Category Archives: Education

College Enrollment Drops – But That’s a Good Thing

The number of college students fell for the first time in six years, according to new Census figures. The half-a-million-student drop is “a huge decline,” Census Bureau statistician Julie Siebens said. This sounds like bad news, but it’s actually a sign of good news.


Student Enrollment Center at Iowa State University

Student Enrollment Center at Iowa State University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


It means the labor market is getting better.


College is cheaper, in a way, during recessions, because the opportunity cost of leaving the work force to go to school is lower when there aren’t any jobs out there. As a result, college enrollment accelerates during bad economic times. Since the peak of the housing bubble in 2006, college attendance has grown by 3.2 million students — or 18%.


Now we’re seeing the reverse. The economy has improved. Youth unemployment has fallen. Twenty-somethings are going back to work. Ninety percent of the overall decline in enrollment was from students over 25. Steadily falling college enrollment would be bad news, but a one-year correction suggests that students on the job-or-school bubble could be plowing their productivity into salaried jobs, Siebens said.


Via The Atlantic.




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Oral Roberts University Releases Eagle, Which Promptly Flies into Window

As part of a service marking the start of the school year at Oral Roberts University, a bald eagle named Lewis was released from the upper balcony of the school’s huge chapel/auditorium; it was supposed to fly above the crowd and land on its trainer’s arm, but instead crashed into a window and fell to the floor. The bird was apparently distracted by the crowd, which was chanting “USA! USA!” when it hit the window. The national symbol was dazed but unharmed and was retrieved by his trainer.

To be fair, if I were at Oral Roberts University, I’d probably do the same.


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School Behind Genesis “Biology” Exam Shuts Its Doors

You might remember this “biology” quiz that made the rounds earlier this year. The quiz originated from a private Christian school in South Carolina, Blue Ridge Christian Academy, which was using a DVD from creationist entrepreneur Ken Ham, the cheerful crazy guy behind Kentucky’s “Creation Museum” and “Ark Encounter.”

Due to insufficient fundraising, Blue Ridge Christian Academy will not be opening for the current school year. The publicity surrounding the quiz helped them raise some money, but God did not inspire enough donors to raise the $200,000 they needed.

We can all breathe a sigh of relief. Now, let’s just hope these poor kids get to take a real biology class in their lives.


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New York Sues Trump University for $175 Million Fraud against Students

English: Donald Trump at a press conference an...

On Saturday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a $40 million lawsuit against Donald Trump for defrauding students of Trump University (which is, apparently, a thing). The State Education Department complains that Trump U. is not an accredited university and that it engages in false advertising.

The (now renamed) Trump Entrepreneur’s Institute has been charging students $1,495 to $35,000 for a three-day seminar.

Five thousand students who paid $35,000 for the “Trump Elite” mentorship program were promised personal guidance from Trump and instead got only a picture next to a life-sized cardboard cutout of Trump. That means that Trump made $175 million for allowing unsuspecting “students” to pose with a cardboard cutout of him.

Trump, meanwhile, is calling the lawsuit “extortion.”

Via Death and Taxes.

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Homeless Man Agrees to Techie’s Offer of Coding Lessons

New York programmer Patrick McConlogue made waves with an online post suggesting that he wanted to teach the homeless to code.

In an interview with Business Insiderthe 23-year-old said he wanted to give the homeless man he sees on the way to work a choice of $100 cash or the chance to learn to code. If the man rejected the money, McConlogue would give him a laptop, coding books, and an hour of coding lessons each day for two months.

The internet, as it tends to do, blasted McConlogue for being insensitive toward the homeless man.

The man, whose name is Leo, took McConlogue up on his offer.

In an update on Medium today, McConlogue writes:

It turns out Leo is a genius particularly concerned with environment issues. As I sat there becoming increasing stunned, he rattled off import/export prices on food, the importance of solar and green energy, and his approval for “efficient public transportation initiatives [referring to NY’s new Citibike]”. He is smart, logical, and articulate. Most importantly, he is serious. It’s up to him if dedication is also his gift.

For the next two months, McConlogue will meet with Leo for a coding lesson. McConlogue said he overnighted him a Chromebook with access to Code Academy, three levels of coding books, and a solar charger. He said he has yet to find something to “hide” the laptop in.

McConlogue believes that within eight weeks, Leo will have the skills necessary to be a freelancer. It’s an experiment for both men.

Well done to both men! I hope this experiment is a huge success!

Via Death and Taxes.

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8 Years Later, School in 9th Ward Being Rebuilt

English: New Orleans: "We will be back.&q...

English: New Orleans: “We will be back.” Inscription on house on N. Robertson Street, Upper 9th Ward, neighborhood damaged by flooding from the failure of the Federal levee system during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The groundbreaking for a new 9th Ward school was a monumental and emotional day. The Lower 9th Ward was the hardest hit area of Hurricane Katrina nearly eight years ago.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter High School is a sign of progress in a community struggling to rebuild in the aftermath of Katrina.

“This one in particular is special because of the devastation, the extreme devastation we felt in the Lower 9th Ward community,” Patrick Dobard, superintendent of Recovery School District, said.

The new charter school is part of a $1.8 billion plan funded by a school construction program designated to rebuilding the city’s public schools.

The school will be completed by fall 2015.


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Michelle Johnson Takes Command at Air Force Academy

English: BG Michelle D. Johnson, USAF

English: BG Michelle D. Johnson, USAF (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Monday, the first woman to lead the U.S. Air Force Academy took command.

During a Change of Command ceremony, Lieutenant General Michelle Johnson told a crowd of hundreds that she looks forward to leading the academy. Lt. Gen. Johnson, a 1981 academy graduate, was the academy’s first female cadet wing commander. She attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and earned a mater’s degree in politics and economics.

Lt. Gen. Johnson takes over for Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, a 1976 graduate set to retire in October.

The school has seen its share of sexual scandals, including the dismissal of cadet Jamil Cooks after his April conviction of abusive sexual conduct. He pleaded guilty to the unlawful entry into the rooms of female cadets. In 2003, Congressional heard hearings on reports that female cadets had been sexually assaulted. and the academy ignored or downplayed their complaints.

Via Huffington Post.


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Shooting at California University Results in Several Fatalities


Oakland (Photo credit: satanslaundromat)

A shooting at Oikos University in east Oakland, California, resulted in multiple fatalities, an Oakland police spokeswoman says.

A suspect was taken into custody after the shooting at the religious school, police spokeswoman Johnna Watson says.

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ACT, SAT Institute New Anti-Cheating Policies

Even though the SAT or ACT is preferred in dif...

Even though the SAT or ACT is preferred in different places, all states offer both. According to the preference map, 24 states prefer the ACT, while slightly more, 26, prefer the SAT supercedes in place of File:Sat-act preference.PNG Source accessed March 18, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a cheating scandal, the SAT and ACT will require students to send a photo when they register for the exams, which officials will check against the identification the students who take the test.

The rules are part of a set of changes announced on Tuesday in the aftermath of the cheating cases, when high-scoring students used fake IDs to take the SAT or ACT for other students. The changes will take effect in the fall.

Kathleen M. Rice, the district attorney in Nassau County, charged twenty teens from five high schools last fall; five students were accused of taking tests for others. Fifteen were accused of paying them $500 to $3,600 to take the tests. Ms. Rice said up to fifty students might have been involved.

The photograph that students must upload or mail in will be on their admission tickets and the roster at the test center. Ms. Rice also said colleges would receive students’ photos when they got their scores, but after questions were raised about whether the photos could unduly sway the admissions process, her office said it would reconsider the requirement.

Test-takers will be required to name their high school, which will receive their scores. Previously, it was up to students to decide whether their scores were sent to their high schools, making it difficult for schools to detect suspicious scores. Now, the schools will receive a photo of the student who took the test and the score.

Students will also have to provide their gender and birth date. Officials said one of the five teenagers arrested a 2010 graduate of Great Neck North High School, had taken tests for opposite-gender students with gender-neutral names.

The testing services will also end standby test registration, in which students can register the day they take the exam. Students will also have to certify their identity in writing at the test center and acknowledge the possibility of prosecution for impersonation.

Via The New York Times.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Education, National, Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Student Loan Interest Rates to Double in July

English: Harry Reid (D-NV), United States Sena...

English: Harry Reid (D-NV), United States Senator from Nevada and Majority Leader of the United States Senate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The interest rates on federal student loans will double this summer if Congress doesn’t take action.

Millions of American students from working class families are able to get a college education thanks to low-interest federal student loans. Congress is putting those loans in jeopardy when students can least afford to pay higher interest rates.

In 2007, Congress passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. It reduced the interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans from 6.8% to 3.4%. Republican leadership in the House is planning to let this legislation expire on July 1, doubling the interest rates on these loans. This will result in an average of $5,000 in added payments for students scheduled to pay their loans back in five years, and $11,000 for those who are paying back in ten.

We need leadership from the Senate. We need Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to stand up and fight for millions of American students. Urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to stop Republicans from doubling the interest rate on student loans.

If Senator Reid leads the Democratic-controlled Senate to pass legislation that ensures the interest rates remain fixed at 3.4%, it will force the hand of Congressional Republicans to pass the measure or go on the record as the party fighting against the interest of millions of America’s working class students and their families.

Federal student loans with low interest rates, such as the subsidized Stafford loan, are designed to help students whose families make under $40,000 a year. These loans help the neediest students, who are often not eligible to receive Pell Grants. Adding further financial stress on these students and their families by letting the interest rates double this July would be devastating.

As Sarah Jaffe observed in her excellent piece in AlterNet:

It’s worth noting, as well, that many of the big banks that make a killing on private student loans and still have billions of government-subsidized student debt on their books, are able to borrow money from the government through the Federal Reserve’s discount window at nearly no interest at all. Why, then, are young people, who aren’t guilty of trashing the economy but remain the victims of a rate of unemployment nearly twice that of the rest of the population, expected to pay more?

Click here to automatically sign the petition urging Senator Reid to fight to keep college education affordable and not let the interest rate double on federal student loans.

Thanks to Is Congress Going to Double the Interest on Your Student Loan?, Rising Concerns Over Student Loans, Public and Private, and Vermont Senators Leahy And Sanders Join Bill To Prevent July Interest Rate Increase On Stafford Student Loans.


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