Posts Tagged ‘education

02
Feb
18

Speak On It

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Betsy Klein

In her first major speech since leaving office, former first lady Michelle Obama made an impassioned argument for the importance of educators in communities across the country, saying the example they set is “what makes America great.” “Our counselors and educators have a far bigger impact on our kids’ lives than any president or first lady. … You all serve as living, breathing examples of the kind of people they should aspire to be,” she said, speaking at the School Counselor of the Year ceremony at the Kennedy Center, a collaboration between the American School Counselor Association and part of her Reach Higher initiative on higher education she spearheaded as first lady.

“And trust me, I know this work isn’t easy, especially right now. I know there’s a lot of anxiety out there. And there’s no denying that our kids, what they see on TV, the kind of behavior being modeled in public life — all of that, yes — impacts their behavior and their character,” Obama said. “But at times like this the work you are all doing is even more urgent. It’s even more critically important. See, you all have the power to teach our kids what it means to go high when others go low. You have that power.”

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25
Jan
18

School Counselor Of The Year

23
Jan
18

President Obama: The Greatest Force For Equality In 50 Years

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Derek Thompson: Thanks, Obama

President Obama has cultivated a reputation for approaching politics with a kind of medical clinicism. But with the full panorama of his presidency coming into view, Obama’s economic legacy is impressive, even historic. First, the centerpiece of Obama’s anti-inequality legacy is the policy that bears his name. Obamacare, a.k.a., the Affordable Care Act, has reduced the uninsured rate from about 16 percent in 2010 to less than 9 percent today, the lowest level in U.S. history. Second, several subtle yet significant tax changes under Obama have made the tax code more progressive. The stimulus bill passed in 2009, a.k.a., the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (or, simply, the Recovery Act), included the most important changes. The law created the Making Work Pay credit, expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, and created new tax credits, like the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college attendees. The most significant change to the tax code since 2010 has been the eleventh-hour agreement to extend the Bush tax cuts for all families except for an increase in the top tax rate for households making more than $450,000 and an increase in the estate tax rate to 40 percent.

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Third, the Obama administration has supported initiatives outside of the tax code and health care policy to help the poor and middle class. They have been advocates for higher minimum wages at the national level, which have arguably buoyed the state-by-state effort to raise minimum wages toward $15 in richer areas. They supported extended unemployment benefits while long-term unemployment was perhaps the country’s most insidious economic plague. Unemployment insurance kept more than 11 million people out of poverty in Obama’s first term, according to Census analysis. The president also expanded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) and Temporary Aid to Needy Families (grants that states can use for a variety of measures including helping the poor). His Department of Education spent more than $60 billion to support states’ education budgets and prevent more layoffs of teachers and administrators. In sum, he grew anti-inequality spending more than any president, as a share of GDP. But at a time when both liberals and conservatives have become exquisitely aware of income inequality and its ills, the seemingly placid, cold, philosopher-in-chief did more to combat that inequity than any president in at least 50 years. For that, two words suffice: “Thanks, Obama.”

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14
Dec
17

A+ First Lady

20
Nov
17

Monday’s Good News

02
Nov
17

Hello Hyde Park Academy!

18
Oct
17

Chat Away

09
Oct
17

FAFSA (Up Next)

04
Oct
17

The Birth Of Great Minds

28
Sep
17

Generosity and Kindness

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Brendan Cox: ‘I told Obama That Jo Had Admired Him Greatly’

“Come and see me,” Obama said. “Bring the kids and come out to DC …” “OK,” I said, as if one of my mates from the band had just invited the kids and me over to an impromptu gig at Simon or Rob’s house. “We’ll do that.” “Who was on the phone,” my dad asked. “Barack Obama,” I said. “He’s asked me and the kids to go see him in the White House.” My parents and my sister looked at me as if I’d gone mad. And then, for the first time since Jo died, we laughed. Barack Obama was warmer and even more approachable than I had hoped.

He set us at ease – so much so that Cuillin asked if it was true that British people had burned down the White House. Obama grinned. “Yes, you did burn it down,” he said cheerfully, “but it’s much nicer now. Do you like it?” “Yeah,” both kids replied in unison. We now have a lovely photograph of Lejla reaching up with her left arm to embrace President Obama while her right foot arches behind her. Barack Obama holds her drawing of the blue sea, full of colourful fish, in his left hand. His right arm encircles her. Cuillin, Jessie and I are beaming in the background. It was Cuillin’s turn next and he fell happily into an Obama hug. My gaze drifted from that happy scene to the prized picture we would be keeping. I couldn’t stop smiling, making a mental note to present this very drawing in a frame to Cuillin on his 18th birthday.

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