Are Some Students Selling Sex To Cover Debts from Higher Education?
- Monday, 01 August 2011 15:59
- Published on Monday, 01 August 2011 22:59
The Huffington Post reported that some students are finding "sugar daddies" to defray their educational debts. That's absolutely shocking. See the post: www.huffingtonpost.com. Can this really be happening in the United States?
Khan Academy Goes Viral: But Where?
- Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:25
- Published on Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:25
The Khan Academy is going viral (see earlier blog and Twitter), according to CNN! That’s great news – I’d love to know whether the downloading of the video is happening primarily in the U.S. or in other countries. Please see: http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/07/24/khan.video.learning/index.html
South Korea Looks at Educational Innovations and Investment while U.S. Is on the Sidelines
- Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:24
- Published on Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:24
As the U.S. discusses how to make additional cuts to its already inadequate educational budget, our economic competitors are charging ahead with innovative and visionary programs to stay on the cutting edge of technology. France, Japan, Singapore and South Korea are advancing to grapple with new technologies. See http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/07/25/koreatextbooks_ap.html?tkn=YVPF0VbMoDqwKIVLH4gZ1u1TxPVDO0c0LbCj&cmp=clp-edweek . This article shows how South Korea aims to replace all of its textbooks with digital content.
The sad thing is that I can’t imagine this even under discussion in the U.S. right now. We risk seeing educational – and economic – leadership slipping further from our grasp behind as the gap opens between the educational innovators around the world and the U.S.
Chevron Seeks 15 Equipment Operators in Richmond, CA
- Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:15
- Published on Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:15
Next week Chevron will be accepting applications for up to fifteen Operator Trainee Candidate jobs at the refinery.
Individuals interested in applying should visit www.chevron.com/careers to create a profile and apply for the position. To facilitate locating operator positions, select "Find a Job" and then choose United States. Then search by requisition number 006118376.
Please feel free to share the information about this job opportunity with Richmond residents. Note that resumes will be accepted electronically via the internet beginning July 27, 2011 and must be received no later than August 3, 2011. Those that do not have internet access at home will need to use community resources such as the Richmond Public Library to submit an application.
Are Universities Ready To Innovate To Eliminate the Faculty Achievement Gap?
- Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:12
- Published on Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:12
What do sherpas have to do with the cost of higher education?
In a thought-provoking piece, Rick O’Donnell concludes that the tuition costs for a degree at the University of Texas and Texas A&M could be dramatically reduced (or even eliminated for students) with some significant reforms inside the university. Gov. Rick Perry challenged him to create a four- year, $10,000 university degree. Much to my surprise, this can, in fact, be done. As you might imagine, the universities resisted the concept mightily and Mr. O’Donnell’s efforts to reform the system from the inside came to an early and tumultuous end.
iPivoted believes that education must be made affordable for students, their families, and the taxpayer. Any realistic proposal to reduce tuition rates merits thoughtful consideration. Mr. O’Donnell’s proposal goes far beyond anything that iPivoted could have imagined, yet it makes great sense on the face of it. You can read the Texas Tribune article here: http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/higher-education/rick-odonnell-releases-faculty-productivity-analys/. Most importantly, check out the full 11-page white paper that is attached.
In summary, Mr. O’Donnell proposes to reduce the faculty productivity gap. Mr. O’Donnell breaks faculty into several different groups, “dodgers,” “coasters,” “sherpas,” “pioneers,” and “stars” based on their outputs from their teaching load and research. The general public is supporting the many “dodgers” who have minimal responsibilities at universities and virtually no accountability for their work. For faculty teaching only a handful of students per year and who conduct virtually no funded research, it’s got to be a good life in the ivory tower. By increasing the “dodger” workload to even half of the levels of the heavy lifters, the “sherpas” in Mr. O’Donnell’s parlance, tuition at the Texas universities could be eliminated.
Wouldn’t it be good to see universities become affordable for students and their families, once again?
Do You Need a Four-Year Degree To Get a Good Job?
- Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:08
- Published on Wednesday, 27 July 2011 21:08
The headline reads that four out of five students want to transfer from a community college to a four-year institution. See this article: http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/14/community-college-transfer/?ref=education.
Financial independence and successful career choices may not require four years of expensive university education. The two-year community college degree with a Career and Technical Education (CTE) certification may be the way to go for many students.
In fact, I talked to one administrator at a nearby community college who expressed great frustration that the advisors at her community college always steered students to transfer to a four-year degree. Instead, she stated, students need to be given a choice of entering into a CTE program or going to a four-year college. That sure made a lot of sense to me.
Community colleges are tremendous assets in local communities, but too many community colleges don’t realize their potential, just like so many dropped out students. Being career ready and career trained can lead directly to a good first job and the start of a promising career – and it only requires two years of relatively inexpensive college and a CTE program. A good CTE program will have the inside track on securing jobs for its graduates. No four-year university ever makes that kind of commitment to its students. In fact, many four-year college graduates are trained academically, but it’s not always very clear in what. That’s not true of students coming out of a good CTE program.
The point is that four-year degrees are for many people, but there are also other paths that must be considered. It’s a shame when the community colleges themselves have a mindset that all students must transfer to a four-year university to be successful. If community colleges can’t escape that transfer mindset, even good CTE programs may end up on the chopping block, asnd that would be a tragedy.
Headhunting for Dropouts: A New Source of Revenue for Denver Public Schools.
- Wednesday, 27 July 2011 19:48
- Published on Wednesday, 27 July 2011 19:48
Here’s an innovative idea to both increase the number of students in school and generate more funding for a school district. It does not require the passage of any bonds, measures, or other legislative moves. Denver, Colorado has one big answer. Check out Colorado Youth for a Change at http://www.cycinfo.com/.
The program basically works like a headhunter firm, except in reverse. Instead of recruiting the top talent, CYC finds students who have dropped out of the school system. On a commission basis, the nonprofit locates the dropped out students and provides them with the help that they need to tackle school successfully and get re-enroll. Over 1,000 youth have been brought back into the school system. If a school district gets $5,000 per student (that’s a minimal per student amount), that’s $5 million the school district receives from public sources. Wow! Since CYC gets a commission only on success, that’s a win-win-win combination: great for CYC, great for the district, and most importantly great for the student.
To its credit, CYC has expanded its mission to identify the red flags that lead up to a drop out and then implements intervention strategies to keep the student from dropping out in the first place.
Has it worked? Over the past five years, Denver’s dropout rate has decreased by 42%! That’s a result of the 1,000 Denver students that Colorado Youth for Change brought back into the educational system. Due to its success, the program is expanding into its eighth Colorado school district.
I don’t know why this has been so hard to extend into school districts in California where funding is unquestionably needed. While this has been mentioned to a number of well placed people in our local district, the suggestions never seem to result in changes.
After talking to Steve Dobo, the Colorado Youth for Change founder, I’m convinced he’s a genius.
Is More Education Always Better? Maybe Not if You Are Getting a Law Degree.
- Tuesday, 19 July 2011 19:49
- Published on Tuesday, 19 July 2011 19:49
Is more education better?
The answer is not always. There’s a disturbing trend in which law schools are ramping up their class sizes in order to get more tuition, which the universities then use to subsidize other academic programs. The real problem, though, is that there are relatively few jobs for attorneys out there. Many law school grads have been finding difficulty securing a decent law job for one, two, even three years. Check out the blogs that unemployed or underemployed law grads are writing on the internet. Check out this recent article by The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/business/law-school-economics-job-market-weakens-tuition-rises.html?src=me&ref=general. This article is just one in a long line by The New York Times.
Law schools get their income from student tuition, but how about the students? Not good. With law school tuition often in excess of $40,000 per year, students graduate often with at least $120,000 in law school debt and frequently much more. With a tough job market and a surplus of attorneys, choices and financial security are limited. Expanding these are two major goals of iPivoted.
For seven years of university and law school, a lawyer is more likely to find a job for about $50,000 per year than the $160,000 that the law schools advertise (and don’t believe the self-reported figures from the law schools). Compare that to a student who goes to a community college and gets a Career and Technical Education certification in hybrid auto mechanics along with a two-year degree. This student is out in two years and should be able to find a job for about $100,000. The lawyer driving a Prius may be earning about half as much with a lot more debt than the graduate who works on her car. Which job takes a person closer to her goals?
This is not to say that law school is always a bad choice. There are some people who love studying law and will be able to find a good job afterwards, so law school may be the right choice for them. But my advice: caveat emptor (let the buyer beware)!
America's Student-Veterans: What Awaits the Return from the Battlefield?
- Tuesday, 19 July 2011 19:46
- Published on Tuesday, 19 July 2011 19:46
America directed over one million young men and women to go to Iraq and Afghanistan in combat. Under battlefield conditions, they served admirably. They are now in the process of returning home. What awaits them?
Most people would probably say that we owe our veterans a debt not only of gratitude, but also of lasting support. We offer a G.I. Bill that provides sufficient financial support for a single veteran to get his or her higher degree, but what if that veteran has a family? In that case, the veteran is out of luck. For a veteran who has returned home to a family, the G.I. Bill is just not enough. You see, the veteran with dependents does not get any additional money, so what do they do as they reintegrate into civilian life? Getting a degree is often one more significant challenge that they face.
iPivoted will feature veterans and their families who have some financial gaps.
For us, honoring our veterans means more than letting them go first in a line. In many cases, our veterans have sacrificed years of their lives overseas, doing what they were asked to do. Now that they are back home, we owe them the opportunity to live a financially secure and independent life. When that veteran is ready, we need to make sure that there are no financial constraints to completing an education and moving on to a better life.
Education vs. Prisons: Which Investment Makes Us More Competitive?
- Tuesday, 19 July 2011 19:44
- Published on Tuesday, 19 July 2011 19:44
As a society gearing up for its future, would you want to invest in prisons or education? While some may feel that this is a false choice, this country is making a decision to invest in prisons over education. In fact, we are now spending over $70 billion per year on prisons, making it the second fastest growing state budget category after Medicaid (see: http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/initiatives_detail.aspx?initiativeID=31336).
There are probably few areas of agreement among them, but the NAACP, ACLU, NRA and Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform concur that we are spending too much on our penal system. See the following article: http://www.miller-mccune.com/politics/budget-idea-divert-money-from-prisons-to-schools-30187/. The article goes on to discuss how there appears to be an inverse relationship between investments in education and prisons.