Real Internships Antidote for Low Motivation

Anyone who is an educator has experienced first hand the frustration of students who are unmotivated and seemingly unwilling to learn. For most of us growing up, when we slacked we were quickly “reminded” of why we should care by guardians that kept us focused. But what happens when those guardians either are not there or are failing, for whatever reason, to enforce that “reminder.”

Henceforth, we have the dilemma that many inner-city educators face. It has been known for some time that the dropout rate in inner-city schools is a problem that leads to even more problems. “In general, one in 10 male dropouts are in jail or juvenile detention centers. But that rate dramatically increases for African-American males to one in four.” Emily Jenkins.  And even for those that do not end up behind bars, the odds of breaking the chains of generational poverty are stacked against them.

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Governor Perry’s $10K Degree

It’s no secret that the U.S .higher education system is dealing with annually rising tuition costs.  President Barak Obama addressed this issue in his State of the Union address in January 2012 by threatening universities and colleges to lower tuition.  While America waits to see when and if tuition rates will decline, Obama is accelerating a new law which will lower student loan payments to 10% of discretionary income for eligible borrowers (previous 15%).

However, many are still questioning if the lowering of student loan payments will solve the core issue.  University students nationwide are graduating with an average of $24,000 student loan debt and this number only seems to be climbing.

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Straighten Up, or It Could Cost You?

A recent article in USA Today addressed a charter school based out of Chicago urging students to be on their best behavior or pay a fee. The Noble Network of Charter Schools Superintendant Michael Milkie says, “students aren’t particular fans of the system, but improvement in testing scores shows this form of discipline does work.” This approach was put in place in an effort to cut cost of paying teachers over time to supervise detention. This is how it works—students earn demerits for violations ranging from shirts un-tucked to being late to class, once they accumulate a certain number of demerits, they are given detention and pay a $5 fee.

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Texas Career & Technology Programs Moving in the Right Direction

An increasing amount of parents are hearing the dreaded words, “College isn’t for me!” from their own high schools students.  Education Views reports that approximately 20% of Texas students are not ready for college work. Texas also holds a 7% high school dropout rate.  Perhaps college isn’t the best option for all students.  How can Texas help prepare these students at a younger age to leave high school trained and ready for the workforce?

While most high school students are studying hard to pass the TAKS test or the upcoming STAAR, they’re lacking the opportunity to gain job training before entering adulthood.  Some Texas schools offer co-op programs that allow students to leave school early to gain job experience.  However, there is great need for actual job training for interested high school students.

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A ‘GED’-style Substitute for a College Diploma

As the GED is to the high school diploma, there may soon be an equivalent to the college diploma. A test such as this could open the door for many students who have failed to complete college for one reason or another.

Richard Vedder, Ohio University professor and author of Going Broke by Degree: why College Costs Too Much found that one out of three college graduates today are in jobs that historically have been held by those who have less education. With this disconnect between the increasing rise of college tuition and the job market, are there cheaper alternatives?

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Cost of Unemployment

We live in a society in which we often define ourselves by our daily roles and responsibilities. I challenge you to ask ten people “who are you?” the majority will define themselves using aspects of their job, what role they play in the life’s of others, and things they believe to be true from other’s feedback. The truth is, we spend a lot of time at work as Americans, that’s why this article over The Effects of Unemployment on Mental and Physical Health is so interesting. Anyone who has experienced joblessness knows it is a very difficult situation to be in, but what toll is it taking on Americans physically and mentally?

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Texas Youth – Felons Forever?

Reports suggest that 10% of the Texas population has been convicted of some kind of felony.  As one of the largest and most populated states in the country, this means 2.5 million people are felons.  Needless to say, this results in a significant number of people and families who are affected every year.  In addition, the U.S. is convicting a higher number of teen offenders every year.

After time is served, whether it is time in prison or probation, these people are forever disqualified from specific types of employment or even attending some higher education institutions.  If a teen is convicted of a felony, he/she is seemingly dooming their own career outlook.  One teen’s felony could result in a life long minimum wage salary and a constant rejection of his/her potential.

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Single Parents Have Higher Unemployment Rates

Single parents have been some of the hardest hit in this economy’s unemployment disaster.  Being the sole breadwinner, single parents have an immense amount of pressure to provide for the family.  In July 2010, single mothers held an unemployment rate of 13.4% (the national rate was 9.5%).  Today, this rate has fallen to 11.7% and the nation has seen an increase in jobs available.  However, too many single parents are still struggling to find a suitable job in order to care and provide for their families.

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Job Creation Partners

One of the biggest challenges for today’s workforce is finding skilled workers for the jobs available.  Recently President Obama spoke at Northern Virginia Community College unveiling the proposed federal budget.  The new federal budget proposed included $8 billion for the Community College to Career Fund.  While the funding can help pay for training in high demand occupations, President Obama also urged businesses and community colleges to partner to help recently trained job seekers find work once they graduate.  During his speech, President Obama emphasized matching up the available workers with available jobs.

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Secretary of Labor Encourages Closer Ties Between Employers and Governmental Programs

If it seems that the Texas Workforce Commission has been busier than usual it is because they have been.  The Texas unemployment rate has risen slightly over the past year; however, the TWC will soon be receiving additional support to allow for local collaboration of government and business forces.  The Secretary of Labor released a statement on Thursday, February 16, 2012, announcing the continuation of a need to build “strong partnerships between employers and federally funded workforce programs.”  The Government Accountability Office reports that such programs “lead to improved employment and retention outcomes for our nation’s workers.”  The report also encourages the nation to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, which once allowed businesses to participate in local efforts to deliver Workforce Development Services.

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