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 »

College Presidents Meet with Obama to Discuss Graduation Rates, College Costs

President Barack Obama Official Portrait President Obama asked to meet with a dozen university presidents in a round-table discussion on Monday. Some of the educators in attendance included Carnegie Mellon University President Jared L. Cohon, California State University Long Beach President F. King Alexander, University of Maryland Baltimore County Freeman A. Hrabowski III and Ivy Tech Community College President Mr. Thomas Snyder. In addition to the presidents, Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan and two representatives from nonprofit education organizations were also in attendance. Topics surrounded tuition affordability and productivity of U.S. higher education.

“It was an unusually interesting meeting, and not your usual list of college presidents,” Jane Wellmansaid, founder and director of the nonprofit Delta Project, which studies the price of tuition. “These were all people who had led institutions that had done something about reducing spending or improving student learning.”

Wellman said there was good discussion on how to decrease tuition costs and what type of role the government should have in increasing graduation rates. Some of the

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Obama Administration to Reduce Student Loan Payments

President Barack ObamaThis afternoon, President Obama addressed a crowd in downtown Denver at the University of Colorado. Central to the President’s speech was the new “Pay As You Earn” proposal that the White House announced yesterday. The proposal aims to reduce monthly payments for student loans, by consolidating loans and capping payments. Starting next year, students will be able to cap their loan payments at ten percent of discretionary income, and after 20 years the debt will be forgiven. Current laws cap student loan payments at 15 percent of discretionary income with loan forgiveness after 25 years. According to a White House press statement, the proposal will benefit 1.6 million students at no cost to taxpayers.

“It can put more money in your pocket once you graduate,” Obama said in today’s speech, emphasizing that’s important for all Americans to have an equal opportunity to have access to higher education. “It’s important for our country’s future.”

In conjunction with the “Pay As You Earn” proposal, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will release a Financial Aid Shopping Sheet that will help students better understand the types of loans and finical aid that’s available to them before they go into debt.  “College graduates are entering one of the toughest job markets in recent memory, and we have a way to help them save money by consolidating their debt and capping their loan payments. And we can do it at no cost to the taxpayer,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in the White House statement.

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Obama’s Race to the Top Finalists Announced

UPDATE [1/27/11]: President Obama discussed the success of Race to the Top in his State of the Union address on January 25th. “Race to the Top in the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than one percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning…and Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that’s more flexible and focused on what’s best for our kids.” Since the program’s initiation, it has help 25,000 schools nationwide and 13.6 million students, according to White House statistics.

School budgets have been stretched tight with the nation’s recent economic recession. Last year in my hometown, Wichita, KS, several schools were forced to give up yearly field trips. And this year, the school district is proposing to do away with driver’s education. Hopefully with Obama’s Race to the Top competition, some states will be able to lessen this financial strain.race to the top

As of July 27, eighteen states and the District of Columbia could win part of the $3.4 billion in education grants to assist in an overhaul of education policies.

In this second round of the competition, federal officials say they anticipate 10 to 15 winners that will receive federal financing. The winning states will be revealed in September.

Here are the 19 finalists: Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina. Read the rest of this entry »

President Obama Signs New Education Reform Act

Image Via CBS.com

Image Via CBS.com

On March 30, 2010 at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College, President Obama signed into effect the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. This act was “two major victories that will improve the lives of our people for generations to come,” said President Obama.

This education act will save taxpayers almost $70 billion by removing banks’ abilities to act as middlemen in the student loan process. Instead, this money will be moved into the Pell Grant program to help fund community colleges and colleges that have been historically black colleges.

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What Can We Do About School Budget Cuts?

moneyWhen President Obama came into office, one of the first problems he addressed was the economic recession. Obama’s administration passed a $787 billion stimulus package; almost $100 billion of that stimulus package went straight for education.

In October 2009, officials said this stimulus saved 250,000 teacher, administrator, and other education-related jobs.

But now, less than six months later, many public schools are facing the financial danger of not having enough money to pay teachers, facilitate extracurricular activities for students, and offer elective classes.

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A Rhode Island School Fires the Entire Faculty to Improve Students’ Learning Opportunities

firedIf students are not doing well on standardized tests and are not keeping up to national standards, what’s the solution? Offer improved teacher training? Have students attend small group tutoring sessions? Put more of an emphasis on test preparation?

Or, if the school in question is in Central Falls, Rhode Island, the option might be to fire the entire faculty of the school.

This decision was a very controversial one and is sending shockwaves across the country. Even more shocking to some was President Obama’s endorsement of the decision.

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Presidential Elections of ’08

One of the perks that comes with turning 18 this October is that I will eligible to vote! Although this may sound extremely nerdy, this is actually something I am extremely excited for! I got my registration packet in the mail and I was ecstatic to complete it and mail it off the very same day.

I have always viewed the elections, especially of the President, to be something very Election 08important. Especially at this point in time, with where our country is at economically and internationally, getting someone who is qualified in the oval office should be a top priority of all US citizens who are eligible to vote in this next election.

I have noticed that a lot of the campaigns have been geared to getting the youth of our nation involved, which I think is a tremendous idea. It seems that many people I talk to my age or a few years older seem to have no idea what exactly is going on with the election right now; all they know is who the two candidates are and their parties. Those who are younger and are voting for their first or second time are in fact going to be the future of our country and I believe that the younger generations should be a major deciding factor in who will run our country next because they will be the ones who are most effected by the next president.

So for those you are eligible to vote, get involved and pay attention! I’m not saying you have to watch every news story or read every story in the papers and magazines, but be aware of what is going on with the election and candidates. Know what each candidate has to offer our country so that you will be able to vote for whoever you feel will do the best at running our country! Although it does seem overused and corny, your vote DOES count!

A good place to start is understanding the candidates’ positions on financial aid for college students.

Hope to see you on Election Day!


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