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Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s College Tax Shocks Students

By TheWatchman on November 10, 2009

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl

Luke Ravenstahl became the youngest Pittsburgh mayor at 26, taking over after the death of incumbent Mayor Bob O'Connor.

Dubbed the “Boy Mayor” by his critics, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, 29, has finally managed to upset many of the college age youth who are his Facebook friends, many of whom supported him less than a week ago when he won his first full term in office.  Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s “fair share” college tax, a post-secondary education privilege tax that would require students to pay a one percent tax per year on all education after high school, has been met with both shock and criticism.

“I think that’s ridiculous,” says Maria Walters, a community college student. “We shouldn’t have to pay a tax to be able to go to school.” With regard to Pittsburgh’s local colleges, a Carnegie Mellon University student would pay $403, an in-state Pitt student would pay $135, and a Community College student would pay $27 per year under the new tax. Basically, as the tuition goes up, so does the tax burden.
Read more about Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's New College Tax »

Filed under: Tax, Universities 1 Comment

DNC Uses Kids to Promote Healthcare Reform

By TheWatchman on November 2, 2009

“Two years from now I’ll be diagnosed with Leukemia and I’ll die, because we couldn’t afford healthcare,” pleads a young girl standing in the playground during one of the videos submitted to Organizing for America, part of Team Obama and the DNC’s campaign arm. The organization is holding a “Health Reform Video Contest” and they’ve chosen twenty finalists. It’s no surprise that many of the videos unabashedly exploit children to achieve their message.


Read more and watch more Health Care Reform Videos »

Filed under: Health Care 2 Comments

School Kids Sing Obama Health Care Song on CNN

By TheWatchman on October 8, 2009

Schoolchildren from the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta sung a health care reform song on the CNN set this week.  The song was set to the beat of Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA."  This comes on the heels of the praise Obama song video that landed on YouTube last month, which features school children performing an Obama rap song.  Not surprisingly, searching CNN's web site for the health care song video reveals nothing.
Read more and watch the Health Care Song Video »

Filed under: Health Care 3 Comments

Obama Rap Song Taught to School Children

By TheWatchman on September 24, 2009

At a time when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in schools has faced significant scrutiny, several adults at B. Bernice Young Elementary in Burlington Township, NJ thought nothing of coaching a group of school kids in their performance of an Obama rap song.  The woman who videotaped the students is Charisse Carney-Nunes, author of the children's book I Am Barack Obama.  The book's cover is displayed on the easel to the left of the students in the video. The footage landed on YouTube earlier this month.  Due to the quality of the audio, certain portions of the Obama rap song video are hard to hear.  We deciphered the lyrics and posted them in transcript format below.
Read more and watch the Obama Rap Song Video »


Tucson Schools Unveil Race-Based Discipline

By TheWatchman on September 22, 2009

During a summer seminar, The Tucson Unified School District unveiled a race-based disciplinary system in an effort to balance out the discrepancies between minority students and their fellow classmates.  The plan, titled the "Post-Unitary Status Plan", would specifically focus on "improving" the academic status of TUSD's Black and Hispanic students, with the goal of creating a "restorative school culture and climate" that conveys a "sense of belonging to all students."  To accomplish this, the board is insisting that its schools reduce the number of suspensions and/or expulsions of minority students so that the data reflects "no ethnic/racial disparities."
Read more about Race-based Discipline in Tuscon Schools »

Filed under: Ethnicity 1 Comment

Superintendent Bill Cason Asked to Resign for Not Showing Obama Speech

By TheWatchman on September 16, 2009

Reverend Floyd Rose

Rev. Floyd Rose addresses the Valdosta Board of Education demanding Cason's resignation.

Valdosta City School Superintendent Dr. Bill Cason was asked to resign Monday night during a regular Board of Education meeting. Rev. Floyd Rose, president of the Valdosta/Lowndes County Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addressed the Board and the predominately black audience regarding Cason's decision not to show President Barack Obama’s speech on education during school hours. Prior to the meeting, the Board of Education Office received numerous complaints and demands as to why Obama's speech was not shown.

Read more about Superintendent Dr. Bill Cason's Fate »


President Obama’s Back-to-School Speech

By TheWatchman on September 8, 2009

President Barack Obama addressed students today to give them a 'pep talk' about their education and responsiblities to our country.  Some schools are showing the speech, some are not, some have an 'opt out' option and some are recording it to air later.  Here are a few more details about this controversial speech.

Obama opting to speak directly to children in school has met extreme backlash from the conservative side, who cite that he is indoctrinating them.  This came after reading his original speech plans and lessons, which included having students "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president" and discussing "what the President wants us to do".  After the conservative backlash hit the media, the wording was changed to say "write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term educational goals". 

Shown below is the speech text that was released prior to his televised speech on September 8th.
Read more about Obama's School Speech »

Filed under: Speech No Comments

Barack Obama ‘I Pledge’ Video Screened at Elementary School

By TheWatchman on September 7, 2009

On August 28th, Eagle Bay Elementary School students in Farmington, Utah were shown a celebrity filled Barack Obama video called 'I Pledge' during a back-to-school assembly about service.  Ofelia Wade, the school's principal, said she had not seen the video prior to airing it at the assembly, but that the PTA group had selected it.  The principal has since apologized for showing the video, citing that she could see it contained political views.  Some of the pledges contained liberal views, including advancing stem cell research.  

The video featured actors, actresses and musicians that children idolize, including Cameron Diaz, Laura Linney, Hayden Panetierre, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Dakota Fanning, Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Alyssa Milano, Ashlee Simpson, Nicole Ritchie, Jaime Pressley, Eva Mendes, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Eva Longoria, Will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas), Joel Madden (Good Charlotte) and many more.

One of the most noticeable pledges is from Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, saying "I pledge to be of service to Barack Obama." (3:17). 
Read more and watch the Obama I Pledge Video »


Pro-Obama Teacher Diantha Harris Bullies Soldier’s Daughter

By TheWatchman on November 5, 2008

As the Presidential race heads toward its climax, some teachers are having difficulty keeping their opinions to themselves in the classroom.  So is the case with Diantha Harris, who teaches at Mary McArthur Elementary in Fayetteville, NC near Fort Bragg.  Harris asks her class who they are "pullin'" for in the election.  When a young girl whose father is serving in Iraq answers John McCain, Harris responds, "So that mean yo’ daddy could stay in Iraq for another hundred years!”  The child's eyes well up in tears, not knowing how to respond.

Watch the Diantha Harris video below, which is followed by a partial transcript of the pro-Obama teacher bullying the girl, whose name is Cathy. We can only wonder if Harris would have been as forthright if she had been speaking to adults.  The teacher was caught on tape by Finnish documentarians making a film about Barrack Obama's supporters.
Read more and watch the Diantha Harris Video »


   

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