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Freedom 515 - Ohio

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Mature 50 Secretary


The DPA Title III authorities enables DoD to undertake actions, including but not limited to, feasibility studies and modernization projects for mature mining, benefication, and value-added processing projects to increase productivity, environmental sustainability, and workforce safety. It also allows for by-product and co-product production at existing mining, mine waste reclamation, and other industrial facilities.




mature 50 secretary



The Senior Environmental Employment (SEE) Program provides an opportunity for retired and unemployed Americans age 55 and over to share their expertise with U.S. EPA, remaining active using their matured skills in meaningful tasks that support a wide variety of environmental programs.


  • Press Gaggle by Tony Fratto and Secretary of Education Margaret SpellingsAboard Air Force OneEn route Chicago, Illinois Press Briefings Fact Sheet: Six Years of Student Achievement Under No Child Left Behind9:52 A.M. ESTMR. FRATTO: Why don't I start, and then I'll turn it over to SecretarySpellings. As you know, we're on our way to the Windy City, Chicago,Illinois. The President will visit Horace Greeley Elementary School fora No Child Left Behind discussion; and will visit some classrooms andSecretary Spellings can give you some more details on that and whatwe're hoping to accomplish.After that the Secretary will -- I'm sorry, the Secretary -- (laughter)-- the Secretary will, of course, be with us, and the President will goto the Union League where -- actually, interesting, we're going to get achance to visit with the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee. As you know,Chicago was chosen as the U.S. entry for the 2016 Olympics. So it willbe exciting and the President will give them his best wishes. And thenhe'll have a meeting with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce businessleaders and community leaders, and have a chance to talk about histhoughts on the economy today, how the economy is doing and what hissense of principles are for how we should look at some of the economicchallenges that we're facing going forward.I'm going to turn it over to Secretary Spellings at this point and askher to make a few more comments, details about the visit today and aboutNo Child Left Behind and where we're heading. And she can take some ofyour questions and then I'll come back afterwards for any non-educationquestions you might have.SECRETARY SPELLINGS: Okay. As Tony said, we're celebrating the 6thanniversary of No Child Left Behind at Horace Greeley Elementary. It'sa predominantly minority school. It is the only Blue Ribbon school inChicago -- that is the most prestigious award the Department ofEducation gives -- because they are showing that it's possible for us toeducate kids who have been previously left behind. Obviously we thinkwe're on the right track. We've started to close the achievement gap.Arne Duncan, who is the superintendent -- obviously a mayoral appointee-- and Mayor Daley have been strong education reformers. I've giventhem a large -- a $27 million grant for a teacher incentive fund thatputs our best teachers in the most disadvantaged places. That's one ofthe keys to closing the achievement gap. They are a pilot program withus at the U.S. Department, on supplemental services -- that's thetutoring services that are provided as part of No Child Left Behind. Sothey're really leading some of the reforms in Chicago.But I think the important thing as we reflect on the anniversary -- andyou all may have seen Kennedy's piece today -- is, you know, it's timefor us to take stock, to embrace what has worked in No Child LeftBehind, and improve the things that should be improved. That's why wehave reauthorizations in the Congress, that is why every six years theCongress gives itself an opportunity to stop, look and listen, andcorrect things that may need improvement. And there's a lot ofagreement about what those areas are.One of the things that Senator Kennedy talked about was the need to givecredit for progress, student achievement progress over time. I've givennine growth model pilots to states to look at ways of doing that, to bemore precise about accountability. We need to be more nuanced about howwe identify schools, making distinctions between those schools that arein range from those chronic, chronic under-performers.So I think we know what needs to be worked on with No Child Left Behind,but we also need to affirm these core principles of every kid on gradelevel by 2014, and continue to hold ourselves, as the grown-ups,accountable for the achievement of kids. It's been a major sea changein education in this country, and we can't let the boulder roll backdown the hill.Q Kennedy said it's a disgrace about the funding levels. Do you --what's your response?SECRETARY SPELLINGS: Well, clearly, I don't agree with that. I mean,funding for education is up about 46 percent since the President tookoffice. I need to check that number. That may be a little lessaccurate based on the new omni that just passed, but it's upsignificantly since the President took office.Funding is a perennial issue in Washington, just like it is in theIllinois legislature and the Illinois -- the Chicago school board. Butthe thing about No Child Left Behind that is unique is we now ask notjust how much do we spend, but how are we doing. We're going to spendmore money on education -- we always do, we should. But we also need tomake sure that we're getting something for it.This "put the money outand hope for the best" strategy that we've tried for 40 years left a lotof kids behind, and that's not the point. The point is, yes, we'llspend money, but we have to have something for it on behalf of kids.Q Do you still want to expand it to high schools?SECRETARY SPELLINGS: Well, one of the things Senator Kennedy eventalked about today in his piece is that we need to make sure that we'redoing something about this drop-out crisis. Now, if someone can show mea way to have vigorous, improvement in high school without understandingwhat our true drop-out rate is, I'm all ears. But every governor, all50 state governors, have agreed that we need a more accurate graduationrate. That's something that I think the Congress can support -- wecertainly can -- but we ought to hold ourselves accountable for how manykids we're getting out of high school.Today, half of our minority kids get out of high school on time. Half.I mean, that's outrageous when half -- when not -- most of the jobsrequire -- fastest-growing jobs require post-secondary education. Andwe've got to attend to that matter. It's called the silent epidemic ineducation.Q What date does the law expire?SECRETARY SPELLINGS: It doesn't actually ever expire.It will rollforward continuously without change, and it's a good and strong law, so--Q But this is a reauthorization we're talking about.SECRETARY SPELLINGS: This is a reauthorization opportunity, but the lawwill not expire.Q Are you worried, if the law is not reauthorized, that the flawsthat you have identified, it could actually weaken the impact of it ifyou don't fix those things, and it goes forward without that?SECRETARY SPELLINGS: Well, one of the things that the President isgoing to talk about today is that -- and I think school people --obviously, the folks I deal with all the time -- I mean, they'reconcerned. I mean, we're still going to have school. We're marchingtowards 2014. And they want and need some additional kind of policyrationality based on what we've learned.And so what the President is going to say is that we want the Congressto act. We hope they will. But if they don't, I'll take administrativesteps at the Department, as I have in the last three years, to start towork on some of these matters.I've said a couple weeks ago that thisnine-state growth model pilot can now be expanded nationally -- sothings like that. We cannot wait around and just say, well, as we marchtowards 2014, that inertia in the Congress is adequate. It's not.Q What does that mean, that the -- can you talk a little bit aboutthat model that -- what that is?SECRETARY SPELLINGS: About the growth model?Q Yes.SECRETARY SPELLINGS: One of the things -- and I'll try not to be toowonky on you, but when No Child Left Behind was passed, about 11 statesin our country had annual assessment. By 2005-2006, about half hadannual assessment. The reason that we had to look at just a statictarget -- adequate yearly progress is the terminology of No Child LeftBehind -- is because no one had adequate measurement systems. You can'tchart progress over time, year on year, unless you have annualmeasurement. So now we're in a place where every state has a systemlike that. We can now follow the 3rd graders who become the 4thgraders, and then the 5th graders, through the system and have a betterpicture of how we're doing, as opposed to taking a picture of thisyear's 3rd graders and next year's 3rd graders and the year after's 3rdgraders.So we're in a place that we can have a more sophisticated approach, amore realistic picture, and a more fair picture for accountability. Butthe reason the Congress didn't do that is because nobody had theunderpinnings necessary six years ago.But we do now.MR. FRATTO: Okay?SECRETARY SPELLINGS: All right.MR. FRATTO: Thank you, Secretary.Q Thank you.MR. FRATTO: Anything else, guys?Q Tony, what's he going to say in his economic statement? Can yougive us a sense -- what does he want to accomplish, whatever he'ssaying?MR. FRATTO: I think what he'll have a chance to do is to talk about, asI said earlier, the economic landscape out there today, which I think wecan see from some of the economic data out there that the U.S. economyis basically a strong foundation; it's an economy that tends to be ableto deal with economic shocks and changes, and a changing global economy.It deals with those things over time. But we're seeing mixed economicdata that will affect the economy in the short-term, and we want to takea look at that, but also keep an eye on long-term economic growth.And so the President will talk about the sort of mixed economic pictureout there, and what the administration is doing and what we'd still liketo see Congress to do on certain targeted parts of the economy, thingslike keeping taxes low, making tax cuts permanent, looking at thehousing and mortgage markets and some of the work that we've done there,and still more work to be done; energy, health care -- things that areimportant to businesses and their competitiveness and their ability tocreate jobs and create growth going forward.So he'll talk about that, and he'll also talk about the need forCongress to keep spending in check, and as I said earlier, to not raisetaxes.I think one thing that's abundantly clear is that had we raisedtaxes this past year, it would have most likely worsened this mixedpicture that we're seeing.Q Tony, is he meaning to reassure the American people on the economywith his remarks?MR. FRATTO: I think just trying to be very clear as to what we see outthere, and to make sure that everyone knows -- policymakers, theAmerican public, the business community -- all understand that thePresident and his economic team are paying attention to the economy.We're looking at ways to continue to improve it, to keep it open anddynamic, to look for increasing trade opportunities, to be competitiveand to continue to create jobs. We have to remember that we're in sixyears of an economic expansion; we're at 52 consecutive months of jobgrowth. We're at a very mature point in this business cycle, and wewant to make sure that we're doing everything we can to keep it going.Q Senator Clinton said on Saturday that the U.S. economy was slippingtowards a recession. Is that a view the White House shares; why or whynot?MR. FRATTO: I don't know of anyone predicting a recession.Q Tony, when the President said last week that he was considering aneconomic fiscal stimulus package, some economists think that he in a waykind of boxed himself in. He raised expectations among the public thathe will do something. Do you think it is likely now, and has he boxedhimself in?MR. FRATTO: No, I don't think he has.I think the President said then,and more recently also, that he wants to look at the data. He hasn'tmade a final decision.Obviously we're going to have an opportunity totalk about certain economic policies that will go forward and will bepart of this administration's policy, like keeping the tax cuts inplace, keeping spending in check; there are a number of elements. Interms of anything that may or may not be needed in the short run, we'regoing to see more data out there, and I don't think we've raisedexpectations. I think we've all been very clear that we want to seeadditional data and we want to analyze it. We want to make adetermination certainly by the end of this month as to whether somethingfor the short- and medium-term is needed.Q When you say "more data," do you mean different -- are you talkingabout a specific kind of information that you're looking for or are youlooking for longer trends to evaluate?What is --MR. FRATTO: Well, I think it's dangerous to look at any one piece ofeconomic data.You want to look it cumulatively and you want to look atit over some time period to see if you see a trend and to see if it hasany predictive value for the future. So it's no one piece of data --I'd want to look all the data together.Q And there's a lot of data out there already that -- so why does heneed more information at this point?MR. FRATTO: Well, first of all, we have time to consider moreinformation, and so you want to be as accurate as you can. I think --you've heard me say this before: economic prognosticating is a very,very inexact science. And so there are lots of people who will saythings with great certainty as to what they think is going to happen --and, again, I remind people it takes us three reports to get the GDPcorrect for the previous quarter. So thinking about the future is avery difficult undertaking and you want to get as much information asyou can, and we have enough time to get more information and so weshould.Q Does he see the State of the Union as kind of a deadline to figurethis out?MR. FRATTO: I think that's just sort of an obvious opportunity. Wealso have the budget that will be released a week later, and so theyfeed together.Q Tony, some of the Democratic economists are talking about extendingunemployment benefits or making food stamps more widely available as away to help in the short term.Are those things the President willconsider?MR. FRATTO: I think there are lots of ideas out there. I'm not awarethat there are an unavailability of necessary funds in either of thoseprograms, as far as I'm aware, but I haven't looked at them.Q Making them available for longer or more broadly.MR. FRATTO: Yes, I think -- I don't think that -- let me just leave itat this: There are lots of ideas out there that people have. I'm notgoing to get into the business of ruling in each new idea that sort ofemerges into the press.Q Tony, can you give us an idea of who the administration has beenconsulting with outside the White House or outside the administration?You have been -- well, haven't you?MR. FRATTO: Lots of people have come forward.Some of them you -- somepeople you've heard in the press that have, you know, made their ownideas known in the press. Some haven't. Lots of ideas coming in. Andlots of ideas coming from within also.Q Martin Feldstein in an interview that we had Saturday said that heputs the chances of a recession at more than 50 percent.MR. FRATTO: Yes, just go back to my comments about prognosticating. Ithink it's tough.Q But you said you didn't know of anybody who was predicting arecession.MR. FRATTO: Well, even that isn't a firm prediction. I would saythat's pretty close to 50-50.Q When you said earlier that it's a mature time in the economy, whatdo you really mean by that? Are you suggesting that there's a naturalebb to that and recession is part -- or a downturn is --MR. FRATTO: No, no, recessions are by no means inevitable. Recessionsare usually caused by some act or failure to act and -- or just sort ofoverhangs that occur in the economy that the economy tries to deal with.But they're by no means inevitable, and I don't think there's any reasonwhy we should have one.But you do see patterns emerge when you're in periods of long expansionsand where expansions are challenged by changes or imperfections in themarketplace. We saw this with -- we saw this in the 1990s a coupletimes with a few different challenges.We're obviously seeing it nowwith things like what happened in housing. And the test for any economyis how it deals with it.I mean, I think one thing is clear is that there's probably not anothereconomy in the world that can deal with the kinds of shocks that we'vedealt with over the past seven years and avoid recession. Ed, most anyother economy in the world -- I'd submit any other economy in the worldwould have found itself in recession if it had to deal with those kindsof shocks. And this one hasn't because it does have a lot of inherentdynamism and flexibility and the advantages of things like very deepliquid capital markets and integrated financial systems. So it tends torespond well.Q Did the President (inaudible) the al Qaeda video?MR. FRATTO: The al Qaeda video?Q Yes.MR. FRATTO: Just another reminder that there are people out there whoare seeking ways to disrupt or derail the march to freedom anddemocracy. And we see them and they seem to find their way into themultimedia world.Q Does it change any plans at all for the trip?MR. FRATTO: Not that I'm aware of.Q Tony, do you have --MR. FRATTO: I'm sure I'll have some --Q Back to the economy. For months the President has been stressingthat the fundamentals are very strong, but today you said he's alsogoing to talk about the mixed picture.What is it that accounts for himtalking about the mixed picture? What does he see?MR. FRATTO: The basic fundamentals of the economy do remain fairlystrong. Historically speaking, you have relatively low inflation,relatively low interest rates, relatively low -- in fact, historicallylow unemployment rates. The economy is still creating jobs and is stillgrowing. It may not be creating jobs as fast as you'd like to see, itmay not be growing as fast as we would like to see, and even in the areaof inflation, core inflation, again, relatively low. But we see higherprices in energy and health care and some other areas.So there are some mixed pictures out there. We see very strong exportgrowth, but we see some weakness domestically in manufacturing, forexample. So I think that's just it; it's just a very -- it's a clearlook at what we're seeing out there, and the President will have anopportunity to reflect on it.Q Tony, do you know -- have you heard anything about this Iranskirmish in Hormuz, the Strait of Hormuz?MR. FRATTO: I really haven't.I'd just refer you to DOD on that.Okay?Q What was the question, I couldn't hear.Q Talking about a skirmish in the Strait of Hormuz.MR. FRATTO: Okay?Q Thank you.MR. FRATTO: Thank you.END 10:13 A.M. EST Printer-Friendly Version Email this page to a friend Afghanistan

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