Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

Did you know that women make up nearly 50 percent of the American workforce, and in almost two thirds of American families women are the primary or co-breadwinner. But even in 2010, women only earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, and women are still underrepresented in the highest levels of management.

Here are just a few of the important steps the Obama Administration has taken to help support women throughout their education and careers:

Train and educate women for quality jobs. The President has focused on opportunities for training and educating all Americans for the jobs of the future. For example, women, who make up the vast majority of nurses and about half of all medical school enrollees, will benefit from the $320 million in healthcare workforce development grants in the Affordable Care Act.

Promote economic expansion and job growth for women. Under the Recovery Act, nearly 12,000 SBA loans have been made to women-owned small businesses, helping to get much needed capital into the hands of women entrepreneurs.

Support working women at home and in their jobs. Through the Recovery Act’s Make Work Pay tax credit, 74 million American women had an average of $600 more in their pocketbooks in 2009. In addition, the President proposed nearly doubling the Child and Dependant Care Tax Credit for middle class Americans. The President is committed to equal pay for women; in fact the first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Support women in retirement and between jobs. From July 2008 to August 2010, 6.9 million women and their families were helped by the extension of unemployment insurance. Social Security plays a vital role for retired women who make up 58 percent of all beneficiaries, and President Obama is committed to strengthening and protecting it.

Amplify’d from

Women are a growing share of our workforce, our entrepreneurs, and our innovators. As the majority of college graduates and nearly 50 percent of the workforce, women are in the position to drive our 21st century economy. Women are an increasing share of breadwinners for their families. In almost two thirds of American families, women are either the primary or co-breadwinner. 

The fact is that women also face a number of longer-term challenges to workforce participation including the wage gap and female underrepresentation in higher levels of management. Further, specific groups of women including single mothers, retirees and minorities face additional challenges.

The NEC report outlines the economic landscape for women today and details many of the ways the Obama Administration is committed to strengthening America’s economy and providing opportunities for women across the country.  The Administration has implemented and proposed policies that form a comprehensive plan to support women at all stages of their education and careers. For example, we have a number of polices that focus on training and educating women to prepare them with the tools and education to compete in the workforce. In addition, women owned businesses have benefitted from the Obama Administration policies including tax credits through the Small Business Jobs Bill, the HIRE Act, the Recovery Act and the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund. 

For these reasons and many others, I am proud of this Administration’s efforts on behalf of women.  As you may know, the first bill signed by President Obama was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Shortly thereafter the President and this Administration appointed 2 women to the Supreme Court, strengthened Title IX and Equal Pay enforcement, and increased funding to help victims of domestic violence.  In my role as Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, we have strived to make sure that all of the President’s major initiatives have helped women – from the Recovery Act, to the Affordable Care Act, and Wall Street Reform.

We understand that times are tough and there are many challenges ahead.  But, we also know that together we can make a better future for the next generation of women.

Valerie Jarrett is Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls



President Obama’s blueprint for reworking the No Child Left Behind Education Act of 2002 has good ideas, but it doesn’t have anything close to the rigor that the word “blueprint” would suggest. Whether the president’s plan will strengthen or weaken the program will depend on how the administration fleshes out the missing details — and how Congress rewrites the law.

Teachers’ unions, state governments and other interest groups have long wanted to water down or kill off the provision of the law that requires the states to raise student performance — especially for poor and minority children — in exchange for federal money. They will likely gin up their lobbying. Congress must resist.

The current system designates schools as needing improvement if they miss progress targets. The Obama proposal calls for employing a new model that gives schools credit for improving student performance, even if the schools miss the targets. This, too, makes sense, as long as the improvement being rewarded is significant.

The new plan introduces a new element: giving financial rewards and greater flexibility to schools and districts that show large improvements in student learning. This would seem to be a sensible plan, as long as lawmakers understand that both incentives with federal money and punishments of federal sanctions are necessary to move school systems forward.

The most exciting section of the Obama proposal deals with new strategies for getting states to measure, develop and improve the effectiveness of teachers, principals and programs in teacher-preparation.

If Congress adopts the plan, states would be required to create new, fine-grained data systems that rate teachers and principals based in significant part on the performance of their students. These ratings could be used to reward strong educators, create training programs for newcomers, and assess the effectiveness of teacher-preparation programs.

Did you know that California ranks 49th out of 50 states where adult population has at least a high school education? This is seriously the worst news we as parents and grandparents could hear.

As of 2007, California ranked 14th in the nation in terms of college educated members of the workforce over 25 years of age, a drop from eighth place in 1981, according to the report.

What this says to me is that California’s education system is seriously flawed. I personally know children who are being pushed on to the next grade whether they are educationally ready to move on. The excuses I have heard are that we can’t keep the child behind because that would damage their self-esteem! What about their self-esteem when they leave school and can’t get a job because they can’t spell simple words, or read at an adult level? How is pushing our children through school without making sure they are educated helping them? It certainly seems that our education system in this state needs major overhaul. Cutting the education budget is simply not the way to go. While I am not in any way, shape or form political, I think that all of us Californians need to take a look at what is happening to the education system and make sure that our government knows how we feel. Even if you don’t have children in the school system, you should be paying attention.

To read more about President Obama’s Blueprint for Reform, click here. It is a fairly large pdf, and may take a moment to download for you, but it is worth reading.

The “Let’s Move” campaign, nearly a year in the making, is Mrs. Obama’s official debut in a high-profile policy role, and she has already lined up an array of partners in government, medicine, science, business, education and athletics who are pledging to work together to get children off their couches and consuming fresher, healthier food.

Mrs. Obama and child athletes

Professional athletes from 12 leagues, including football and baseball, have volunteered to promote the message of “60 Minutes of Play a Day” through public service announcements; media companies including the Walt Disney Company and NBC have pledged to broadcast them.

It is a fact that our children are getting heavier and having more health issues. Childhood obesity has tripled over the past 3 decades. Obesity is blamed for heart conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and even asthma. We as parents, and even grandparents, can help them lead more active lives. As Mrs. Obama said, “our children didn’t get this way by themselves.” “Our kids didn’t choose to make food products with tons of fat and sugar and supersize portions, and then to have those foods marketed to them wherever they turn.”

To kick off the campaign, President Obama signed an executive order to mandate what he called “optimal coordination” between federal agencies and departments, among them the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Labor and Health and Human Services, in support of the initiative.

For more on the “Let’s Move” campaign, see Let’s Move.