America’s College Promise Act

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America's College Promise Act

Sens. Baldwin, Booker and Rep. Scott Introduce America’s College Promise Act to Make Higher Education More Accessible and Affordable 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), the House Education and Workforce Committee Ranking Member, and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan held a press conference call to unveil the America’s College Promise Act of 2015. U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) joined Senator Baldwin as an original cosponsor of the new legislation. The America’s College Promise Act of 2015 makes two years of community college free and provides an affordable pathway for low-income students to a four-year college degree. The legislation would give students the opportunity to access quality and affordable higher education that gives them the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the 21st century economy. “Higher education should be a path to shared prosperity, not a path into suffocating debt. But unfortunately, college costs and student loan debt are holding back an entire generation and creating a drag on economic growth for our country. America needs out-educate the rest of the world in order to better compete in a 21st century, skills based economy,” said Senator Baldwin. “The America’s College Promise Act is an investment in workforce readiness and our economy. I’m proud to introduce this legislation with the help of my friend Congressman Scott, and with the full support of the Administration, in order to give all students the opportunity to gain the skills they need to compete, succeed, and prosper.” “Our greatest national asset is the genius of our young people. But with the skyrocketing cost of tuition, more and more families across America feel priced out of a postsecondary degree. This is a disservice to our students and our nation in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy,” said Senator Booker. “America’s College Promise Act answers President Obama’s call to Congress to invest in our future workforce by saving students thousands of dollars on the path to a college degree. Our bill provides the kind of support many young people need to reach their potential by creating strategic partnerships between the federal and state government so that all students have a fair shot at achieving the American Dream.” “Students and families are faced with the overwhelming burden of figuring out how to pay for college,” said Congressman Scott. “America’s College Promise is a step in the right direction to help families gain access to quality, affordable higher education opportunities. For low-income students, this bill creates a pathway to a four-year degree at qualifying Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving institutions (AANAPISIs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). At a time when families feel like they’re increasingly having to adapt to a changing economy and technology, America’s College Promise creates a way for them to gain the skills they need to compete in a 21st century economy.” “America’s College Promise is the President’s bold vision, announced earlier this year, to make two years of college as universal as high school was a century ago, helping students earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree and earn skills needed in the workforce at no cost,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Community colleges are not just a uniquely American institution, but as the largest most affordable segment of America’s higher education system, they are critical to reaching the President’s goal to have the highest share of college graduates in the world and to ensuring America’s economic prosperity in the future.”

During a stop last week in La Crosse, Wisconsin, President Obama highlighted this proposal saying, “Now, in an economy that’s constantly changing, we’ve also got to give every American the chance to earn the skills they need to stay competitive. That’s why we’ve got to be investing in job training and apprenticeships that help folks earn the skills for that new job or better-paying job. That’s why we should make community college free for responsible students — like Tammy Baldwin is introducing in the United States Senate. No middle-class family should be priced out of the education that they need.”

Under the America’s College Promise Act, a full-time community college student could save an average of $3,800 in tuition per year. If all states participated under this program, an estimated 9 million students could benefit. This legislation:

  • Creates a new partnership between the federal government and states and Indian tribes to help them waive resident tuition in two years of community and technical college programs for eligible students, while promoting key reforms to accelerate student success;
  • Provides a federal match of $3 for every $1 invested by the state to waive community college tuition and fees for eligible students before other financial aid is applied;
  • Ensures that programs offer academic credits which are fully transferable to four-year institutions in their state, or occupational training that leads to credentials in an in-demand industry;
  • Maintains and encourages state funding for higher education; and
  • Establishes a new grant program to provide pathways to success at minority serving institutions by helping them cover a significant portion of tuition and fees for the first two years of attendance for low-income students.

The America’s College Promise Act is cosponsored by over 60 members of the House of Representatives and the following members of the United States Senate: Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). The legislation has also been endorsed by: AFL-CIO, Alliance for Equity in Higher Education, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), Asian American and Pacific Islander Association of Colleges and Universities (APIACU), Asian and Pacific Islander Scholarship Fund (APIASF), Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), Campaign for America’s Future, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Consumers Union, Generation Progress, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), National Education Association (NEA), National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), National Skills Coalition, One Wisconsin Now, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), Student Debt Crisis, The Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network, Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), United Negro College Fund (UNCF), University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin Extension, and Wisconsin Technical College System. For more: http://www.baldwin.senate.gov/press-releases/baldwin-americas-college-promise-act-to-make-higher-education-more-accessible-and-affordable-?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed .

Remarks by the President on America’s College Promise

Pellissippi State Community College Knoxville, Tennessee

(Excerpts)

“… today, in a 21st century economy, where your most valuable asset is your knowledge, the single most important way to get ahead is not just to get a high school education, you’ve got to get some higher education.  That’s why all of you are here.

Now, the value of an education is not purely instrumental.  Education helps us be better people.  It helps us be better citizens.  You came to college to learn about the world and to engage with new ideas and to discover the things you’re passionate about — and maybe have a little fun.  (Laughter.)  And to expand your horizons.  That’s terrific — that’s a huge part of what college has to offer.

But you’re also here, now more than ever, because a college degree is the surest ticket to the middle class.  It is the key to getting a good job that pays a good income — and to provide you the security where even if you don’t have the same job for 30 years, you’re so adaptable and you have a skill set and the capacity to learn new skills, it ensures you’re always employable.

And that is the key not just for individual Americans, that’s the key for this whole country’s ability to compete in the global economy.  In the new economy, jobs and businesses will go wherever the most skilled, best-educated workforce resides.  Because businesses are mobile now.  Technology means they can locate anywhere.  And where they have the most educated, most adaptable, most nimble workforce, that’s where they’re going to locate.  And I want them to look no further than the United States of America.  I want them coming right here.  I want those businesses here, and I want the American people to be able to get those businesses — or get those jobs that those businesses create.

So that’s why we’ve increased grants and took on a student loan system that was funneling billions of taxpayer dollars through big banks, and said let’s cut out the middleman, let’s give them directly to students instead, we can help more students.

We’ve increased scholarships.  We’ve cut taxes for people paying tuition.  We’ve let students cap their federal student loan payments at 10 percent of income so that they can borrow with confidence, particularly if you’re going into a job like nursing or teaching that may not pay a huge salary but that’s where your passions are.

We’re creating a new college ratings system that will give parents and students the kind of clear, concise information you need to shop around for a school with the best value for you — and gives us the capacity to recognize schools that offer a great education at a reasonable price.

On the flight over here, Lamar and I were talking about how we can do more to simplify the application process for federal student loans, which is still too complicated.  (Applause.)

So we’ve done a lot of good work over the last six years; we’re going to keep at it.  But today, I want to focus on a centerpiece of my education agenda — and that’s the community colleges, like this one.

For millions of Americans, community colleges are essential pathways to the middle class because they’re local, they’re flexible.  They work for people who work full-time.  They work for parents who have to raise kids full-time.  They work for folks who have gone as far as their skills will take them and want to earn new ones, but don’t have the capacity to just suddenly go study for four years and not work.  Community colleges work for veterans transitioning back into civilian life.  Whether you’re the first in your family to go to college, or coming back to school after many years away, community colleges find a place for you.  And you can get a great education.

Now, Jill has been teaching English at community colleges for 20 years.  She started when she was like 15.  (Laughter.)  And she’s still full-time today.  And she sees — I talk to her and she talks about her students, and she can see the excitement and the promise, and sometimes the fear of being a 32-year-old mom who’s going back to school and never finished the degree that she had started, and life got in the way and now she’s coming back and suddenly getting a whole new skills set and seeing a whole range of career options opening up to her.  It’s exciting.

And that’s what community colleges are all about — the idea that no one with drive and discipline should be left out, should be locked out of opportunity, and certainly that nobody with that drive and discipline should be denied a college education just because they don’t have the money.  Every American, whether they’re young or just young at heart, should be able to earn the skills and education necessary to compete and win in the 21st century economy.

So today I’m announcing an ambitious new plan to bring down the cost of community college tuition in America.  I want to bring it down to zero.  (Applause.)  We’re going to — I want to make it free.  (Applause.)  I want to make it free.  Community colleges should be free for those willing to work for it — because in America, a quality education cannot be a privilege that is reserved for a few.  I think it’s a right for everybody who’s willing to work for it.”

For the entire transcript: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/09/remarks-president-americas-college-promise

https://youtu.be/W6pZyUmOoCg?t=4s 1/9/15 FACT SHEET – White House Unveils America’s College Promise Proposal: Tuition-Free Community College for Responsible Students

#BackToSchool

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White House Tech Demo Day

WH Tech Demo Day 2015

The first-ever White House Demo Day will bring together entrepreneurs from all walks of life, from all across the country. And unlike a private-sector Demo Day, where entrepreneurs show off for funders, ours will “demo” individual success stories, highlighting the individual journeys of a diverse set of entrepreneurs—people whose stories show exactly why we need to grow the pie to make sure there’s opportunity for everyone in our innovation economy.
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Because if we’re going to keep our lead as the best place on the planet to start and scale the next big innovative idea into a world-changing company, we’ve got to make sure more startup hotbeds emerge in every corner of America, and that those underrepresented in entrepreneurship are being tapped to fully contribute their entrepreneurial talents.

Winners from every corner of the country. The Startup in a Day winners, like the entrepreneurs here at the White House today, are from all over the country. Urban and rural; coastal and central; from every region, including traditional entrepreneurial hotbeds and places where the next big thing will come from — because good ideas come from everywhere, we’re committed to supporting entrepreneurs everywhere. Congratulations to:

The 25 city winners: Anchorage, Alaska; Asheville, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Boise, Idaho; Boston, Massachusetts; Brookings, South Dakota; Burlington, Vermont; Champaign, Illinois; Jackson, Michigan; Long Beach, California; Memphis, Tennessee; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Oakland, California; Peoria, Illinois; Riverside, California; Rockland, Maine; Rocky Mount, North Carolina; Rutland City, Vermont; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; St. Louis, Missouri; Washington, District of Columbia; and Wilmington, Delaware.

The two Native American community winners: Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation; and Choctaw Nation (where President Obama recently visited to announce our ConnectHome initiative to bring high-speed broadband internet to low-income housing!) .

WH Tech Demo Day descriptionPBO Jan2015 Boise U statement
Tuesday, August 4th
President Obama hosts a WH Tech Demo Day
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NAACP’s Justice March from Selma to Washington, DC

NAACP Justice March

From August 1 to September 16, America’s Journey for Justice–an historic 860-mile march from Selma, Alabama, to Washington, D.C.–will mobilize activists and advance a focused national advocacy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and equitable public education.

Issue Focus by State:

Alabama – Economic Inequality
Georgia – Education Reform
South Carolina – Criminal Justice Reform
North Carolina – Voting Rights
Virginia – Youth Rally
Washington, D.C.

For more: http://www.naacp.org//ajfj https://youtu.be/P0IdrBgORKI?t=2m14s .

#JusticeSummer

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WH Week of Making

June 12 - 18, 2015 National Week of Making
June 12 – 18, 2015
National Week of Making
Presidential Proclamation — National Week of Making, 2015

NATIONAL WEEK OF MAKING, 2015

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

American ingenuity has always powered our Nation and fueled economic growth. Our country was built on the belief that with hard work and passion, progress is within our reach, and it is because of daring innovators and entrepreneurs who have taken risks and redefined what is possible that we have been able to realize this promise. Makers and builders and doers — of all ages and backgrounds — have pushed our country forward, developing creative solutions to important challenges and proving that ordinary Americans are capable of achieving the extraordinary when they have access to the resources they need. During National Week of Making, we celebrate the tinkerers and dreamers whose talent and drive have brought new ideas to life, and we recommit to cultivating the next generation of problem solvers.

My Administration is committed to spurring manufacturing, innovation, and entrepreneurship by expanding opportunities for more Americans to build products and bring them to market. Across the Federal Government, we are working to increase access to capital, maker spaces, and equipment to design, develop, and prototype ideas. By investing in regional manufacturing hubs, we are bringing together private industry, leading universities, and public agencies to develop cutting-edge technology and train workers in the skills they need for the next generation of innovation. To continue to build a Nation of makers, we are committed to engaging students at every level in the hands-on learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to inspire them to pursue their own passions and excel in STEM fields.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/06/11/national-week-making-2015

 

National Week of Making Kick-off 

Join the White House on June 12 from 8:30-11:30am to celebrate and kick-off the National Week of Making, which lasts from June 12 to June 18. The White House event will include announcements and progress updates on the President’s call to action to create a “Nation of Makers.” We’ll hear from Makers from across the country, organizations helping to support them, as well as senior Obama Administration officials. The Week will coincide with the National Maker Faire here in D.C., featuring makers from across the country and will include participation by federal agencies including: the Department of Education, National Science Foundation, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Institute of Standards and Technology, NASA, Corporation for National and Community Service, Department of Homeland Security and the Smithsonian.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/nation-of-makers

MAKING AT THE WHITE HOUSE:

MORE MAKER OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Fashion Workshop The First Lady held a fashion workshop highlighting the growing role of makers and new technologies in the creative economy.
  • The Make Schools Alliance Higher education institutions respond to the President’s call to support making on college campuses.
  • Making Makers in Cleveland Case Western is providing a makerspace and innovation center to give students, staff, faculty and members of the public the tools they need to create, build and invent.
  • Making for a Stronger Africa Young African Leaders joined the US Global Development Lab and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy at Fab Lab DC to discuss the role of making in Africa’s economic and community development.

Friday, June 12, 2015 8:30 AM ET
National Week of Making Kick-off 
The White House

#weekofmaking

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Michelle Obama @ King College Prep

FLOTUS King College Prep

FAFSA Completion Challenge Winner: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Preparatory High School (King College Prep) on June 9 at 7:00 PM (Central)
King College Prep’s winning video can be found HERE.

First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2015 at King College Prep in Chicago, IL. King College Prep is a top-performing preparatory high school located in the heart of the historic North Kenwood community in the city of Chicago, and is the first public high school to be named for the iconic civil rights leader. King College Prep aspires for its students to experience a school culture and climate that promotes a legacy of academic excellence, social justice, and civic responsibility. The school has nationally-recognized programs in Fine and Performing Arts, in addition to a repertoire of Advanced Placement courses that are designed to ensure students are prepared for success in college.

King College Prep is the winner of the First Lady’s FAFSA completion challenge – its video showcased student creativity and school-wide efforts around FAFSA completion with a mock episode of “Scandal.” Along with a 94% graduation rate, King Prep students have a 100% college acceptance rate.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 8:00 PM ET
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers the commencement address
to the Class of 2015

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Preparatory High School
Chicago, Illinois

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Primary School – Best Time To Teach Tolerance

President Barack Obama participates in a literacy lesson with students while visiting a pre-kindergarten classroom at Moravia Elementary School in Baltimore, Md., May 17, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama participates in a literacy lesson with students while visiting a pre-kindergarten classroom at Moravia Elementary School in Baltimore, Md., May 17, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Primary school isn’t too soon to start breaking stereotypes. It’s the best time.

How do we break destructive stereotypes? Start early.

May 14, 2015 · 3:00 PM EDT By Marc Sollinger – pri.org

The key to challenging them may lie in early education, argues Claude Steele, the provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley. He’s also the author of “Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do,” and he studies stereotypes and the psychology behind them.

Steele recalls one study that had a group of adults watch a video of two children playing. The video stopped at different points, and observers had to record what they thought was happening: Were the boys were just horsing around? Were they being aggressive? Or violent?

“In the last frame, one boy shoves another boy, and the critical question is: How do you rate that behavior? When the boy who shoves is white, raters tend to rate that action as just fooling around. When the boy is African-American, they tend to rate that behavior as violent,” Steele says.

He points out that African-American raters are almost as likely to stereotype the boys as violent.

Steele’s research also touches on the huge role of stereotypes in education. Take feedback that a teacher might give to a student.

Steele says a white professor can give critical evaluations of an African-American student in way that doesn’t make the student think the critique is based on race — but the feedback must be offered in the right way. A study by Geoffrey Cohen of Stanford shows professors shouldn’t just deliver the criticism straight, nor should they simply give a positive bromide before launching into the feedback.

What works better, Steele argues, is a professor saying ‘”I’ve looked at your work, we really have high standards here. And though you need to improve those things, I really think you can meet those standards.’ That combination of using high standards signals you’re not just seeing them stereotypically.”

Because America has an extremely diverse student body, schools are melting pots where these sorts of issues have to be dealt with. But Steele actually sees this obligation as a source of hope.

For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-05-14/primary-school-isnt-too-soon-start-breaking-stereotypes-its-best-time

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VP Biden @ U.S. Naval Academy Commencement 2015

US Naval Academy Seal

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Vice President Biden to Deliver Remarks at Naval Academy Graduation

APRIL 8, 2015 9:53 AM BY MEDIARELATIONS@USNA.EDU

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Vice President Joe Biden will deliver remarks at the graduation and commencement ceremony for the U.S.  Naval Academy’s Class of 2015 Friday, May 22.

This event is not open to the public.

Biden, a native of Scranton, Penn., is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Syracuse Law School and served on the New Castle County Council. At the age of 29, he became one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate. Biden was sworn in as the 47th U.S. Vice President on Jan. 20, 2009.

For more: https://www.usna.edu/NewsCenter/2015/04/vice-president-biden-to-deliver-remarks-at-naval-academy-graduation.php

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U.S. Naval Academy Commencement 2013
Vice President Biden – Commencement Speaker
Friday, May 22 @ 10:00 AM ET
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD

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Live Stream: http://new.livestream.com/navy/events/

 

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