All posts in category Education Buzz
Teaching, Education & University News
University Musings December 5, 2013: McGill University opposes Values Charter, claims affects faculty & recruitment
Posted by bonniekgoodman on December 5, 2013
Political Headlines July 18, 2012: President Barack Obama Unveils Corps to Recognize Top Math, Science Teachers
CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012
Obama Unveils Corps to Recognize Top Math, Science Teachers
President Obama on Wednesday is announcing a plan to create a “Master Teacher Corps” to recognize outstanding math and science teachers and incentivize educators to enter the field.
“If America is going to compete for the jobs and industries of tomorrow, we need to make sure our children are getting the best education possible. Teachers matter, and great teachers deserve our support,” Obama said in a written statement….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on July 18, 2012
History Buzz February 28, 2012: David McCullough, Gordon Wood: Students need more uniform teaching of US Constitution, Historians say at panel “The Teaching of Constitutional History in the 21st Century University”
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
Students need more uniform teaching of Constitution, historians say
Source: The Oklahoma U Daily 2-28-12
Instructors need to teach the U.S. Constitution to all students in a stimulating way to create well-educated citizens who are aware of their responsibilities, according to seven panelists in a discussion Tuesday.
Photo by Astrud Reed
Panelist Akhil Reed Amar, Yale Law and Political Science Professor, responds to a question from Diane Rehm, NPR radio program host and event moderator, at Monday’s “The Teaching of Constitutional History in the 21st Century University.”
Students, faculty and visitors crowded into Catlett Music Center to hear noted historians share perspectives on teaching America’s founding in a panel titled, “The Teaching of Constitutional History in the 21st-century University.”
National Public Radio host Diane Rehm moderated the panel, which was part of OU’s inaugural “Teach-In: A Day with Some of the Greatest Teachers in America.”
The U.S. needs leaders and teachers who can make the Constitution relevant to students of all ages and backgrounds, Pulitzer-prize winning historian David McCullough said.
“There is nothing wrong with the younger generation,” he said. “The younger generation is terrific, and any problems they have, any failings they have, and what they know and don’t know is not their fault — it’s our fault.”
Teachers are the most important people in the society, and they should not be blamed for these failings either, McCullough said.
“I think that history, the love of history and the understanding of history begins truly, literally at home,” McCullough said.
In today’s education system students are not trained enough to ask questions, and this is a serious issue, he said.
Some students get all the way to college and have very little knowledge about the Constitution, said Kyle Harper, director of the OU Institute for American Constitutional Heritage.
“One of the exciting things about teaching in college is that you are teaching adults, and you are teaching kids who are becoming adults,” Harper said.
Harper aims to create situations for debate in classrooms to make college students realize that the facts on a page influence their political lives, he said.
In most graduate schools Constitutional history is always there, but undergraduate schools simply neglect it, Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Gordon Wood said. Even in graduate training, issues of race and women have preoccupied graduate training and the writing of history….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on February 28, 2012
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
Presidents’ Day: The quiz
It’s Presidents’ Day Monday, but whom the holiday is meant to honor depends on whom you ask. Even the placement of the apostrophe is open to question!…
The most recent results of students’ performance on civics exams on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, sometimes called the nation’s report card, revealed a continuing lack of knowledge about the nation’s past: On the 2010 test, only 2 percent of fourth-graders, 1 percent of eighth-graders and 4 percent of 12th-graders performed at the advanced level, which represents superior performance.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on February 20, 2012
History Buzz February 19, 2012: New Museums; the National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Center for Civil and Human Rights & International African American Museum to Shine a Spotlight on Civil Rights Era
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
New Museums to Shine a Spotlight on Civil Rights Era
Source: NYT, 2-19-12
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington plans to display the lunch counter from an important civil rights protest in Greensboro, N.C. More Photos »
Drive through any state in the Deep South and you will find a monument or a museum dedicated to civil rights.
Haraz Ghanbari/Associated Press
Engraved names on a civil rights memorial at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. Such monuments are common in southern states. More Photos »
The Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, is now part of the National Civil Rights Museum. More Photos »
A visitor can peer into the motel room in Memphis where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was staying when he was shot or stand near the lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where four young men began a sit-in that helped end segregation.
Other institutions are less dramatic, like the Tubman African American Museum in Macon, Ga., where Jim Crow-era toilet fixtures are on display alongside folk art.
But now, a second generation of bigger, bolder museums is about to emerge.
Atlanta; Jackson, Miss.; and Charleston, S.C., all have projects in the works. Coupled with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, which breaks ground in Washington this week, they represent nearly $750 million worth of plans.
Collectively, they also signal an emerging era of scholarship and interest in the history of both civil rights and African-Americans that is to a younger generation what other major historical events were to their grandparents. “We’re at that stage where the civil rights movement is the new World War II,” said Doug Shipman, the chief executive officer for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, a $100 million project that is to break ground in Atlanta this summer and open in 2014.
“It’s a move to the next phase of telling this story,” he said.
The collection at the museum, which is to be set on two and half acres of prime downtown real estate donated by Coca-Cola, will include 10,000 documents and artifacts from Dr. King and a series of paintings based on the life of Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, by the artist Benny Andrews, who died in 2006….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on February 19, 2012
Full Text February 9, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on Education Reform & No Child Left Behind Flexibility Waivers
POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS
OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:
Everything You Need to Know: Waivers, Flexibility, and Reforming No Child Left Behind
Source: WH, 2-9-12
Explaining that our kids can’t wait any long for Congress to act, President Barack Obama announced today that ten states that have agreed to implement bold education reforms will receive waivers from the burdensome mandates of the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind. These waivers will give states the flexibility needed to raise student achievement standards, improve school accountability, and increase teacher effectiveness. The ten states approved for flexibility are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
So what does all this mean for our schools? What’s the problem with No Child Left Behind? What’s a waiver anyway, and why do states need flexibility? To answer these questions, we’ve put together a quick primer to help you understand the details behind today’s announcement.
What’s the deal with No Child Left Behind?
No Child Left Behind, the most current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, was signed into law in 2001—and is five years overdue to be re-written by Congress. The law’s objective was admirable. It shined light on achievement gaps and increased accountability at the school level for high-need students. And there’s no question that setting goals and holding schools accountable for meeting them is central to an education system that prepares students to compete in a global, 21st century economy.
As written, however, No Child Left Behind has serious flaws. In fact, some of the law’s requirements are actually stifling the kind of reforms we need to really improve student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and school accountability. For example, it determines whether schools are falling behind based on test scores. It imposes punitive labels and prescribes one-size-fits-all federal mandates for fixing failing schools. It’s led states to narrow curriculum to focus more on teaching to the test and less on teaching everything else student need to know, and to lower standards to make them easier to meet
The Obama administration has worked extensively with Congress to re-write the law, and even submitted its own blueprint for education reform in March 2010, but legislators have not moved forward.
What are waivers and what do they have to do with No Child Left Behind?
Waivers provide an opportunity to fix what’s wrong with No Child Left Behind without waiting any longer for Congress to Act. States receiving waivers are given flexibility that exempts them from meeting the law’s most troublesome and restrictive requirements in exchange for setting their own higher, more honest standards for student success.
For example, waivers will give states the flexibility to:
- Set their own ambitious but achievable terms for closing achievement gaps and ensuring students are proficient in reading and math, instead of meeting the NCLB timeline that requires 100 percent proficiency by 2014. Kentucky, for example, has set a goal to cut the number of underperforming students in half over the next five years.
- Design their own strategies to improve their lowest-performing schools and measure student progress year over year, instead of relying on absolute numbers and a federally prescribed, “one size fits all” approach. Colorado, for example, another state receiving a waiver, is launching a website that will allow teachers and parents can see exactly how much progress students are making, and how different schools measure up.
Why do states need flexibility?
States need the flexibility to move forward with innovative education reforms they design themselves —rather than a federal mandate—without sacrificing high standards or lowering accountability. After all, what works for Kentucky doesn’t necessarily work for New Jersey, and the parents and educators who live and work in each place are best-positioned to know the needs of their own communities.
There is still no clear bipartisan path in Congress for ESEA reauthorization – and we can’t wait any longer. Schools and districts continue their daily work of educating students, while also planning for next school year, and states need this flexibility now to implement plans for reform and improvement. Today’s announcement continues a process the President announced last September.
The fact is, most states are already pursuing reforms that go above and beyond the requirements in No Child Left Behind, and waivers will help them continue that progress. More than 40 states have adopted common standards that define what it means to be college and career ready, just as many have designed assessments to measure student progress toward achieving those standards. States have reformed teacher and principal evaluations to better determine which ones are effective and which ones aren’t, and developed support systems to help the less effective ones improve.
How did these states qualify for waivers?
President Obama offered every state a deal: If you’re willing to set higher, more honest standards based on a clear goal that every student can graduate ready for college or a career, we’ll give you the flexibility to meet those standards.
In addition to setting new performance targets for student achievement, states had to prove that they were serious by developing a plan addressing three critical areas:
- Preparing students for college and careers: States must have already adopted college- and career-ready standards in reading and math that raise the achievement of all students, including English language Learners and students with disabilities. Additionally, states must create a plan to help schools and districts implement those standards and administer statewide tests to measure progress.
- Hold schools accountable for making progress: States must establish an accountability system that recognizes and rewards both high-performing schools as well as those that are making significant gains in improving student achievement.And they must develop targeted strategies to turn around the lowest performing schools and help groups of students with the greatest needs.
- Improving teacher and principal effectiveness: States must set guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems, developed with input from educators and principals. Evaluation systems should assess performance using factors beyond test scores—such as principal observation, peer review, student work, or parent and student feedback—and provide teachers with both constructive advice for improving and support in doing so.
Just as the administration worked extensively with Congress to try re-write No Child Left Behind before announcing last September that it would offer states flexibility waivers, President Obama will continue to call on Congress to reform the law while offering states that are willing to set higher standards for their students the chance to do so.
In fact, in addition to the 10 states that requested the flexibility to implement reforms through this initial round of waivers, an 11th application is still being revised and reviewed, and 28 other states along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have also expressed interest in receiving waivers.
As President Obama explained this afternoon, “if we’re serious about helping our children reach their potential, the best ideas aren’t going to come from Washington alone. Our job is to harness those ideas, and to hold states and schools accountable for making them work.”
POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES
Remarks by the President on No Child Left Behind Flexibility
President Barack Obama announces that 10 states that have agreed to implement bold education reforms will receive waivers from No Child Left Behind.
1:57 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Please have a seat, have a seat. Thank you so much. Well, hello, everybody, and welcome to the White House.
I want to start by thanking all the chief state school officers who have made the trip from all over the country. Why don’t you all stand up just so we can see you all, right here. (Applause.) It’s a great group, right here. Thank you. And I want to recognize someone who is doing a pretty good job right here in Washington, D.C., and that is my Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Love Arne. (Applause.)
We’ve also got some outstanding members of Congress who are here who have always been on the front lines when it comes to education reform. But above all, I want to thank all the teachers who are here today. Where are the teachers? Come on, stand up, teachers. (Applause.) There you go. We got some teachers here.
Earlier this week, we hosted our second White House science fair. Some of you may have seen this on TV. I got a chance to shoot a marshmallow out of an air cannon, which I don’t usually get to do. (Laughter.) But I met these incredibly talented young people — kids who are working on everything from portable housing for disaster victims to technology that can detect smuggled uranium before it became a threat; this young man had built a prototype. And I asked him how he came up with this idea, and he said, “I’ve always just been really interested in nuclear materials, and I collect samples.” (Laughter.) And I asked him, “How does your mom feel about this?” (Laughter.) He said she wasn’t that happy about it.
But just unbelievable young people. It was extraordinary. And before they left, I gave them some homework. I told them go find a teacher who helped them make it here and say thank you, because every single one of us can point to a teacher who in some way changed the course of our lives. I certainly can; I know Arne can. And the impact is often much bigger than we realize.
One study found that a single good teacher can increase the lifetime earnings of a classroom by $250,000 — single teacher. A great teacher can help a young person escape poverty, allow them to dream beyond their circumstances.
So teachers matter. And in an economy where employers are looking for the most skilled, educated workers, few people are going to have a bigger impact on that than the men and women who are in our classrooms. And that ultimately is why we’re here today. It’s about our classrooms, and our children, and what’s happening to them and how they can perform.
In September, after waiting far too long for Congress to act, I announced that my administration would take steps to reform No Child Left Behind on our own. This was one of the first and the biggest “We Can’t Wait” announcements that we’ve made, because our kids and our schools can’t be held back by inaction.
I want to point out, by the way, the members of Congress who are here, they’re ready to act, but we haven’t been able to get the entire House and Senate to move on this.
I said back then the goals of No Child Left Behind were the right ones. Standards and accountability — those are the right goals. Closing the achievement gap, that’s a good goal. That’s the right goal. We’ve got to stay focused on those goals. But we’ve got to do it in a way that doesn’t force teachers to teach to the test, or encourage schools to lower their standards to avoid being labeled as failures. That doesn’t help anybody. It certainly doesn’t help our children in the classroom.
So we determined we need a different approach. And I’ve always believed that each of us has a role to play when it comes to our children’s education. As parents, we’ve got a responsibility to make sure homework gets done, but also to instill a love of learning from the very start. As a nation, we’ve got a responsibility to give our students the resources they need — from the highest-quality schools to the latest textbooks to science labs that actually work.
In return, we should demand better performance. We should demand reform. And that was the idea behind Race to the Top. For less than 1 percent of what our nation spends on education each year, we’ve gotten almost every state in the nation to raise their standards for teaching and learning. And that’s the first time that’s happened in a generation.
So when it comes to fixing what’s wrong with No Child Left Behind, we’ve offered every state the same deal. We’ve said, if you’re willing to set higher, more honest standards than the ones that were set by No Child Left Behind, then we’re going to give you the flexibility to meet those standards. We want high standards, and we’ll give you flexibility in return. We combine greater freedom with greater accountability. Because what might work in Minnesota may not work in Kentucky — but every student should have the same opportunity to reach their potential.
So over the last five months, 39 states have told us that they were interested. Some have already applied. And today, I am pleased to announce that we are giving 10 states, the first 10 states the green light to continue making the reforms that are best for them.
Each of these states has set higher benchmarks for student achievement. They’ve come up with ways to evaluate and support teachers fairly, based on more than just a set of test scores. And along with promoting best practices for all of our children, they’re also going to be focusing on low-income students, and English language learners, and students with disabilities — not just to make sure that those children don’t fall through the cracks, but to make sure they have every opportunity to go as far as their talents will take them.
So Massachusetts, for example, has set a goal to cut the number of underperforming students in half over the next six years. I like that goal.
Colorado has launched a website that will allow teachers and parents to see exactly how much progress students are making, and how different schools are measuring up. So nothing creates more accountability than when parents are out there taking a look and seeing what’s going on.
New Jersey is developing an early warning system to reduce the number of dropouts. Tennessee is creating a statewide school district to aggressively tackle its lowest-performing schools. And Florida has set a goal to have their test scores rank among the top five states in the country, and the top 10 countries in the world. I like that ambition.
This is good news for our kids; it’s good news for our country. And I’m confident that we’re going to see even more states come forward in the months ahead. Because if we’re serious about helping our children reach their full potential, the best ideas aren’t going to just come from here in Washington. They’re going to come from cities and towns from all across America. They’re going to come from teachers and principals and parents. They’re going to come from you who have a sense of what works and what doesn’t.
And our job is to harness those ideas, to lift up best practices, to hold states and schools accountable for making them work. That’s how we’re going to make sure that every child in America has the skills and the education they need to compete for the jobs of the future and to be great citizens. And that’s how we’re going to build an economy that lasts.
So to all the educators who are in the room, thank you for what you do every day. We are very proud of your efforts. We know it’s not easy. We’re proud of you. And working together, I am absolutely confident that year after year we’re going to see steady improvement.
I told the superintendents that I met backstage before I came out here, this is not a one-year project. This isn’t a two-year project. This is going to take some time. But we can get it done with the kind of determination and the kind of commitment that so many of you have shown.
So I’m proud of you. I’m proud of Arne Duncan. Let’s make this happen.
Thank you very much, everybody.
2:07 P.M. EST
Posted by bonniekgoodman on February 9, 2012
Full Text January 27, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on Rising Costs of College / University Tuition — Calls for Overhaul of Higher Education Financial Aid System
POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS
OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:
POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES
Remarks by the President on College Affordability, Ann Arbor, Michigan
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
10:00 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Michigan! (Applause.) Oh, it is good to be back in Ann Arbor. (Applause.)
Thank you, Christina, for that introduction. I also want to thank your president, Mary Sue Coleman. (Applause.) The mayor of Ann Arbor, John Hieftje, is here. (Applause.) My outstanding Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, is in the house. (Applause.) We have some outstanding members of Congress who are here as well, who are representing you each and every day. Give them a round of applause — come on. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love you, President Obama!
THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.)
So in terms of — boy, we’ve got all kinds of members of Congress here, so — (laughter.)
Where’s Denard? (Applause.) Denard Robinson is in the house. (Applause.) I hear you’re coming back, man. (Applause.) That is a good deal for Michigan. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Denard Robinson in 2012! (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, oh, come on. They’re trying to draft you for President. (Laughter.) He’s got to graduate before he runs for President. (Laughter.) There’s an age limit. (Laughter.)
Well, it is wonderful to be here. I want to thank all of you for coming out this morning. I know for folks in college, this is still really early. I remember those days. It is good home — good to be in the home of the Sugar Bowl champion Wolverines. (Applause.) And with Denard Robinson coming back, this will be a team to be reckoned with. I understand your basketball team is pretty good this year, too. (Applause.) All right — go, Blue! (Applause.) It’s always good to start with a easy applause line. (Laughter.)
But the reason I’m here today — in addition to meeting Denard Robinson — (laughter) — is to talk with all of you about what most of you do here every day — and that is to think about how you can gain the skills and the training you need to succeed in this 21st century economy. And this is going to be one of the most important issues that not just you face, but this entire country faces: How can we make sure that everybody is getting the kind of education they need to personally succeed but also to build up this nation — because in this economy, there is no greater predictor of individual success than a good education.
Today, the unemployment rate for Americans with a college degree or more is about half the national average. Their incomes are twice as high as those who don’t have a high school diploma. College is the single most important investment you can make in your future. And I’m proud that all of you are making that investment. (Applause.)
And the degree you earn from Michigan will be the best tool you have to achieve that basic American promise — the idea that if you work hard, if you are applying yourself, if you are doing the right thing, you can do well enough to raise a family and own a home and send your own kids to college, put away a little for retirement, create products or services — be part of something that is adding value to this country and maybe changing the world. That’s what you’re striving for. That’s what the American Dream is all about.
And how we keep that promise alive is the defining issue of our time. I don’t want to be in a country where we only are looking at success for a small group of people. We want a country where everybody has a chance. (Applause.) Where everybody has a chance. We don’t want to become a country where a shrinking number of Americans do really well while a growing number barely get by. That’s not the future we want. Not the future I want for you, it’s not the future I want for my daughters. I want this to be a big, bold, generous country where everybody gets a fair shot, everybody is doing their fair share, everybody is playing by the same set of rules. That’s the America I know. That’s the American I want to keep. That’s the future within our reach. (Applause.)
Now, in the State of the Union on Tuesday, I laid out a blueprint that gets us there. Blueprint — it’s blue. (Laughter and applause.) That’s no coincidence. I planned it that way, Michigan. (Laughter.) A blueprint for an economy that’s built to last.
It’s an economy built on new American manufacturing — because Michigan is all about making stuff. (Applause.) If there’s anybody in America who can teach us how to bring back manufacturing, it is the great state of Michigan. (Applause.)
On the day I took office, with the help of folks like Debbie Stabenow, your senator, and Carl Levin and — (applause) — John Conyers — the American auto industry was on the verge of collapse. And some politicians were willing to let it just die. We said no. We believe in the workers of this state. (Applause.) I believe in American ingenuity. We placed our bets on the American auto industry, and today, the American auto industry is back. Jobs are coming back — (applause) — 160,000 jobs.
And to bring back even more jobs, I want this Congress to stop rewarding companies that are shipping jobs and profits overseas, start rewarding companies who are hiring here and investing here and creating good jobs here in Michigan and here in the United States of America. (Applause.)
So our first step is rebuilding American manufacturing. And by the way, not all the jobs that have gone overseas are going to come back. We have to be realistic. And technology means that a larger and larger portion of you will work in the service sector as engineers and computer scientists. (Applause.) There you go. We got the engineering school — there you go. (Applause.) And entrepreneurs. So there’s going to be a lot of activity in the service sector. But part of my argument, part of the argument of Michigan’s congressional delegation is that when manufacturing does well, then the entire economy does well.
The service sector does well if manufacturing is doing well, so we’ve got to make sure that America isn’t just buying stuff, but we’re also selling stuff — all around the world, products stamped with those three proud words: Made In America. (Applause.)
An economy built to last is also one where we control our energy needs. We don’t let foreign countries control our energy supplies. Right now, America is producing more of our own oil than we were eight years ago. That’s good news. (Applause.) As a percentage, we’re actually importing less than any time in the last 16 years.
But — I think young people especially understand this — no matter how much oil we produce, we’ve only got 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves. And that means we’ve got to focus on clean, renewable energy. (Applause.) We’ve got to have a strategy that, yes, is producing our own oil and natural gas. But we’ve also got to develop wind and solar and biofuels. (Applause.)
And that is good for our economy. It creates jobs. But it’s also good for our environment. (Applause.) It also makes sure that this planet is sustainable. That’s part of the future that you deserve.
We’ve subsidized oil companies for a century. That’s long enough. Congress needs to stop giving taxpayer dollars to an oil industry that’s never been more profitable, and double down on a clean energy future that’s never been more promising. (Applause.)
I don’t want to cede the wind or the solar or the battery industry to China or Germany because we were too timid, we didn’t have the imagination to make the same commitment here. And I want those jobs created here in the United States of America. And I also want us to think about energy efficiency, making sure — we’ve already doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars. Part of Detroit coming back is creating more fuel-efficient cars here in Michigan — (applause) — and more fuel-efficient trucks. And we’ve got to revamp our buildings to make them more fuel-efficient.
And we — if we are focused on this, we can control our energy future. That’s part of creating an America that’s built to last.
And we’ve got to have an economy in which every American has access to a world-class higher education, the kind you are getting right here at the University of Michigan. (Applause.)
My grandfather got the chance to go to college because this country decided that every returning veteran of World War II should be able to afford it. My mother was able to raise two kids by herself because she was able to get grants and work her way through school. I am only standing here today because scholarships and student loans gave me a shot at a decent education. Michelle and I can still remember how long it took us to pay back our student loans. (Laughter.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Tell the First Lady we wish her happy birthday!
THE PRESIDENT: I will tell Michelle you said happy birthday. (Applause.)
But I just want all of you to understand, your President and your First Lady were in your shoes not that long ago. (Laughter.) We didn’t come from wealthy families. The only reason that we were able to achieve what we were able to achieve was because we got a great education. That’s the only reason. (Applause.) And we could not have done that unless we lived in a country that made a commitment to opening up opportunity to all people. (Applause.)
The point is, this country has always made a commitment to put a good education within the reach of all who are willing to work for it, and that’s part of what helped to create this economic miracle and build the largest middle class in history.
And this precedes even college. I mean, we were — we helped to begin the movement in industrialized countries to create public schools, public high schools, understanding that as people are moving from an agricultural sector to an industrial sector, they were going to need training.
Now we’ve moved to an information age, a digitalized age, a global economy. We’ve got to make that same commitment today. (Applause.)
Now, we still have, by far, the best network of colleges and universities in the world. Nobody else comes close. Nobody else comes close. (Applause.) But the challenge is it’s getting tougher and tougher to afford it. Since most of you were born, tuition and fees have more than doubled. That forces students like you to take out more loans and rack up more debt.
In 2010, graduates who took out loans left college owing an average of $24,000. That’s an average. Are you waving because you owe $24,000 or — (laughter.)
Student loan debt has now surpassed credit card debt for the first time ever. Think about that. That’s inexcusable. In the coming decade, 60 percent of new jobs will require more than a high school diploma. Higher education is not a luxury. It’s an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford. And when I say higher education, I don’t just mean four-year colleges and universities; I also mean our community colleges and providing lifelong learning for workers who may need to retrain for jobs when the economy shifts. All those things cost money, and it’s harder and harder to afford. (Applause.)
So we’ve got to do something to help families be able to afford — and students to be able to afford — this higher education. We’ve all got a responsibility here.
Thanks to the hard work of Secretary Duncan, my administration is increasing federal student aid so more students can afford college. (Applause.) And one of the things I’m proudest of, with the help of all these members of Congress, we won a tough fight to stop handing out tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to banks that issue student loans and shift that money to where it should go, directly to the students and to the families who need it. (Applause.)
Tens of billions of dollars that were going to subsidies for banks are now going to students in the form of more grants and lower rates on loans. We’ve capped student loan payments so that nearly 1.6 million students — including a bunch of you — are only going to have to pay 10 percent of your monthly income towards your loans once you graduate — 10 percent of your monthly income. (Applause.)
So that’s what we’ve been doing. Now Congress has to do more. Congress needs to do more. They need to stop the interest rates on student loans from doubling this July. That’s what’s scheduled to happen if Congress doesn’t act. That would not be good for you. (Laughter.) So you should let your members of Congress know: Don’t do that. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.
They need to extend the tuition tax credit that we’ve put in place that’s saving some of you and millions of folks all across the country thousands of dollars. And Congress needs to give more young people the chance to earn their way through college by doubling the number of work-study jobs in the next five years. (Applause.)
So the administration has a job to do. Congress has a job to do. But it’s not just enough to increase student aid, and you can imagine why. Look, we can’t just keep on subsidizing skyrocketing tuition. If tuition is going up faster than inflation, faster than even health care is going up, no matter how much we subsidize it, sooner or later, we’re going to run out of money. And that means that others have to do their part. Colleges and universities need to do their part to keep costs down as well. (Applause.)
Recently, I spoke with a group of college presidents who’ve done just that. Here at Michigan, you’ve done a lot to find savings in your budget. We know this is possible. So from now on, I’m telling Congress we should steer federal campus-based aid to those colleges that keep tuition affordable, provide good value, serve their students well. (Applause.) We are putting colleges on notice — you can’t keep — you can’t assume that you’ll just jack up tuition every single year. If you can’t stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down. We should push colleges to do better. We should hold them accountable if they don’t. (Applause.)
Now, states also have to do their part. I was talking to your president — and this is true all across the country — states have to do their part by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. (Applause.) Last year, over 40 states cut their higher education spending — 40 states cut their higher education budget. And we know that these state budget cuts have been the largest factor in tuition increases at public colleges over the past decade.
So we’re challenging states: Take responsibility as well on this issue. (Applause.) What we’re doing is, today we’re going to launch a Race to the Top for college affordability. We’re telling the states, if you can find new ways to bring down the cost of college and make it easier for more students to graduate, we’ll help you do it. We will give you additional federal support if you are doing a good job of making sure that all of you aren’t loaded up with debt when you graduate from college. (Applause.)
And, finally, today I’m also calling for a new report card for colleges. Parents like getting report cards. I know you guys may not always look forward to it. (Laughter.) But we parents, we like to know what you’re doing. From now on, parents and students deserve to know how a college is doing — how affordable is it, how well are its students doing? We want you to know how well a car stacks up before you buy it. You should know how well a college stacks up.
We call this — one of the things that we’re doing at the Consumer Finance Protection Board that I just set up with Richard Cordray — (applause) — is to make sure that young people understand the financing of colleges. He calls it, “Know Before You Owe.” (Laughter.) Know before you owe. So we want to push more information out so consumers can make good choices, so you as consumers of higher education understand what it is that you’re getting.
The bottom line is that an economy built to last demands we keep doing everything we can to bring down the cost of college. That goes along with strengthening American manufacturing. It means we keep on investing in American energy. It means we double down on the clean energy that’s creating jobs across this state and guaranteeing your generation a better future. (Applause.)
And you know what else it means? It means that we renew the American values of fair play and shared responsibility. (Applause.) Shared responsibility.
I talked about this at the State of the Union. We’ve got to make sure that as we’re paying for the investments of the future that everybody is doing their part, that we’re looking out for middle-class families and not just those at the top. The first thing that means is making sure taxes don’t go up on 160 million working Americans at the end of next month. (Applause.) People can’t afford to lose $40 out of every paycheck. Not right now. Students who are working certainly can’t afford it.
Your voices encouraged and ultimately convinced Congress to extend the payroll tax cut for two months. Now we’ve got to extend it for the whole year. I need your help to get it done again. Tell them to pass this tax cut, without drama, without delay. (Applause.) Get it done. It’s good for the economy. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Four more years!
THE PRESIDENT: Okay. (Laughter and applause.)
Now, in the longer run, we’re also going to have to reduce our deficit. We’ve got to invest in our future and we’ve got to reduce our deficit. And to do both, we’ve got to make some choices. Let me give you some examples.
Right now, we’re scheduled to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was intended to be a temporary tax cut for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: That’s not fair.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s not fair. A quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households.
AUDIENCE: Booo –
THE PRESIDENT: Not fair. Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. I know because she was at the State of the Union. She told me. (Laughter.) Is that fair?
THE PRESIDENT: Does it make sense to you?
THE PRESIDENT: Do we want to keep these tax cuts for folks like me who don’t need them? Or do we want to invest in the things that will help us in the long term — like student loans and grants — (applause) — and a strong military — (applause) — and care for our veterans — (applause) — and basic research? (Applause.)
Those are the choices we’ve got to make. We can’t do everything. We can’t reduce our deficit and make the investments we need at the same time, and keep tax breaks for folks who don’t need them and weren’t even asking for them — well, some of them were asking for them. I wasn’t asking for them. (Laughter.) We’ve got to choose.
When it comes to paying our fair share, I believe we should follow the Buffett Rule: If you make more than $1 million a year — and I hope a lot of you do after you graduate — (laughter) — then you should pay a tax rate of at least 30 percent. (Applause.) On the other hand, if you decide to go into a less lucrative profession, if you decide to become a teacher — and we need teachers — (applause) — if you decide to go into public service, if you decide to go into a helping profession — (applause) — if you make less than $250,000 a year — which 98 percent of Americans do — then your taxes shouldn’t go up. (Applause.)
This is part of the idea of shared responsibility. I know a lot of folks have been running around calling this class warfare. I think asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes is just common sense. (Applause.) Yesterday, Bill Gates said he doesn’t think people like him are paying enough in taxes. I promise you, Warren Buffett is doing fine, Bill Gates is doing fine, I’m doing fine.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Koch Brothers.
THE PRESIDENT: They’re definitely doing fine. (Laughter.)
We don’t need more tax breaks. There are a lot of families out there who are struggling, who’ve seen their wages stall, and the cost of everything from a college education to groceries and food have gone up. You’re the ones who need that. You’re the ones who need help. And we can’t do both.
There have been some who have been saying, well, the only reason you’re saying that is because you’re trying to stir people up, make them envious of the rich. People don’t envy the rich. When people talk about me paying my fair share of taxes, or Bill Gates or Warren Buffett paying their fair share, the reason that they’re talking about it is because they understand that when I get a tax break that I don’t need, that the country can’t afford, then one of two things are going to happen: Either the deficit will go up and ultimately you guys are going to have to pay for it, or alternatively, somebody else is going to foot the bill — some senior who suddenly has to pay more for their Medicare, or some veteran who’s not getting the help that they need readjusting after they have defended this country, or some student who’s suddenly having to pay higher interest rates on their student loans.
We do not begrudge wealth in this country. I want everybody here to do well. We aspire to financial success. But we also understand that we’re not successful just by ourselves. We’re successful because somebody started the University of Michigan. (Applause.) We’re successful because somebody made an investment in all the federal research labs that created the Internet. We’re successful because we have an outstanding military — that costs money. We’re successful because somebody built roads and bridges and laid broadband lines. And these things didn’t just happen on their own.
And if we all understand that we’ve got to pay for this stuff, it makes sense for those of us who’ve done best to do our fair share. And to try to pass off that bill onto somebody else, that’s not right. That’s not who we are. (Applause.) That’s not what my grandparents’ generation worked hard to pass down. That’s not what your grandparents and your great-grandparents worked hard to pass down. We’ve got a different idea of America, a more generous America. (Applause.)
Everybody here is only here because somebody somewhere down the road decided we’re going to think not just about ourselves, but about the future. We’ve got responsibilities, yes, to ourselves but also to each other. And now it’s our turn to be responsible. Now it’s our turn to leave an America that’s built to last. And I know we can do it. We’ve done it before and I know we can do it again because of you.
When I meet young people all across this country, with energy and drive and vision, despite the fact that you’ve come of age during a difficult, tumultuous time in this world, it gives me hope. You inspire me. You’re here at Michigan because you believe in your future. You’re working hard. You’re putting in long hours — hopefully some at the library. (Laughter.) Some of you are balancing a job at the same time. You know that doing big things isn’t always easy, but you’re not giving up.
You’ve got the whole world before you. And you embody that sense of possibility that is quintessentially American. We do not shrink from challenges. We stand up to them. And we don’t leave people behind; we make sure everybody comes along with us on this journey that we’re on. (Applause.)
That’s the spirit right now that we need, Michigan. (Applause.) Here in America, we don’t give up. We look out for each other. We make sure everybody has a chance to get ahead. And if we work in common purpose, with common resolve, we can build an economy that gives everybody a fair shot. And we will remind the world just why it is that the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth. (Applause.)
Thank you, everybody. God bless you. God bless the United States of America. Thank you. (Applause.)
END 10:33 A.M. EST
Posted by bonniekgoodman on January 27, 2012
History Buzz November 21, 2011: David Cannadine: Leave UK history curriculum alone but teach it for longer, says U.S. historian
Source: Guardian (UK), 11-21-11
Towards the end of a typically barnstorming performance at the Hay Festival in May last year, during which Niall Ferguson had rubbished the way history was taught in this country, the spotlight was turned towards the audience to reveal that the new education secretary, Michael Gove, had snuck into the event and was sitting somewhere near the back. And after a few not entirely convincing exchanges of surprise along the lines of “Fancy seeing you here!”, “You’re marvellous”, “No, you’re marvellous”, Gove offered Ferguson a job on the spot to help reform the history curriculum….
Wisely, perhaps, Gove chose to consult not just Ferguson. Instead, using the contacts book that mysteriously opens up for new ministers, he also invited several other well-known historians, including Simon Schama and Richard Evans, to contribute their suggestions for the wholesale reform of history teaching. Somewhere not far into the process, he also asked David Cannadine, Dodge Professor of History at Princeton – and, with Ferguson and Schama, yet another of the UK’s top academic exports to the US – for his thoughts. Eighteen months down the line, Gove might rather be wishing he hadn’t.
Like Gove and Ferguson, Cannadine has also taken a profound interest in how history is taught in state schools; unlike them, he didn’t think that relying on hearsay and ideology was the best way to decide public policy. “There had been a great many theories about how history had been taught over time,” Cannadine says, “but no one had done any detailed research to provide the evidence to back them up.” So about two and a half years ago Cannadine, along with two research fellows, Jenny Keating and Nicola Sheldon, funded by the Linbury Trust and the Institute of Historical Research, set out to find the empirical data, and this week their findings are published in The Right Kind of History….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on November 21, 2011
History Buzz November 17, 2011: Steven Volk: Oberlin College history professor named one of country’s top professors
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
Steven Volk: Oberlin College history professor named one of country’s top professors
Source: Cleveland Plain-Dealer, 11-17-11
View full size Tanya Rosen-Jones
Steven Volk, a history professor at Oberlin College, is one of the U.S. Professors of the Year.
Steven Volk, a history professor and chair of the Latin American Studies committee at Oberlin College, was honored Thursday as a U.S. Professor of the Year.
The award, sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and administered by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, honors outstanding teaching and commitment to undergraduate students.
“Obviously, I’m very thrilled and blessed . . . . I am incredibly thankful,” said Volk, who has been teaching at Oberlin for 26 years.
Judges called Volk an “extraordinarily dedicated undergraduate teacher, who is skilled in engaging students with history — even the ‘back-row boys.’”
Volk said that to maximize discussion time in class, he posts video lectures on the web so that students can watch them ahead of time.
“Every class is a discussion, because that is the way that students can construct their own comprehension and knowledge,” he said. “History is not all about learning dates and the names of places. In fact, students need to participate actively to become a historian.”
Volk said that becoming a good teacher is a process.
“In some ways I obviously taught for many years, but in other ways I didn’t really begin to teach until I had a greater understanding of what teaching and learning was all about,” he said. “I began to understand that teaching is not this transfer of content from my head to somebody else’s, but it’s the creation of an environment that students can learn in.”
Volk, who founded the Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence at Oberlin College to help faculty develop their teaching skills, said he and his colleagues must act as facilitators to help students learn.
Much of Volk’s academic focus has been in Chile, where he worked on his dissertation in the early 1970s and remained involved for years to help restore democracy there.
He was honored as the top professor at the nation’s baccalaureate colleges. Also recognized Thursday were three other outstanding professors – representing community colleges, doctoral and research universities, and master’s universities….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on November 17, 2011
History News September 30, 2011: Our Virginia: Past and Present: Faulty Virginia History Textbook Restored by State to Classrooms
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
One historian had identified more than 50 errors in original version
Source: Fairfax Times, 9-30-11
After criticism in regard to factual errors removed it from classrooms last school year, a fourth-grade Virginia history textbook gained reapproval by the State Board of Education on Sept. 22.
Factual errors were discovered in “Our Virginia: Past and Present” by a College of William & Mary history professor whose child brought the book home from school. In March, the Board of Education voted to remove its approval of the book and another book published by Five Pond Press — “Our America to 1865.”
At that time, the board agreed to reconsider approval of the books if the publisher corrected the errors. In June, Five Pond Press submitted a second edition of both books with reviews. Initial review began in July, followed by a 30-day public comment period, during which time eight comments were submitted. Most of the feedback focused on credibility of the textbooks because of the initial errors, as well as remaining errors found in the book, according to state education staff.
The Board of Education voted 8-1 on Sept. 22 to reapprove the textbooks for classroom use.
“Getting these books right is something that requires enormous time and Five Ponds Press has had the benefit over this year of having that extra public scrutiny looking at their publications, looking at their documents, helping them make them better,” said Board of Education member K. Rob Krupicka of Alexandria. “They need to — and every other publisher needs to — learn from these last 12 months and recognize how critical it is that they have third-party review, aggressive third-party review and multiple third-party reviews of their textbook… you can have experts look at things and you can still find problems.”
Complaints about the Five Pond Press textbooks caused the Board of Education to review and make changes to its textbook approval process.
Final copies of the two textbooks were not available to the board during its regular meeting Sept. 22, but state education staff members said they would review the final text to make sure errors were corrected.
“West Virginia will not show up on the map until after the Civil War, I trust?” asked the Board’s Vice President David M. Foster of Arlington.
Board member Winsome E. Spears of Stephenson was the lone vote against reapproving the books. During last week’s meeting, she questioned why the board was not being asked to review and approve supplementary material for these textbooks produced by Five Ponds Press.
Staff said the board does not review this material, which is not a required additional purchase by school systems. Several board members suggested a future discussion on whether it should approve supplementary material as classroom materials become more technology based.
Early complaints about “Our Virginia: Past and Present” focused on the textbook’s claim that thousands of blacks fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, “including two black battalions under the command of Stonewall Jackson.”
Historian Ronald Heinemann, a professor teaching at Hampden-Sydney College, was asked by the Fairfax County school system to survey the book for errors.
“There were almost too many errors to list,” he said at the time, adding many key dates in the textbook were wrong.
“They have America going into World War I in 1916, instead of 1917,” he said. The book also lists President Ulysses S. Grant taking office in 1870, when the 18th president took office in 1869.
“I came up with 50 [errors],” said Heinemann, adding a colleague of his found more than twice that amount, but included errors that could be interpreted wrong.
Fairfax County Public Schools purchased copies of the Virginia history book, but not the American history textbook.
“Since we were made aware of the errors last year, schools were instructed to use a corrected online version of the book,” said Paul Regnier, Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on October 2, 2011
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
Source: Cornell Daily Sun, 9-28-11
Following a noticeable decline in the number of students enrolled in history courses, the University’s Department of History has taken measures to boost its enrollment and attract students from a variety of disciplines.
This fall, the department added a history minor — one of 38 offered in the College of Arts and Sciences — and has recently added several new 1000- and 2000-level courses intended to appeal specifically to freshman and sophomores.
Though administrators said enrollment data was unavailable, many said they noticed a decline in the number of students enrolled in history classes.
The department has seen “its enrollment decline somewhat in the past few years,” said Barry Strauss ’74, chair of the history department.
Jon Parmenter, Director of Undergraduate Students for the history department, said the department is “certainly concerned about enrollments.”
According to Strauss and Parmenter, the new history minor — which can be fulfilled by taking five courses, including one seminar class — is aimed at increasing enrollment by targeting students who may be reluctant to take history classes without getting credit toward a degree.
“We’ve noticed a lot of undergraduates are interested in having as diverse an experience as possible to document on their diploma,” Parmenter said. “It seems as if minors are increasingly important in showing that students have a broad array of interests.”
Strauss added that the College of Arts and Sciences also encouraged all department chairs to consider adding minors to their departments as a way to reduce the pressure on undergraduates both inside and outside of the college.
“We wanted to make it possible for all undergraduates to explore this subject without wearing themselves out by trying to pursue a double major,” Strauss said. “It’s a different way of reaching out to students who are still interested in history.”…READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on September 28, 2011
History Buzz September 27, 2011: Julian Bond: Students’ Knowledge of Civil Rights History Has Deteriorated, Study Finds
Source: NYT 9-27-11
When Julian Bond, the former Georgia lawmaker and civil rights activist, turned to teaching two decades ago, he often quizzed his college students to gauge their awareness of the civil rights movement. He did not want to underestimate their grasp of the topic or talk down to them, he said.
“My fears were misplaced,” Mr. Bond said. No student had heard of George Wallace, the segregationist governor of Alabama, he said. One student guessed that Mr. Wallace might have been a CBS newsman.
That ignorance by American students of the basic history of the civil rights movement has not changed — in fact, it has worsened, according to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, on whose board Mr. Bond sits. The report says that states’ academic standards for public schools are one major cause of the problem.
“Across the country, state educational standards virtually ignore our civil rights history,” concludes the report, which is to be released on Wednesday….
Many states have turned Dr. King’s life into a fable, said Mr. Bond, who now teaches at American University and the University of Virginia. He said his students knew that “there used to be segregation until Martin Luther King came along, that he marched and protested, that he was killed, and that then everything was all right.”… READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on September 27, 2011
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY FEATURES
Ron Nief and Tom McBride: The Mindset List
Source: Beloit College Mindset List
What started as a witty way of saying to faculty colleagues “watch your references,” has turned into a globally reported and utilized guide to the intelligent if unprepared adolescent consciousness. It is requested by thousands of readers, reprinted in hundreds of print and electronic publications, and used for a wide variety of purposes. It immediately caught the imagination of the public, and in the ensuing years, has drawn responses from around the world.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on August 23, 2011
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
Do Minnesota students know their U.S. history?
Despite a recent report showing a limited grasp of U.S. history by the nation’s students, Minnesota educators generally give fair marks to the students here. Young people often have a pretty good sense of dates, places, names and basic trends, the educators say. But the teachers say that improvement is needed, and worry that the emphasis on math, reading and the sciences may detract from learning about history, which they say is crucial to becoming solid citizens with a sense of national identity.
“I think you’re really trying to address one of the fundamentals of the human experience: Who are we, what have we done, and where are we going?” said Tim Hoogland, director of education outreach programs for the Minnesota Historical Society.
Still, Minnesota teachers aren’t doing the kind of hand-wringing that followed last month’s release of U.S. history test results by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Some educators around the nation said they were alarmed by the results of the 2010 test, which showed only 20 percent of fourth-graders, 17 percent of eighth-graders, and 12 percent of 12th-graders were proficient or better in the subject. Results were not broken out state-by-state in the NAEP report, so Minnesotans’ standing wasn’t immediately available….
“I find the students who … have graduated from American high schools have a basic understanding of the broad periods and watershed events of American history,” said Lisa Norling, an associate professor of history at the University of Minnesota….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on July 4, 2011
HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP
Source: WSJ, 6-18-11
‘We’re raising young people who are, by and large, historically illiterate,” David McCullough tells me on a recent afternoon in a quiet meeting room at the Boston Public Library. Having lectured at more than 100 colleges and universities over the past 25 years, he says, “I know how much these young people—even at the most esteemed institutions of higher learning—don’t know.” Slowly, he shakes his head in dismay. “It’s shocking.”
He’s right. This week, the Department of Education released the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress, which found that only 12% of high-school seniors have a firm grasp of our nation’s history. And consider: Just 2% of those students understand the significance of Brown v. Board of Education….
The 77-year-old author has been doing his part—he’s written nine books over the last four decades, including his most recent, “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris,” a story of young Americans who studied in a culturally dominant France in the 19th century to perfect their talents. He’s won two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.
“History is a source of strength,” he says. “It sets higher standards for all of us.” But helping to ensure that the next generation measures up, he says, will be a daunting task….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on June 18, 2011