Computer Science Education Week 2015

President Obama participates in an “Hour of Code” Event
President Obama participates in an “Hour of Code” Event

Computer Science Education Week

Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) is an annual program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science.

Originally conceived by the Computing in the Core coalition,® is producing CSEdWeek for the first time this year, held in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).

Learn more:

Computer Science Education Week 2015

Hour of Code challenge

During Computer Science Education Week from December 9 to December 15, 2013, launched the “Hour of Code Challenge” on its website to teach computer science to school students, enticing them to complete short programming tutorials. The challenge involved getting people to write short snippets of code to achieve pre-specified goals using Blockly, a visual programming language of a similar flavor as Logo. The initiative had been announced about two months in advance. At the time of launch, the initiative was supported by United States President Barack Obama as well as leaders of many technology companies such as Microsoft and Apple Inc.. About two weeks later, it was announced that over 20 million people had participated and over 600 million lines of code had been written as part of the challenge.



“I’m proud to join the students, teachers, businesses, and non-profit organizations taking big new steps to support computer science in America’s schools. Learning these skills isn’t just important for your future – it’s important for our country’s future. If we want America to stay on the cutting edge, we need young Americans like you to master the tools and technology that will change the way we do just about everything.”

President Obama, December 2013, on Computer Science Education Week

Computer Science Education Week – Facebook

Computer Science Education Week – Twitter

Computer Science Education Week
December 7-13, 2015


Hack for good not evil
Hack for good not evil




California FAIR Education Act

LGBT US stars & rainbow stripsFAIR Education Act

Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act, also known as the FAIR Education Act (Senate Bill 48) and informally described by media outlets as the LGBT History Bill, is a California law which compels the inclusion of the political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people into educational textbooks and the social studies curricula in California public schools by amending the California Education Code. It also revises the previous designation of “black Americans, American Indians, Mexicans, Asians, [and] Pacific Island people” in that list into “Native AmericansAfrican AmericansMexican AmericansAsian AmericansPacific Islanders, and European Americans“. It would also amend an existing law by adding sexual orientation and religion into a list of characteristics (which already includes raceethnicitynationalitygender, and disability) that schools are prohibited from sponsoring negative activities about or teaching students about in an adverse way.

In particular, according to chief author Sen. Mark Leno, it “ensures that the historical contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are accurately and fairly portrayed in instructional materials by adding LGBT people to the existing list of under-represented cultural and ethnic groups already included in the state’s inclusionary education requirements.”

The bill was introduced into the Senate on December 13, 2010, and was finally passed 23-14 on April 14, 2011. The bill was then passed by the Assembly on July 5 by a vote of 49-25. Governor Jerry Brown (D), who has historically opposed Proposition 8 and has generally supported LGBT rights in the state, signed the bill into law on July 14. Governor Brown said however that state textbooks probably would not be updated to reflect the requirements of the law until 2015.

It is supported by the GSA Network and Equality California, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights welcomed its ratification into law. The California Teachers Association’s President Dean Vogel stated, “We believe that curricula should address the common values of the society, promote respect for diversity and cooperation, and prepare students to compete in, and cope with a complex and rapidly evolving society. SB 48 does that by helping to ensure that curricular materials include the contributions of persons with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans to the development of California and United States.”

It is opposed by the state Republican Party and socially conservative organizations. A conservative group called Stop SB 48 is collecting signatures to place a referendum on the June 2012 statewide ballot. If successful, SB 48 would be repealed. LGBT rights groups fear that it will be difficult to defend the law if it were to go to a popular vote. It is notable that the law does not include an opt-out option for parents who do not wish to have their children learn about LGBT topics in school.

In October, 2011, the group failed to collect enough signatures for the issue to be placed on a referendum in June 2012.

For more:


LGBT law: Educators work to make history more inclusive

11/08/2015  By Jennifer Modenessi jmodenessi –
ORINDA — When Miramonte High School social studies teacher Elizabeth Aracic teaches Civil War history, she makes a point of giving her students a wide-angle look at the country’s deadliest war.
Answering legislation that seeks to make history more inclusive, Aracic explains to high school juniors that it wasn’t just men on the battlefield. Women dressed in men’s clothing and fought too, with some continuing to live as men long after the fighting was over.
The lesson and others being crafted and taught across Bay Area public schools are in direct response to the FAIR Education Act, which requires California public schools to provide fair, accurate, inclusive and respectful representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in K-12 history and social studies curriculums. Studying the contributions of people with disabilities is also part of the mandate.

But progress in implementing the law has been uneven since it took effect nearly four years ago. While some districts started incorporating Senate Bill 48 shortly after Gov. Jerry Brown signed it into law, many educators are still trying to develop suitable lesson plans after the state left implementation up to local schools — with little guidance and no funding.

In the South Bay, the San Jose Unified School District added LGBT issues to world history and U.S. history courses, which students generally take in the 10th and 11th grades. A districtwide team of social studies teachers there spent several days creating topics to embed in the courses, said Assistant Superintendent Jason Willis.

Educators in the Acalanes Union High School District — which oversees some schools in central Contra Costa County — created an online resource for instructional materials, such as speeches and newspaper articles within months of the law’s passage.

While proactive teachers are moving forward with creative ways to comply with the law, others are waiting for new state educational guidelines next year before diving in.

At the Oakland Unified School District, compliance is a work in progress, said spokesman Troy Flint.

“We’re working from an older curriculum that predates the passage of the FAIR Act,” Flynt said. “We’re not where we’d like to be.”

For more:


Famous Firsts by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Americans

The first transgendered mayor, gay judge, and lesbian Olympic gold medalist

LGBT Firsts: Government

  • Local elected lesbian official: Kathy Kozachenko, 1974, Ann Arbor City Council, Mich.
  • Local elected gay official: Harvey Milk, 1977, San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
  • Lesbian state elected official: Elaine Noble, 1974, Massachusetts legislature.
  • Gay state elected official: Allan Spear, 1976, Minnesota Senate.
  • Gay mayor of state capital: David Cicilline, Providence, R.I., 2002–2010.
  • Gay mayor of large (population over 500,000) city: Sam Adams, 2008, Portland, Ore.
  • Lesbian mayor of major (population over 1 million) city: Annise Parker, 2009, Houston, Tex.
  • Transgender elected mayor: Stu Rasmussen, 2008, Silverton Ore.
  • Gay U.S. Representative: Gerry Studds became a Congressman from Massachusetts in 1973 and was reelected eleven more times. His 1984 reelection made him the first openly gay U.S. Representative elected to office.
  • Lesbian U.S. RepresentativeTammy Baldwin became both the first female member of the House and the first gay non-incumbent elected to Congress in 1998.

LGBT Firsts: Law

  • Lesbian federal judge: Deborah A. Batts, 1994.
  • Gay federal judge: J. Paul Oetken, 2011.
  • Gay state supreme court judge: Rives Kistler, 2003, Oregon Supreme Court.
  • Lesbian state supreme court judge: Virginia Linder, 2007, Oregon Supreme Court.
  • Gay judge: Stephen Lachs, 1979, Los Angeles superior court.
  • Lesbian judge: Mary Morgan, 1981, San Francisco municipal court.
  • Transgender judge: Victoria Kolakowski, 2010, Alameda County (Calif.) superior court.

LGBT Firsts: Diplomacy

  • Gay U.S. Ambassador: James C. Hormel, 1999, to Luxembourg.

LGBT Firsts: Scholarship 

  • Lesbian Rhodes Scholar: Rachel Maddow, 2001.

For the entire list:


 White House – LGBT

LGBT Democrats Facebook

sml LGBT flag

US LGBT Rights Timeline 1903-2016  ( Civil Rights Timelines ™)

Forward For Equality_sml

FLOTUS Michelle Travels to Qatar & Jordan

Around the world 62 million girls are not in school. Millions more are fighting to stay there. Let Girls Learn is a new effort by the United States Government, and led by USAID, to provide the public with meaningful ways to help all girls to get a quality education. In support of the effort, USAID also announced over $230 million for new programs to support education around the world.  Then, even if they can reach a school, they may not have the trained teachers, adequate materials, or support they need to learn to read, write, and do basic math. Recent events in Nigeria focused the world’s concern on their plight. It’s time to Let Girls Learn.

Let Girls Learn is an effort by the United States Government to provide the public with meaningful ways to help all girls to get a quality education. It is led by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the lead U.S. Government Agency working to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies. In support of the effort, USAID also announced $231.6 million for new programs to support primary and secondary education and safe learning in Nigeria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Jordan, as well as support for Guatemala’s ongoing, successful efforts to improve quality of education for under-served populations.


When girls are educated, their families are healthier and they have more opportunities to generate income in adulthood. An educated girl has a ripple effect:

On Her Family:

  • One more year of education increases a woman’s income by up to 25 percent.
  • A girl who has a basic education is three times less likely to contract HIV.
  • Children born to educated mothers are twice as likely to survive past the age of 5.

On Society:

  • If all women in sub-Saharan Africa had a secondary education, 1.8 million lives would be saved each year.
  • Simulations using data from women farmers in Kenya suggest that crop yields could increase by 25 percent if all that country’s girls attended primary school.
  • After looking at 100 countries, the World Bank found that increasing the share of women with a secondary education by 1 percent boosts annual per capita income growth by 0.3 percentage points.
  • Countries where women hold more than 30 percent of seats in political bodies are more inclusive, egalitarian and democratic.


Learn what organizations around the world are doing
to help girls learn and how you can help .


An educated girl has a ripple effect. Explore how giving a girl the tools to learn can
impact families, communities, and the world – for generations.


Tell us about the creative and inspiring ways you are working to help educate

girls on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: #LetGirlsLearn.

Let Girls Learn Peace Corps initiative

Let Girls Learn: Fact Sheet


8/26/14 FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Record for Women and Girls

11/13/14 Expanding Opportunity and Addressing Unique Challenges Facing Women and Girls of Color

1/16/15 Front and Center: Bringing Marginalized Girls into Focus in STEM and CTE Education

White House Council on Women and Girls

November 1-7, 2015 First Lady Michelle Obama visits Doha, Qatar and Amman, Jordan
November 1-7, 2015 First Lady Michelle Obama visits Doha, Qatar and Amman, Jordan

First Lady Michelle Obama to Travel to the State of Qatar and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

As part of the Let Girls Learn initiative, the First Lady will make stops in Doha and Amman; the First Lady will also visit US military service members stationed at Al Udeid Air Base as part of the Joining Forces initiative

As part of Let Girls Learn, the First Lady will visit Doha, Qatar and Amman, Jordan from November 1-7, 2015.

In Doha, Mrs. Obama will deliver remarks at the 2015 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), addressing an audience of education leaders from the region and around the world about global girls’ education and the Let Girls Learn initiative.  Since 2009, WISE has brought together leaders annually to explore concrete steps to improve education worldwide.

As part of the Joining Forces initiative, Mrs. Obama will also visit service members stationed at Al Udeid Air Base.

For the entire article:



First Lady Michelle Obama Travel Itinerary

Doha, Qatar 

First Lady Michelle Obama visits service members stationed at Al Udeid Air Base
Doha, Qatar

First Lady, Michelle Obama visits HH the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani
The Diwan, Doha, Qatar

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at the 2015 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE)
Doha, Qatar

First Lady Michelle Obama attends the 2015 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) Roundtable
Doha, Qatar

First Lady Michelle Obama visits with Embassy staff
Doha, Qatar

Amman, Jordan (First Lady Michelle Obama headed home from the Middle East two days early after being grounded by 36 hours by a brutal sandstorm)

First Lady Michelle Obama participates in official meetings
Amman, Jordan

First Lady Michelle Obama visits a school constructed with USAID funding and technical support
Amman, Jordan

First Lady Michelle Obama meets with adolescent girls attending the school
Amman, Jordan

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks and commends Jordan for its generosity and commitment to educating all children living within its ‎borders.
Amman, Jordan

First Lady Michelle Obama visits with Embassy staff
Amman, Jordan

First Lady Michelle Obama visits the historical and archaeological city of Petra that is famous for its rock-cut architecture
Ma’an Governorate, Jordan


November 1-7, 2015
First Lady Michelle Obama
Travels to the State of Qatar and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan



White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics


On Oct. 19, 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order 13555, renewing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. This commitment demonstrated the President’s strong support for the critical role Hispanics play in the overall prosperity of the nation and highlights the administration’s commitment to expanding educational opportunities and improving educational outcomes for all students. The Initiative’s Second Term Action Plan 2013-2016 outlines our strategic direction and key priorities during President Obama’s second term, consistent with the Executive Order.

For more:

Little Rock Nine – 58th Anniversary

 Photograph shows a group of people, one holding a Confederate flag, surrounding speakers and National Guard, protesting the admission of the

Photograph shows a group of people, one holding a Confederate flag, surrounding speakers and National Guard, protesting the admission of the “Little Rock Nine” to Central High School. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA – Photo Credit: John T. Bledsoe

Little Rock Nine were a group of African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Their enrollment was followed by the Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas. They then attended after the intervention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic Brown v. Board of Education of TopekaKansas, 347 U.S. 483, on May 17, 1954. The decision declared all laws establishing segregated schools to be unconstitutional, and it called for the desegregation of all schools throughout the nation. After the decision, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) attempted to register black students in previously all-white schools in cities throughout the South. In Little Rock, the capital city of Arkansas, the Little Rock School Board agreed to comply with the high court’s ruling. Virgil Blossom, the Superintendent of Schools, submitted a plan of gradual integration to the school board on May 24, 1955, which the board unanimously approved. The plan would be implemented during the fall of the 1957 school year, which would begin in September 1957. By 1957, the NAACP had registered nine black students to attend the previously all-white Little Rock Central High, selected on the criteria of excellent grades and attendance. The nicknamed “Little Rock Nine” consisted of Ernest Green (b. 1941), Elizabeth Eckford (b. 1941), Jefferson Thomas(1942–2010), Terrence Roberts (b. 1941), Carlotta Walls LaNier (b. 1942), Minnijean Brown (b. 1941), Gloria Ray Karlmark (b. 1942), Thelma Mothershed (b. 1940), and Melba Pattillo Beals (b. 1941). Ernest Green was the first African American to graduate from Central High School.

The Blossom Plan

One of the plans created during attempts to desegregate the schools of Little Rock was by school superintendent Virgil Blossom. The initial approach proposed substantial integration beginning quickly and extending to all grades within a matter of many years. This original proposal was scrapped and replaced with one that more closely met a set of minimum standards worked out in attorney Richard B. McCulloch’s brief. This finalized plan would start in September 1957 and would integrate one high school, Little Rock Central. The second phase of the plan would take place in 1960 and would open up a few junior high schools to a few black children. The final stage would involve limited desegregation of the city’s grade schools at an unspecified time, possibly as late as 1963.

This plan was met with varied reactions from the NAACP branch of Little Rock. Militant members like the Bateses opposed the plan on the grounds that it was “vague, indefinite, slow-moving and indicative of an intent to stall further on public integration.” Despite this view, the majority, most feeling that Blossom and the school board should have the chance to prove themselves, that the plan was reasonable, and that the white community would accept it, accepted the plan.

This view was short lived, however. Changes were made to the plan, the most detrimental being a new transfer system that would allow students to move out of the attendance zone to which they were assigned. The unaltered Blossom Plan had gerrymandered school districts to guarantee a black majority at Horace Mann High and a white majority at Hall High. This meant that, even though black students lived closer to Central, they would be placed in Horace Mann thus confirming the intention of the school board to limit the impact of desegregation. The altered plan gave white students the choice of not attending Horace Mann, but didn’t give black students the option of attending Hall. This new Blossom Plan did not sit well with the NAACP and after failed negotiations with the school board; the NAACP filed a lawsuit on February 8, 1956.

This lawsuit, along with a number of other factors contributed to the Little Rock School Crisis of 1957.

For more:

.Little Rock Nine

Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine

America’s College Promise Act

PBO w: college graduates

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: .

Remarks by the President on America’s College Promise

Pellissippi State Community College Knoxville, Tennessee


“… 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: 1/9/15 FACT SHEET – White House Unveils America’s College Promise Proposal: Tuition-Free Community College for Responsible Students



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.
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