plan — is available on the newly revamped White House website.

In a nutshell, here’s what Obama wants to do for higher education.

  1. Increase the minimum Pell Grant by $500.
  2. Create a $2500 partially refundable higher education tax cut for close to 4 million students, which will affect about one-fifth of high school seniors who currently receive no tax break under the current system.
  3. Triple the number of fellowships for graduate and undergraduate students in science.
  4. Prevent layoffs and educational cuts throughout the country.

Will this happen? If so, will this work?  Stay tuned!



Obama Wants to Help College Students; McCain Says Students on Their Own

The two candidates couldn’t differ more on any hot-button issue you toss in front of them. Their positions on supporting American college students is also quite the contrast, as are their individual college experiences. Obama attended Columbia and Harvard, and only recently paid off his student loan debt; McCain attended the U.S. Naval Academy, which was free.

Amongst a crashing economy where college tuition support is harder to come by, and college tuition is skyrocketing faster than inflation, one candidate is in favor of the government lending support to college students, while the other thinks that you should cram in a night job between an 18-hour class schedule- plus labs and study groups. While they agree that college tuition isn’t affordable to most Americans and that the process to attain that aid is convuluted- the similarities part there.

McCain’s message when it comes to increased tuition is, ‘You’re on your own,’” says Michael Dannenberg, senior fellow with the New America Foundation and not a member of Obama’s campaign. “Obama’s message to families is, ‘We’ll give you more financial aid to help you with college costs, but your kids are going to have to help others.'”

Obama’s plan is more detailed than McCains, albeit with a larger price tag. His position is that it’s the government’s job to support college students persuing a degree. He’s not giving it away- in exchange for 100 hours of community service each year, the government will offer students a $4,000 tax break. McCain has put focus on making the financial aid system more efficient, but does not intend to increase its breadth. He wants parents to be more informed and says more money can be available if we eliminate wasteful spending. Read the rest of this entry »





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