Nov 15, 2013, 10:58 am EDT
It might be a sign of the times. Under new federal educational guidelines, 45 states have halted efforts to teach cursive handwriting to students.
While cursive is out, typing is in under the new Common Core standards that are being adopted nationwide. However, the change isn’t sitting well with all teachers. In seven states, educators and lawmakers are opposing the shift away from cursive, UPI notes.
The idea that students would lose the ability to read cursive writing — in which many historical documents are written — has prompted a push to restore cursive instruction to schools in California, Indiana, Idaho, Ohio, Massachusetts, Maryland, Utah and Kansas. Read
Nov 15, 2013, 9:13 am EDT
Faced with falling poll numbers and a potential rebellion among congressional Democrats, on Thursday, President Barack Obama announced that he will permit a change to his Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At a news conference, the president said that Americans whose individual health insurance plans have been canceled because they did not meet ACA requirements can renew those plans for one more year. The president again conceded that the rollout of the new health insurance program — widely dubbed Obamacare — had been badly marred by technical glitches with the federal insurance exchange website, noting that he would “have to win back some credibility on the health care law” and other issues, the Associated Press reports.
The president’s change of heart on substandard insurance plans quickly encountered resistance from insurance providers. One industry trade group responded by noting that “changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers.” Similar sentiments were expressed by Louisiana’s Insurance Commissioner, who added that it was “unclear” whether the president’s new proposal could even be implemented now that insurers have already canceled the policies. Read
Nov 15, 2013, 8:00 am EDT
Comprehensive immigration reform will not happen this year, according to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Oh.
On Wednesday, Boehner repeated his opposition to a bill that the Senate passed earlier this year, saying “I’ll make clear we have no intention ever of going to conference on the Senate bill.” Last week, the third-ranking Republican in the House, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, told immigration reform advocates that there was not enough time for the House to take up the issue this year. There are 13 days of session left this year.
This comes despite Boehner’s previous statements that it was time for Congress to pass major reforms. President Barack Obama won re-election in part due to overwhelming support from Hispanic voters. However, despite the growing Hispanic voter bloc in the U.S., there are sharp splits within Boehner’s party on immigration. Read
Nov 14, 2013, 12:07 pm EDT
Two of President Barack Obama’s Secret Service officers are under probe for sexual misconduct.
The two officers were found to have sent sexually themed texts to a female agent. The two officers that sent the texts were Ignacio Zamora Jr. and Timothy Barraclough. Both Zamora and Barraclough were supervisors when the texts were discovered. Zamora has been removed from his position and Barraclough has been moved to a different position and is no longer a part of Obama’s guard. The texts came to light during an investigation involving Zamora, reports the Associated Press.
Zamora is a veteran of the Secret Service that has previously worked as the head of the detail that protected first lady Laura Bush. Barraclough joined the group of Secret Service officers that protect the president four years ago, reports The Washington Post. Read
Nov 14, 2013, 12:02 pm EDT
An advertising campaign to promote the benefits of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act to young adults is drawing criticism and confusion.
The ads, created by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education, feature the tag lines “got insurance?” — which plays on the milk industry’s popular “got milk?” campaign — and “thanks obamacare!” The campaign has produced other ads based around frat boy “bros,” “Keg ER” and a woman posing with a cut out of actor Ryan Gosling, which also touted birth control coverage, MediaBistro notes.
One ad features a young woman holding an open package of birth control pills and an excited expression standing close to a man with a grin on his face. The ad text reads: “OMG, he’s hot! Let’s hope he’s as easy to get as this birth control.” It goes on to tout the coverage of birth control in insurance plans mandated by Obamacare. Read
Nov 13, 2013, 11:40 am EDT
Some students in five states are spending more time in school as part of a new program.
The program, called Time for Innovation Matters in Education or TIME Collaborative, already has over 9,000 students in four states putting in extra time at school. The program allows students to choose extra classes and adds 300 hours to a school year. Some schools in Connecticut, Colorado, Massachusetts and New York are already a part of the program and more schools, including some in Tennessee, are preparing to join the program in the 2014-2015 school year. These schools will add around 13,000 students to the program, reports the Associated Press.
Currently there are nine schools districts that are using the TIME Collaborative in the 2013-2014 school year to give students more time in school. An additional 11 school districts will be joining the program in the 2014-2015 school year, reports NBC News. Read