Posts Tagged 'schools'

BA’s from California’s Community Colleges

From Carpe Diem:

17 states now allow community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees.

Squeeze college into 3 years

Well, this makes me think; could California ever do this? California’s law separates higher education into three tiers, UC, CSU, and CCC. Laws can change along with trends. It would probably be a significant cost savings to the State and students who obtained theirdegrees from a Community College. I don’t buy the argument that these degrees would be “watered down”, there are many great teachers in the California Community College system. The CCC system is accredited by WASC just like the CSU and UC systems. I don’t think the UC system would mind but I can see the CSU system not backing it because it would take many of their students.

Well, since every college has too many students and not enough money, maybe California should explore this.

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Obama and Student Loans

President Obama would like the government to stop backing private students loans. He would like the government to provide direct financial aid to college students.

Two market forces are at at work here, one is the market for student loans. If we take the private sector out of the process, student loans may cost more due to loss of competition. The second, if the government sells directly to students, there would be no middleman which could save money. Hopefully, the middleman savings outweighs the loss of private competition.

Eliminating all School and College Sports Programs?

Marin County is one of the richest counties in the U.S. Novato may cut its entire sports program to save $6 million. What if every school and college cut its sports programs? Is this a good idea or a bad one?

Marin County’s Novato Unified School District alarmed parents with a proposal to cut its entire sports program to help save $6 million over two years, which would affect about 75% of Novato’s 8,600 students. “When the community heard about the possible cut, they freaked out,” said Superintendent Jan La Torre-Derby, who adds that “it’s not set in stone yet.”

California Spends FIVE Times more on Prisoners than Students

From Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee: 

The fastest growing segment of the state’s deficit-ridden budget, by far, has been its prison system, reflecting severe overcrowding, generous labor contracts and federal court pressure to reform inmate health care.

“Corrections,” an ironic misnomer, has jumped from less than $5 billion a year to more than $10 billion in the last decade, over twice as fast as school spending, the biggest budget item. It now costs about $45,000 a year to feed, clothe and medicate each of the state’s 170,000-plus inmates, or roughly five times what taxpayers spend on a typical public school student. And that doesn’t count what it costs to supervise tens of thousands of parolees.

The fact that California spends five times more on inmates than public school students is appalling! I do not have a clue why this is the case, or how it is in other states, but it seems that our “corrections” system is VERY broken. This enormous expense in one reason for California’s budget woes.

Obama is Saving the U.S. Education System

The current stimulus package contains $140 billion for schools nationwide. Obama’s view of education is vastly different from Bush’s (perhaps it’s because he was a college professor):

The figures in the stimulus package for schools “are astonishing,” said Mike Kirst, former state Board of Education president and professor emeritus of education at Stanford University.

“(Former President George W.) Bush spent a little money for a brand-new program with enormous impact on public schools,” he said, referring to the $1.2 billion spent each year on No Child Left Behind.

“By contrast, Obama is spending enormously more money on education than Bush – it intensifies the federal role but does not change the substance of what schools are doing. It’s the reverse of Bush.”

$10 billion is slated for California’s schools. This is much needed to prevent layoffs and cuts. Education is the most important investment we, as a society, can make in our future. The future of the U.S. economy relies on educating our future workforce.

Unfortunately, our education system is falling behind. We rank almost #30 in the world for education (we used to be #1). There are many reasons for this decline and I won’t point fingers. The bottom line is we need reform! We need to find models which are teaching students the skills to succeed in today’s world, not yesterday’s. It will be a major ideological shift for parents and educators but we will continue to fall further behind if changes are not made.

Is Reducing the School Year a Good Idea?

A good article about the potential reduction of school days in California. This would be done to give schools some flexibility when cutting their budgets. Some interesting points to highlight:

“No one is able to say with authority that 180 days is better than 175,” said Bennett. “There is no data that would be so specific as to differentiate the different (academic achievement) in those five days.”

“Research doesn’t give very many direct comparative insights into instructional time versus class size versus textbooks versus art and music,” said Stecher, of the Rand Education program. “At some point, there is no clear research answer to these choices.”

I see the debate firsthand in regards to classroom time vs. non classroom time. It’s interesting and both sides have good points. The bottom line is, students and teachers have different teaching/learning styles. Teachers need to find the best way to reach students within their own style. Students need to learn to find resources when they need more from a teacher. It’s a learning process for both sides and it’s interesting to watch.