President Obama Worked to Improve the State of Education and Increase Educational Opportunities

After eight years of a president and a ruling political party (the GOP) with seeming disdain for education and teachers and a lot of neglect of the educational system, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama came in like a breath of fresh air. They saw many of the problems with the educational system and they were willing to view education spending as an investment, something that Republicans seem unable to do. As a result, while there is still a lot to do, the educational systems in many places are starting to rebound.

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, President Obama and Democrats invested heavily in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education.

President Obama created the Race to the Top program, which encouraged states to come up with effective school reforms and rewards the best of them.

The Obama Administration oversaw major expansion of broadband availability in K-12 schools nationwide.

The Obama Administration oversaw major expansion in school construction, thus have the added effect of creating jobs.

President Obama crafted an executive order to expand recognition and funding for historically black colleges and universities.

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, President Obama and Democrats infused early education, including Head Start, with $5 billion additional.

President Obama and Democrats, against the opposition of numerous Republicans, passed the Post-9/11 GI Bill, also known as GI Bill 2.0, to improve veterans’ access to education.

The Obama Administration and Democrats in general guided a major expansion of the Pell Grants program, to expand opportunity for low and middle income students to go to college without burdening them with huge levels of debt.

President Obama signed and implemented the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which provided an extra $12.2 billion in funds to assist students with disabilities.

The Obama Administration and Democrats embarked on major new steps to protect students from ineffective for-profit colleges through “gainful employment” measures. That means, in order to get federal aid, such schools must be able to demonstrate that students actually find gainful employment following graduation.

President Obama and Democrats repeatedly increased funding for student financial aid.

President Obama and Democrats cut the banks completely out of the student loan process, in the process saving money and creating greater accountability. Meanwhile, Republicans blocked numerous attempts by Democrats and President Obama to reduce interest rates on student loans.

President Obama and Democrats created a rating system for colleges, so those applying for student financial aid have a better idea what they’re paying for.

President Obama led a rare bipartisan effort to reform the federal approach to education, resulting in the repeal of the Bush era “No Child Left Behind” law.

High School graduation rates soared under President Obama, in part because they are less beholden to standardized tests.


President Obama Restored an Adult View on Science and Technology

It is no longer a secret that Republicans have a tenuous relationship with facts, which is why they de-emphasized science when they were in charge earlier this century. Not only did Republicans deny the existence of climate change and global warming, as well as the existence of evolution in favor of the fable of creationism, but they also tried to deny the reality that fossil fuels are in finite supply and they pollute everything around us and put the entire planet in peril. President Obama spent eight years trying to bring science back into public favor, not just in the educational system, but in the government and the politics. Those on the right and the left who claim that “both parties are the same” are missing this major difference.

President Obama wrote a Presidential Memorandum to restore scientific integrity in government decision-making.

President Obama opened up the process and made it possible to fast-track patent approval for green energy projects.

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, President Obama and Democrats committed more federal funding, about $18 billion, to support non-defense science and research labs.

The Obama EPA reversed research ethics standards which allowed humans to be used as “guinea pigs” in tests of the effects of chemicals, to comply with numerous codes of medical ethics.

One of the first things President Obama did was to conducted a cyberspace policy review.

The Obama Administration and Democrats provided increased financial support for private sector space programs.

The Obama Administration oversaw enhanced earth mapping, in order to provide valuable data for use in agricultural, educational, scientific, and government areas.

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, President Obama and the Democrats appropriated more than $500 million for Health Professions Training Programs.

The Obama Administration increased funding for community-based illness and injury prevention programs.

The Obama Administration and Democrats expanded space exploration and discovery options to include more players.

Through the Connect America Fund, President Obama pushed through and received FCC approval for a USF reform, including a transfer of $8 billion in subsidies form landline phone funding to programs to assist lower-income rural families in accessing broadband.

In the wake of the West Fertilizer tragedy in Texas, President Obama formed the Chemical Safety and Security Working Group, to develop measures to prevent other such events.

President Obama and Democrats established a Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center, a recommendation originally made by the 9/11 Commission but never acted on by Republicans, to coordinate efforts to fight cyber-crime and terrorism.

The Obama FCC, with his leadership, adopted strong net neutrality rules, to keep the Internet open and equal for everyone.

The Obama Administration ordered rules to speed up deployment of a more comprehensive broadband infrastructure.

President Obama established a National Strategic Computing Initiative, to “maximize benefits of high-performance computing (HPC) research, development, and deployment.”

The Obama Administration order significant changes in national earthquake standards at the federal level.

President Obama signed executive orders designed to strengthen government cybersecurity and prevent hackers from getting in.

The Obama Administration took steps to combat the effects of climate change by committing the U.S. to developing long-term drought resilience measures.

President Obama began the process to greater exploration of space by signing bill to encourage mining on asteroids and clarifying property rights in space.

President Obama officially joined the Paris Climate Accords, thus strengthening the effort and making it a more powerful commitment to climate change.

President Obama took steps to relieve the effects of the California drought.

President Obama began the process of fixing the Flint water crisis, which was caused by Republican incompetence and greed.

President Obama established rules designed to improve science and technology research and development.

President Obama signed the WIIN Act, which improves the country’s water infrastructure and which also protects the nation’s water supply to a greater degree.

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