Showing posts with label Department of Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Department of Education. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hillary Clinton Cracks Down On For-Profit Colleges After Cashing In

Hillary Rodham Clinton's plan would direct law enforcement agencies to crack down on for-profit colleges that engage in deceptive marketing, fraud, and other illegal practices. (Associated Press)
When Hillary Rodham Clinton, the 2016 presidential candidate, unveiled her college affordability plan on Monday, she sounded every bit the critic of for-profit universities. But Mrs. Clinton, the spouse, benefited to the tune of millions of dollars from that same industry in a business relationship her husband enjoyed as recently as this spring.
Former President Bill Clinton collected more than $16 million from 2010 to 2014 as honorary chancellor of Laureate Education, a for-profit company that runs 80 education institutions around the globe, according to recently released tax returns. Four of its six U.S. colleges were flagged on the Education Department’s list of schools whose access to federal financial aid was being monitored out of concern over financial irresponsibility.
The Clinton Foundation also lists Laureate International Universities as one of its donors, giving $1 million to $5 million during the first half of this year. Mr. Clinton praised the company when he stepped down in late April, less than two weeks after his wife officially entered the presidential race.
Over the years, Mrs. Clinton collected political donations from Laureate’s CEO, Douglas Becker, including a $2,000 donation in 2005 to her Senate re-election campaign and $2,300 in 2007 to her first presidential campaign, Federal Election Commission records show.
On Monday, Mrs. Clinton said if elected president she would get tough on federal aid that flows to those kinds of for-profit institutions, strengthening the “gainful employer rules” that requires schools to adequately prepare students for the workforce.
“There are students who take out loans to pay for an expensive degree from a for-profit institution — only to find little support once they actually enroll, or they graduate and discover that, when it comes to finding a job, their degree isn’t worth what they thought,” Mrs. Clintonsaid in a message posted on
Her plan also would direct law enforcement agencies to crack down on for-profits that engage in deceptive marketing, fraud, and other illegal practices.
The for-profit crackdown is part of a much broader $350 billion proposal to make college more affordable by having the federal government pick up costs, chiefly by offering taxpayer money to states to keep their public schools’ costs lower.
She proposed $175 billion over a decade in grants to states that keep costs low enough that students wouldn’t need to go into debt to cover tuition at four-year public schools and private nonprofit colleges. States and colleges would be responsible for holding down costs as part of the deal.
More funding would go to 25 million borrowers, helping them refinance their student loans with lower interest rates, and the rest would go to an “innovation fund” to support new models of higher education.
“No family and no student should have to borrow to have to pay tuition at a public college or university,” Mrs. Clinton told reporters. “Everyone who has student debt should be able to refinance it at lower rates. Cost won’t be a barrier, and debt won’t hold you back under my plan.”
Mrs. Clinton plans to pay for her plan by capping the itemized deductions that wealthier families can claim on tax returns.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How We Can Stop The Expansion of the Federal Government Into Our Classrooms

Innovation starts locally – not in Washington.
Yet, over the past few years, we have witnessed the unprecedented expansion of the federal government into our classrooms.
Decades of regulations, mandates and rules have been piling up on our educators, but failing to improve our students’ education.
Congress is set to reconsider, and potentially reauthorize, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
This law outlines federal programs for K-12 education and was last reauthorized in 2002 as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which further expanded Washington’s intrusion in our schools by creating new federal mandates.
No Child Left Behind also expired in 2007.
This means the Obama administration has been able to operate without certain limitations and has strong-armed states into complying with its liberal education agenda.
Thankfully, we have the opportunity to get Uncle Sam out of the business of micromanaging our schools from the top-down and return control to our local families, educators and officials.
This week in the House, my colleagues and I are revisiting the way Washington approaches our K-12 federal education policy with consideration of H.R. 5, the Student Success Act.
This bill repeals and reforms many failed education policies like the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) mandate, but I challenge that we can do even better for our children and future generations.
Conservatives have the largest majority in Congress that we have had in years, and we have a real opportunity to stand against Washington’s culture of bureaucracy and make a difference in our federal approach to education — let’s ensure we truly return education decisions back to the local-level.

Don't Give Obama More Power Over Schools

After spending most of June giving President Obama new authority to negotiate trade deals with low-wage countries in Asia, congressional Republicans are now poised to spend July giving Obama new authority over education in America's public schools. This is a big disappointment for those of us who worked hard to elect a Republican Congress last November. We expected the new Congress to take power back from the president, not give him more.
For the past 50 years, the engine of federal control over local schools has been Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. It was the first in a series of socialist laws that President Lyndon Johnson promised would lead to a "Great Society" after we won his declared "war on poverty."
Johnson's Great Society legislation was speedily enacted by a Congress in which Democrats outnumbered Republicans by more than two to one (295-140 in the House and 68-32 in the Senate). Despite the trillions of dollars spent since 1965, we're no closer to achieving a Great Society; by many measures, America's education and social welfare are much worse today than when those programs were launched 50 years ago.
Republicans had an opportunity to dismantle the failed regime of federal control when they regained control of both Houses of Congress in 1994 and then elected a president in 2000. Unfortunately, George W. Bush campaigned on the slogan "Leave No Child Behind" as his signature domestic agenda item, and John Boehner, then chairman of the House Education Committee, produced a bill that rebranded the old ESEA under the new title "No Child Left Behind."
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) promised to bring all children (including all demographic minorities measured separately) to 100 percent proficiency by 2014. Of course, that didn't happen, and nearly everyone now recognizes NCLB as a complete failure.
With their current historic majority in both Houses, there's a new opportunity for Republicans to dismantle the 50-year failure of money poured into local public schools with strings attached. Unfortunately, Republicans, once again, are on the verge of just rebranding the same failed programs with new and overly optimistic slogans: the "Student Success Act" (in the House) and the "Every Child Achieves Act," ECAA, (in the Senate).

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Education System now Graduating Al Gores from public schools

Meanwhile, that little Noah and Amanda you sent off to school will be coming back home as another Al Gore

The next generation of global warming-spouting Al Gore type activists are already in training in America’s classrooms.

The big lie called man-made global warming, birthed by the United Nations and lib-left world leaders out to make a fast buck in the impossible-to-fail money maker advanced on society by global warming/climate change, is here to stay.

As permanent a fixture in modern society as career politicians and rising taxes, the future of global warming will be played forward by school children, who although they can’t read or write, will fill the ranks of the environmental protest movement calling attention to the supposed inherent dangers of man-made global warming.

Teaching school age children how to be politically correct far exceeds educating them. In education, indoctrination has become a lucrative cottage industry, because it can count of the support of generous government grants. 

Rather than school kids wanting to talk about the family’s next planned trip to Disneyland, they will be probing the size of their parents’ carbon footprint, per the instructions of their classroom teacher—and coming up with creative ways to shrink it.

With a colossal number of parental eyes fixed on Common Core, added to the never-ending worry of why so many school children still struggle with reading and writing, this is what the Department of Education slipped in:

“Under the guise of the first new K-12 science curriculum to be introduced in 15 years, the real goal seems to be to expose students to politically correct climate-change orthodoxy during their formative learning years. (Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2015).

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Is Common Core the One Policy the Public Won’t Let Obama Administration Get Away With?

Some conservatives might get frustrated with the lack of public outrage over the Obama administration’s executive overreach, but there has been no apathy when it comes to pushing a federal takeover of education, conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly wrote.
Is Common Core the One Policy the Public Wont Let Obama Administration Get Away With?
Karima Hawkins of Jackson, foreground, holds a sign against Common Core, the State Standards Initiative that established a single set of educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics, at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Opponents of Common Core hope to convince legislators into ending the initiative. Lawmakers return to the Capitol for a three-month session this year. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
“Many people said ho-hum when President Barack Obama threatened to change any law with his pen or phone, and even use that power to personally alter Obamacare and the welfare law, and to ‘legislate’ the Dream Act that Congress refused to pass,” Schlafly wrote for the Christian Post. “But Americans are rising up by the tens of thousands to stop Common Core, which is the current attempt to compel all U.S. children to be taught the same material and not other things parents might think important.”
Common Core is a set of K-12 math and English standards that were adopted by 45 states. Developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the standards are backed by the Obama administration.
Schlafly pointed out that the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the 1970 General Education Provisions Act and the 1979 law establishing the U.S. Department of Education all prohibit a national curriculum.
Hamstrung by the letter of the law, Schlafly said that President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are using Common Core to go around that.
“Despite all those emphatic words, Obama’s Department of Education, headed by an alumnus of the Chicago Democratic machine and other leftists, seeks to mold the minds of all our children into supporters of big government,” she wrote. “Their vehicle to accomplish this is Common Core, which is artfully designed to impose de facto national uniformity while complying with all explicit federal prohibitions.”
“The mechanism of control is the tests all students must take, which will be written by the people who created Common Core,” Schlafly continued. “If students haven’t studied a curriculum “aligned” with Common Core, they will have a hard time passing the tests required for a high school diploma and entry into college.”
She added that once the standards are adopted, they can’t be changed at the state level and that two national groups, the NGA and CCSO have ownership of the standards.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

U. S. Education Secretary: ‘White Suburban Moms’ Upset Common Core Shows Their Kids Aren’t ‘Brilliant’


U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a group of state schools superintendents Friday that he found it “fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”
Yes, he really said that. But he has said similar things before. What, exactly, is he talking about?
In his cheerleading for the controversial Common Core State Standards — which were approved by 45 states and the District of Columbia and are now being implemented across the country (though some states are reconsidering) — Duncan has repeatedly noted that the standards and the standardized testing that goes along with them are more difficult than students in most states have confronted.
The Common Core was designed to elevate teaching and learning. Supporters say it does that; critics say it doesn’t and that some of the standards, especially for young children, are not developmentally appropriate. Whichever side you fall on regarding the Core’s academic value, there is no question that their implementation in many areas has been miserable — so miserable that American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, a Core supporter, recently compared it to another particularly troubled rollout:
You think the Obamacare implementation is bad? The implementation of the Common Core is far worse.

Via: Washington Post

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

High School Student Gives Devastating Speech Against Common Core Education

TN Student Ethan Young speaks out about common core, teacher evaluations, and educational data. Recorded at the Knox County School Board Regular Meeting.

"The president essentially bribed states into implementation via ‘Race to the Top,’ offering $4.35 billion taxpayer dollars to participating states, $500 million of which went to Tennessee,” Young said. “And much like No Child Left Behind, the program promises national testing and a one-size-fits-all education, because hey, it worked so well the first time.”

“If nothing else, these standards are a glowing conflict of interest and they lack the research they allegedly received."

“Somewhere our Founding Fathers are turning in their graves — pleading, screaming and trying to say to us that we teach to free minds. We teach to inspire. We teach to equip, the careers will come naturally.”

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Obama-Tied Firm Got $100k to Create Michelle’s “Let’s Move” Logo

A marketing firm with close ties to the president got a plum no-bid contract for $100,000 to design the “Let’s Move” logo for Michelle Obama’s childhood obesity campaign, according to government documents obtained by Judicial Watch.

The arrangement violates federal contracting rules and is even acknowledged by federal officials as an “unauthorized commitment,” the records obtained by JW show. As a result the agency that illegally awarded the contract, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), prepared a “request for ratification of an unauthorized commitment” to legitimize the expenditure. The justification provided to JW as part of the records is that the program was too important and time-sensitive for the official who awarded the no-bid deal to research the rules.

In all, JW obtained 44 pages of documents from the USDA, the agency largely in charge of distributing funds for the First Lady’s $4.5 billion measure (Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act) to revolutionize the inner-city diet and conquer childhood obesity. Among the documents is a scathing electronic mail exchange between the USDA Deputy Director (Jodey Edwards) in the Office of Procurement & Property Management and an agency administrative officer named Yvette Ward. Edwards asks “What did we get for our money … any deliverable? I know this is an unauthorized commitment: however the contractor still must provide evidence of what is being paid for …”

The firm that raked in the cash is Shepardson, Stern & Kaminsky (SS+K), which had previously served as the official agency for Obama for America’s youth initiatives in both 2008 and 2012. SS+K also received a sweet $2 million deal from the Obama Department of Education for the “TEACH” teacher recruitment campaign in 2010. Before the Obama administration started doling out money to the little-known firm, it had landed only one government contract—awarded in 2002 by the Department of Defense—worth $50,000.

The SS+K team that worked on “Let’s Move” consisted of the following: Robert Shepardson a partner in the firm who previously led SS+K’s work on Obama political campaignsMarty Cooke, who is no longer with SS+K but served as creative director during Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign; Rebecca Matovic, a partner who also did work for the Gates Foundation, the Environmental Defense Fund, George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, and the governments of Bolivia and Colombia.

The USDA official who inappropriately authorized the no-bid “Let’s Move” slogan deal appears to have been a political appointee named David Lazarus, the records obtained by JW show. Lazarus is a former senior advisor to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack who previously served as National Rural Vote Deputy Director for Obama for America and as an advisor to the Obama-Biden transition team.

Not surprisingly, no significant action was taken against the parties responsible for the violation. Senior procurement officials simply spoke with the offender to “explain the procurement process,” according to the records. Training on procurement rules was subsequently provided to all senior advisors, the files further reveal, adding this: “The Senior Procurement Executive had intended to provide this seminar as part of the training that was given to new incoming political appointees at the start of the administration, but thought administrative oversight this wasn’t done.”

“Let’s Move” is described as “America’s move to raise a healthier generation of kids,” a comprehensive initiative launched by the First Lady dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity. The goal is to solve this crisis within a generation, according to the “Let’s Move” website, by among other things, ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food. Looking at the website and the slogan that cost U.S. taxpayers $100,000, it’s difficult to see the “time-sensitive” importance that could justify a no-bid contract.

Via: Judicial Watch
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Friday, October 11, 2013

INSANE: Common Core forces new kindergarteners to bubble in test answers

So it’s official: the Common Core is evil.
This fall, thanks to a combination of the Common Core State Standards Initiative and new teacher evaluations, some four- and five-year-old students in New York City are being forced to fill in bubbles on multiple-choice, standardized tests.
The kids are doing their level best on the tests, which cover topics such as numbers, shapes and order. However, it’s going about as well as you’d expect, reports the New York Daily News.
“They’re scared,” one unidentified teacher in Queens told the broadsheet. “They just don’t understand you’re supposed to bubble in next to the answer.”
The teacher added that the kids continually try to help each other get the right answers, which is not allowed.
A teacher in the Bronx observed that the kids don’t even know how to hold a #2 pencil, let alone use it to fill in a bubble.
“They don’t know letters, and you have answers that say A, B, C or D and you’re asking them to bubble in,” the Bronx teacher told the Daily News. “They break down; they cry.”
A Staten Island teacher offered still another comically sad vignette: “We said to color it in with a pencil, so they were taking out crayons.”
Via: Daily Caller

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Why is the Education Department peddling Obamacare?

What the Department of Education has to do with promoting and implementing President Obama’s signature healthcare law has been a mystery to several members of Congress.
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., sent a July 16 letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan seeking answers, and has finally heard back.
Duncan contends that the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education go hand in hand, saying “there is a connection between health and student performance.” Unhealthy children “are less likely to be successful academically than their healthier peers.”
To that end, Duncan said the Education Department would share “basic materials developed by [HHS] for our stakeholders to use at their discretion.”
He made clear that “HHS does not provide funds to the department for these efforts” and that Education “has devoted a very minimal amount of staff time and resources for these efforts, and thus expenses related to these efforts are a very minimal part of the salaries and expenses section of the budget.”
Duncan also said that “no single department employee works exclusively on this effort.”
He claimed that using federal funds would get information to the public in a “more efficient and cost-effective manner.”
It is still unclear why the Education Department must spend time and resources on Obamacare, which is why Thune spokeswoman AshLee Strong released the following statement:
While Senator Thune appreciates the Department of Education's response to his July 16th letter, it's disappointing that the agency failed to answer several important questions included in the letter. We will continue to seek answers to these outstanding questions, including:
• What statutory authority does the DoED have to carry out such promotion of the president’s health care law?
• What is DoED asking of individual schools?
• What are the specific costs of DoED's ObamaCare promotion?
• How many hours are DoED staffers using daily to promote ObamaCare?”

Via: Washington Examiner 
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