Tag Archives: department

President Obama Announces Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge

Posted by: Audiegrl


The White House and the Department of Education have announced a new Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge and are inviting public schools across the country to compete to have President Obama speak at their graduation. At the beginning of the school year, the President encouraged students across the country to take responsibility for their education, study hard and graduate from high school. The Race to the Top High School Commencement challenge encourages schools to show how they are making great strides on personal responsibility, academic excellence and college readiness.

Applications must be completed by students and submitted by a high school’s Principal using the Commencement Challenge Application Form no later than Monday, March 15th at 11:59 pm EST. Each school may submit only one application and high schools must be public to apply. Following the application deadline, six finalists will be selected by the White House and Department of Education. These schools will then be featured on the White House website and the public will have an opportunity to vote for the three schools they think best meet the President’s goal. The President will select a national winner from these three finalists and visit the winning high school to deliver the commencement address to the class of 2010.

The application’s four essay questions focus on demonstrating how the school is helping prepare students to meet the President’s 2020 goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. Applications will be judged based on the school’s performance and dedication to providing students an excellent education that will prepare them to graduate ready for college and career choices. Each question must be answered in full to qualify and data that substantiates each answer is strongly encouraged.

In addition to the required essay responses, applicants are invited to submit the following optional supplemental materials:

  • A video — no more than 2 minutes in length — showing the school’s culture and character and highlighting how it is a model of educational success for other high schools around the country.
  • Supplemental data on key indicators such as attendance, student achievement, graduation rates and where available, college enrollment rates. This data may be presented in the form of tables, graphs or spreadsheets and should be used to help the school make the most compelling arguments possible.

Please use the Commencement Challenge Application Form to apply.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Change, Children, Culture, Education, History, Media and Entertainment, News, Politics, Pop Culture, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Students, Teachers, Video/YouTube, Young Men, Young Women

First Lady Michelle Obama Visits the Department of Commerce

Posted by: Audiegrl

The focus of this administration has always been but it really will be in this year on job creation

Remarks by the First Lady: Hey! (Applause.) All right, so who would have thought that the Department of Commerce was so happening? (Laughter.) You guys are alive. There’s energy here. Thank you. I am thrilled to be here. It is exciting for me to come and see you. I’ve been planning to come for a little bit, but now I’m here.

I want to thank your dear Secretary, Secretary Locke, for that kind introduction and for his outstanding work for this Department. And I want to take this moment to wish him a happy birthday, yes — (applause) — as a fellow Capricorn, right — (laughter) — that’s what you are, that’s what it is, yes. And he doesn’t look a day over 30, 35, right? (Laughter and applause.) Whatever the number, my husband and I wish you a happy birthday, and we are so proud of the work that you’re doing here at the Department of Commerce.

You didn’t exactly start this job at a quiet time for the agency, right? From the economic challenges that we face, to the challenge of conducting our census, which I know many of you are involved in — let’s hear it for the census people — (applause) — I think that it’s fair to say that your Secretary has had a pretty busy year. But he’s risen to the occasion, leading by example, calling on more than 50,000 employees of this Department to give their jobs everything they’ve got. And it feels like, in here, that you all are doing just that. Am I right? (Applause.)

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Filed under Commerce, Economy, Gary F. Locke (Sec of Commerce), Uncategorized

First Lady Michelle Obama Visits the Department of Labor

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama stopped by the Department of Labor today to that the federal employees for the job they are doing. Before leaving, she also stopped by the Day Care Center, and entertained the children by reading “Green Eggs, and Ham”.

Remarks by The First Lady During Visit to the Department of Labor, click here to read the full transcript.

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Filed under Children, First Lady Michelle Obama, Hilda Solis (Sec of Labor), Uncategorized

Senator Arlen Specter Announces Support for Stalled Justice Department Nominee Dawn Johnsen

Posted by: Audiegrl

ThinkProgress/Amanda Terkel~Last year, President Obama nominated Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel, which, during the Bush administration, sanctioned torture. Johnsen, however, was an outspoken critic of the so-called “torture memos.” Conservatives blocked her nomination, and the White House has said that it plans to renominate her when the Senate officially reconvenes later this month. Even after he became a Democrat, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter said that he opposed Johnsen’s nomination. However, today his office released a statement in which Specter says that he will now support her:

After voting ‘pass’ (which means no position) in the Judiciary Committee, I had a second extensive meeting with Ms. Johnsen and have been prepared to support her nomination when it reaches the Senate floor.

Spencer Ackerman notes that Republican Sen. Dick Lugar (IN) has also said he is standing by his support for Johnsen, meaning she has the 60 votes necessary to be confirmed.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Cabinet, Democrats, Government, Law, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Republicans, Senate

$100 Million More for Green Grants Out the Door



Posted by: Audiegrl

white house gov logoIn the new video below, Labor Secretary Solis announces $100 million in green jobs training grants. These grants are part of a larger Recovery Act initiative — totaling $500 million — to prepare workers for careers in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. It’s well understood how much of a win-win these investments are, providing some of the most immediate job-creation opportunities around and producing a more energy-efficient America for the long term.

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In case you missed it, see the Vice President’s memo to the President on how the foundation for a new clean energy economy has been laid during the last year. Also check out the Labor Department’s new green jobs page.

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Filed under Agencies, Alternative Energy, Barack Obama, Cabinet, Economy, Energy, Government, Green, Green Energy, Green Jobs, Hilda Solis (Sec of Labor), Inovation, Jobs, Labor, Media and Entertainment, Obama Administration, Politics, Presidents, Solar Power, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

President Obama Appoints Amanda Simpson, First Transgender Woman To Commerce Post

Posted by Audiegrl

Amanda Simpson, Senior Technical Adviser to the Commerce Department

Amanda Simpson, Senior Technical Adviser to the Commerce Department

HP/Nick Wing—President Obama has appointed Amanda Simpson, a transgender woman, to be the Senior Technical Adviser to the Commerce Department.

I’m truly honored to have received this appointment and am eager and excited about this opportunity that is before me,” Simpson said in a statement. “As one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds, and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others.

Simpson — a former test pilot and 2004 YWCA “Woman On The Move” — has been active in the aerospace and defense industry for the past 30 years. She most recently served as Deputy Director in Advanced Technology Development for Raytheon, where she transitioned from male to female.

In the past decade, Simpson has been highly active in GLBT issues. In 2005, she successfully worked to have Raytheon adopt gender identity into its Equal Employment Opportunity Policy. That same year, she ran unsuccessfully for the Arizona House of Representatives.

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Feds to Issue New Medical Marijuana Policy

AP/—Federal drug agents won’t pursue pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers in states that allow medical marijuana, under new legal guidelines to be issued Monday by the Obama administration.

Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law.

The guidelines to be issued by the department do, however, make it clear that agents will go after people whose marijuana distribution goes beyond what is permitted under state law or use medical marijuana as a cover for other crimes, the officials said.

The new policy is a significant departure from the Bush administration, which insisted it would continue to enforce federal anti-pot laws regardless of state codes.

Fourteen states allow some use of marijuana for medical purposes: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

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