Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Promises about Education on The Obameter

Expand service-learning in schools

Will tie a plan to give schools a substantial infusion of funds to support teachers and principals and improve student learning to the condition that school districts develop programs to engage students in service opportunities. "Obama and Biden believe that middle and high school students should be expected to engage in community service for 50 hours annually during the school year or summer months. They will develop national guidelines for service-learning and community service programs, and will give schools better tools both to develop successful programs and to document the experience of students at all levels. They will encourage programs that engage with community partners to expand opportunities for community service and service-learning opportunities, so that students can apply what they learn in the classroom to authentic situations that help the community. These programs will also involve citizens from the community engaging students in service opportunities through the Classroom Corps."

Expand the YouthBuild program, a youth education and housing program.

"Will work with YouthBuild to grow from 8,000 slots today to 50,000 slots over the next eight years in order to meet the demand from young people and communities for this valuable program." YouthBuild programs allow low-income young people to work toward their GED or high school diploma while they build housing for low-income people.

Encourage more public service by college students

Under the current federal work-study program - which provides nearly $1 billion dollars a year to about 3,400 colleges and universities to subsidize part-time jobs for students - at least 7 percent of that funding is supposed to go to community service jobs like tutoring. Obama believes we need to raise the service threshold to 25 percent "so that more students can afford to engage in public service. This will help more than 200,000 college students a year complete part-time public service while they are in school. Obama ... will work to help colleges and universities reach the goal of 50 percent in serve-study advanced by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and by General Colin Powell as the chair of America's Promise."

Improve and prioritize student science assessments

"Will work with governors and educators to ensure that state assessments measure…a student's higher order thinking skills including inference, logic, data analysis, interpretation, forming questions and communicating these skills."

Attract more students to science and math

"Will improve science and math education in K through 12, to prepare more students for these studies in college. They will work to increase our number of science and engineering graduates and encourage undergraduates studying math and science to pursue graduate studies. They will also work to increase the representation of minorities and women in the science and technology pipeline, tapping the diversity of America to meet the increasing demand for a skilled workforce. The challenges of the 21st century can only be met by combining many skills from people with many backgrounds."

Promote lifelong retraining

"Will reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act, and increase resources for community colleges and lifelong learning initiatives to ensure our citizens can continue to gain new skills throughout their lifetimes. ... Will also modernize and expand the existing system of trade adjustment assistance to include workers hurt by changing trade patterns. They will also create flexible education accounts that workers can use to retrain. And they will expand and fully fund apprenticeship programs to help workers get credentials and skills in crafts that reward that investment with a middle class income and benefits."

Create a Presidential Early Learning Council

"I will create a Presidential Early Learning Council to coordinate this effort (early childhood education) across all levels of government and ensure that we're providing these children and families with the highest-quality programs."

Launch a Children's First Agenda

"Obama will launch a Children's First Agenda that provides care, learning and support to families with children from birth up to 5 years old."

Increase funding for land-grant colleges

"Obama will increase research and educational funding for land-grant colleges."

Lead the world in college graduates by 2020

"He set a goal to lead the world in college graduates by 2020, and cut the growth of college tuition and fees in half over the next 10 years, a goal that will save the typical student thousands of dollars a year, and proposed bringing together community colleges and businesses to train 2 million Americans for good jobs that actually exist now and are waiting to be filled."

Cut the growth of college tuition and fees in half over the next 10 years

"He set a goal to lead the world in college graduates by 2020, and cut the growth of college tuition and fees in half over the next 10 years, a goal that will save the typical student thousands of dollars a year, and proposed bringing together community colleges and businesses to train 2 million Americans for good jobs that actually exist now and are waiting to be filled."

Reduce federal aid to colleges that don't keep costs down

"I've told Congress, let's steer federal aid to schools that are doing a good job keeping tuition affordable and provide good value and serve their students well. If you're getting federal student loans -- colleges and universities -- you shouldn't just be loading up a whole bunch of debt on your students. You've got to figure out how are you working to make sure that they can afford their education."

Offer states waivers to No Child Left Behind if they meet requirements

"The President will offer states committed to reform relief from the worst mandates of No Child Left Behind like incentives to teach to the test so they can craft local solutions."

Extend the American Opportunity Tax Credit

I’ve said I want to extend the college tax credit that my administration created so more families can save up to $10,000 on their tuition over four years.