Posts Tagged ‘ President Barack Obama ’

Obama Administration Announces New Youth Fitness Program

Monday, September 17th, 2012

The Obama administration is phasing out a test of youth fitness that dates back to 1966, replacing it with a fitness screening that it hopes will minimize comparisons and competition between children and instead encourages positive fitness experiences that will lead to lifelong health.

The Presidential Youth Fitness Program will replace the long-practiced Youth Fitness Test, and it will feature awards and ways to recognize students’ progress in physical fitness activities.  The new program was developed by The Cooper Institute, which is a nonprofit organization, and it will become the standard in American public schools for the 2013-2014 school year.

Image: Child on playground, via Shutterstock.

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Obama Campaign Launches ‘Parents For Obama’ Website

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

This post was written by Parents Deputy Editor Diane Debrovner.

Obama for America has introduced Parents for Obama, a new website and organizing tool to help tell President Obama’s story to mothers and fathers. The site outlines his past accomplishments for families—including stats and facts about health care, education, tax cuts, and the environment—along with blog posts from parents about why they are a Parent for Obama.

Parents for Obama also introduced a new video from the First Lady about what it’s like to be a parent in the White House and why she and the President are fighting for parents and families in this election.

Parents can use the site’s Dashboard tool to get involved with the campaign, and to connect with other parents in their community or around the country. There are opportunities to host a house party, attend local events, and make calls to discuss the issues with undecided voters. The campaign appreciates the fact that many moms are still undecided, and that they are looking to other women like them in order to decide how to vote in November.

Be sure to follow our own three Moms Decide guest bloggers, who will be offering their diverse views on the election and the issues that matter most to them and their families.

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Obama Administration Clarifies Birth Control Policy

Monday, March 19th, 2012

The new rule that mandates health insurance plans to cover contraceptive medication will apply to health plans offered by religious organizations, Obama administrations clarified late last week.  The announcement clarified an earlier statement that an “accommodation” would be offered to religious groups who object to funding birth control medication on the basis of their faiths.

The New York Times reports that Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said that the government would guarantee women access to birth control “while accommodating religious liberty interests:”

The new proposal escalates the election-year fight over the administration’s birth control policy.

President Obama had previously announced what he described as an “accommodation” for religiously affiliated organizations that buy commercial insurance but object, for religious reasons, to covering contraceptives and sterilization procedures. In these cases, the White House said, the insurer “will be required to provide contraception coverage to women free of charge.”

On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services went a step further and said it would propose a similar requirement for group health plans sponsored by religious organizations that insure themselves.

Sebelius said that in lieu of the religious institutions paying for the contraceptives, pharmaceutical companies could offer substantial rebates to allow the faith-based groups to provide the medication without funding it themselves.

Image: Birth control pills, via Shutterstock.

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Obama Frees 10 States from No Child Left Behind

Friday, February 10th, 2012

President Obama announced Thursday that he has granted waivers to ten states, releasing them from the tough requirements of No Child Left Behind, the 2001 education reform law.

These states—Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, New Jersey, and Tennessee—are now free to pursue their own plans for raising educational standards.

No Child Left Behind has been unpopular for many reasons, including the fact that it uses yearly standardized tests to evaluate students; educators complain this has led to “teaching to the test.” States also say the law is unrealistic for requiring that all students reach proficiency in reading and math by 2014. From The Associated Press:

The states excused from following the law no longer have to meet that deadline. Instead, they had to put forward plans showing they will prepare children for college and careers, set new targets for improving achievement among all students, reward the best performing schools and focus help on the ones doing the worst.

New Mexico applied for waiver in this round, and didn’t receive one, but is working with the administration to get eventual approval. Twenty-eight other states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have said they also plan to apply for waivers. No Child Left Behind has been up for renewal since 2007, but Congress has been unable to agree on how to update the law.

Readers, what do you think: Are these waivers the right step to help schools?

Image: Teacher and student at blackboard via Shutterstock

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Obamas Share New Family Picture

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The First Family sat for an official family photograph this week–the first such photo taken since 2009.  The family took the photo “because the girls have grown up so much since then,” a White House press spokesperson said in an email to reporters.

The portrait of President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters Malia and Sasha was taken in the Oval Office last Sunday after the family attended church.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

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