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702, 2017

A Vote for America’s Future

By |February 7th, 2017|Education, National|Comments Off on A Vote for America’s Future

Image Credit: White House

From Vice President Mike Pence:

Friends,

Today, I cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos.

The vote the President asked me to cast wasn’t just for Betsy – it was also for America’s future.

Our nation’s success depends on the education of our students. In Betsy DeVos, we have one of America’s foremost advocates for educational opportunity and excellence.

For nearly three decades she has devoted her time, her talent, and her treasure to ensure that every child in America has the best shot at a better life. Countless students have benefitted from her efforts to promote an educational marketplace defined by innovation, opportunity, and real, meaningful choice.

The President and I agree that our children’s futures should not be determined by their zip code. Students should not be trapped in a system that puts the status quo ahead of a child’s success.

Betsy DeVos will have great impact as Secretary of Education. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a public school, a private school, a parochial school, a charter school, or any other kind of school – she will help ensure that every student has access to a good school.

We are grateful to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and all the Republican Senators who stood with us on this important vote.

The President is fully committed to this mission. Today’s vote was the first of its kind in our nation’s history, but the real history will be made through our unwavering dedication to America’s children – and to America’s future.

Thank you for all your help and support.

Sincerely,

Michael R. Pence
Vice President of the United States

1309, 2016

Candidate without a County: Kim Murphy Rises Again

By |September 13th, 2016|Education, Politics, South Carolina, State|Comments Off on Candidate without a County: Kim Murphy Rises Again

An amazing story of public school and statehouse corruption.
This is a long read, but if you don’t already know Kim Murphy’s story, you should get comfortable and take it in.

(Article by Thomas C. Hanson from a telephone interview with Kim Murphy Sept 8, 2016)
Kim Murphy is running against 16-year incumbent Chairman Robert Gantt for a Richland County seat on the Lexington-Richland 5 School Board, from which Gantt had her ousted mid-term in 2013, claiming she was not a resident of Richland County, based on a county boundary manufactured by state mapping between the two counties. The board had Murphy removed and essentially disenfranchised 6,000 people who voted for her.

Murphy took her ouster to Circuit Court, but Judge DeAndrea Benjamin, wife of Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin, ruled in favor of the district. Murphy is appealing that decision.

On Aug. 18, 2016, Gantt filed a petition with the Richland County Election Commission to have Murphy removed from the November ballot. However, the Richland elections board voted 3-1 Aug. 30, that Murphy is indeed a resident of the county, and she will be allowed to run for the Richland County seat on the Lexington-Richland 5 board. Samuel J. Selph, elections board director, wrote to Chairman Gantt that the board “denied your Petition to disqualify Mrs. Kim Murphy as a qualified Elector in Richland County.”

Murphy filed to run six minutes before the filing deadline Aug. 15. No one else had filed for the seat.

Murphy was first elected to the school board in 2010, despite efforts of the board to defeat her. She garnered 43 percent of the vote against Gantt in 2004. No one challenged her residency in either of those elections. She has lived in the same location in […]

3108, 2016

Why Now Is Not The Time To Be Optimistic About Parenting In The West

By |August 31st, 2016|Education, XPC|Comments Off on Why Now Is Not The Time To Be Optimistic About Parenting In The West

Most of us are generally optimistic when it comes to life and family. We tend to think that no matter what the situation in our particular family, things will work out alright in the end. But the evidence goes to the contrary. It’s not an exaggeration to say that modern parenting is in serious trouble today. But it’s not for the reasons we’re used to hearing. Here are some of the greatest problems facing the American family today.

We Fear Our Children

Imagine this. You’re in the kitchen with your child, and you’re making them a drink. A pretty typical situation so far, I think you’ll agree. You bring over the cup, and the child doesn’t look happy. It’s the wrong cup, and you know they’re about to throw a fit. What do you do?

Image Credit: en.wikipedia.org

Most parents at this point go white as a sheet. They do an immediate about-turn and find the cup that the child wants. If they don’t, then the child will have a tantrum, and that will ruin the rest of the day. But is getting the right cup a good solution? Or does it just teach them that

Who’s The Daddy?

According to a study by John Moore’s University, one in twenty-five fathers is not the biological father of their child. It could be lower than that, of course. Often people only go in for a paternity test because they’ve got a reason to be concerned about parenthood. But the figure could also be a lot higher. Many women refuse routine DNA tests because they are worried that their infidelity will be revealed.

The rise of the paternity test is fuelling the research. And in the future, we can expect this to be a […]

2208, 2016

America’s Schools Are In Crisis: Here Are The Biggest Challenges They Face

By |August 22nd, 2016|Education, XPC|Comments Off on America’s Schools Are In Crisis: Here Are The Biggest Challenges They Face

Most parents are concerned about the quality of education in the US. Those feelings are reflected in a Gallup poll of parents about their top concerns for US schools today. Here’s what it found out.

Lack Of Funding

Number one on the list was a lack of funding. Over 23 percent of Americans said that they thought that lack of funding was the greatest issue that schools faced. And compared with rural schools, urban schools tend to be doing much worse. According to the figures, 30 percent of Americans said that their local urban school was underfunded.

commons.wikimedia.org

Recently, we’ve seen a spate of problems relating to the lack of education funding. Many schools have not been able to afford textbooks. And some districts have laid off thousands of teachers in an attempt to make ends meet. According to the figures, by the summer of 2012, 351,000 teachers had lost their jobs. And even today, numbers are still more than 297,000 lower than what they were before the recession.

Lack Of Discipline

According to Gallup, 17 percent of Americans believe that schools are not disciplined. What’s more, the evidence appears to support that notion. Over recent years, discipline problems in schools have gotten worse. According to the NCES, 38 percent of schools are victims of vandalism every year. And now schools are having to use particular methods for removing grafitti, spending millions in the process. Recently, five teens were arrested in Arlington, Texas, for spray painting a rival school’s premises as part of a prank. The cleanup bill was more than $20,000.

commons.wikimedia.org

Overcrowding

Overcrowding in schools has always been a big issue, especially in inner city districts. But thanks to cuts in the budget and an expanding population, overcrowding is getting worse. It […]

1708, 2016

Murphy Seeks Return to District 5 School Board

By |August 17th, 2016|Education, Politics, School Board|Comments Off on Murphy Seeks Return to District 5 School Board

Kim Murphy has announced her campaign to return to District Five’s School Board in the Richland County portion against Robert Gantt, who is seeking a fifth term. Murphy, a married mother of three daughters who graduated from District Five, is anxious to return to the board after what she believes was an unjust removal in the middle of her term in 2013.

“Their assertion that I was not a Richland County resident was wrong and that is why I was able to file for the seat with the Richland Election Commission. I am a resident and have been since 2000. I believe I was wrongly removed because I stood up to the board on key issues. Thousands of people who entrusted me with their votes were also disenfranchised. They lost their voice. I am ready to get back and work for the students, teachers and taxpayers.”

Murphy, who has served as a volunteer in the District and surrounding community for 16 years, said that upon returning to the board, she will make openness an immediate priority.

“If elected, during the first meeting I will once again propose live-streaming – bring the board meetings to the public. Parents and taxpayers deserve to know how important decisions are made regarding their children’s education and how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent. I want you to have a voice.”

Murphy believes her background in accounting, time spent as an investigative citizen reporter for the SC Policy Council and a meeting attendance record better than the elected trustees will give District Five much-needed oversight and guard against future procurement violations.

“With a $174 million operational budget and millions upon millions disbursed to contractors for new school construction and other capital expenditures, my accounting and […]

1705, 2016

What Can Teachers Do To Motivate Children To Learn?

By |May 17th, 2016|Education|Comments Off on What Can Teachers Do To Motivate Children To Learn?

There is no doubt that teachers have one of the most difficult jobs in the world. They are in charge of young people’s education and their academic development. But, children don’t always want to learn as they prefer to socialize with their friends. Sometimes, they just don’t have the motivation to learn. Teachers, however, can’t just sit back and let them go down the wrong path. It is their job to try and help them learn as much as possible before they move onto the next chapter of their lives. So, what tools do they have at their disposal?

Create A Creative Work Environment

When people stop and think about it, they realize how important their environment is to their productivity. It is never an easy thing to spot because most people take it for granted, especially kids. However, it does have a subconscious effect on their ability to work. A light, warm, exciting classroom is much more conducive to their education. With that in mind, teachers should consider DIY classroom decorating ideas. Not only will it help them focus, but it teachers can also incorporate it into their lesson plans.

Include Lots Of Variety

Kids are notorious for being different and learning at different speeds. The best schools understand this because they have the best teachers. Teachers that are good at their job will figure out that some kids need a different platform. A good example is that some children learn theoretically while others like a hands on approach. With a lot of variety, teachers can see which kids respond to which teaching methods. When a teacher has this information, they are more likely to make progress with their class.

Lucelia Ribeiro on Flickr

Relieve Boredom

Adults have a shorter […]

1405, 2016

Is College Education In A Bubble Right Now?

By |May 14th, 2016|Education|Comments Off on Is College Education In A Bubble Right Now?

For years, governments have been trying to increase the enrollment rate at our nation’s colleges. Why? Well, if you trust the government, you see it as a way to invest in our young people. After all, they’re the future. And as technology advances, the available jobs will become more technical and reliant on skills.

If you don’t trust the government, you see higher college enrollment as a way to line the pockets of greedy universities. Universities have been charging students more and more money every year. And as the costs rise, so too do student debts. At some point the system has to break, doesn’t it?

It’s an interesting question. And one that has attracted the attention of some of the most curious minds. Is college education in a bubble? Let’s have a look first at how we got into the present position. Back in the 1970s, students didn’t take out loans to go to college. Heck, their parents didn’t even have to save up for the cost of education. In fact, most students could pay for their tuition by working a part time job at the weekend during term time or working a full-time job during the summer.

en.wikipedia.org

But colleges realized that they could make more money from students. Ever since the Higher Education Act of 1965, students didn’t have to pay market rates of interest. They could take out enormous loans, knowing that the government would subsidize their repayments. This meant that colleges could start upping their asking prices. Price rises were modest to begin with. Even by the 1990s, college was still relatively affordable.

But lower interest rates soon led to problems. Colleges figured out that they could start charging pretty much whatever they wanted. Sure, […]

2604, 2016

The Top Qualities That Make For A Good School

By |April 26th, 2016|Education|Comments Off on The Top Qualities That Make For A Good School

It can be hard, sometimes, to know what to look for in a school. Many people the world over face this problem every year. It is an issue faced by parents and teachers alike. The fact is, there is no one best school in the world – or even, probably in your area. Many schools vy competitively, simply because there are so many elements to making a great school. What one may have in abundance, yet another might lack altogether. And yet, the latter school might provide a better overall experience. If you are currently choosing between schools, then you are probably already a little stressed. But don’t fear – there is help at hand. Regardless of whether you are looking for yourself or a child, this should help you to some degree. Here are the top qualities that make a school great.

Image Credit

Dedicated Teachers

This first quality almost, one would hope, goes without saying. Yet, it is so essential to a school’s rating, that it needs mentioning first. It goes without saying that the quality of education which a school provides is probably is major determining factor. That’s why it is so important that the teachers are of sound quality. But the one quality which most people really want to see in their teachers is dedication. Dedication is what really sets apart the best from the rest. A teacher may well be good at giving a lesson or two – but a lot of people could do that. What makes a teacher great is that they do not ever give up on any student. This is the kind of drive that anyone should look for in their teachers. If the teachers lack this, there is […]

2104, 2016

3 Ways To Encourage Children To Use Their School Libraries

By |April 21st, 2016|Education|Comments Off on 3 Ways To Encourage Children To Use Their School Libraries

Photo Credit Here

It’s important that all children learn to enjoy reading from a young age. Indeed, that’s why the government has a policy of making sure there are always libraries in schools. However, many teachers and parents struggle to encourage their kids to use the facilities. For whatever reason, they prefer to spend their break times outside playing with their friends. We’ve come up with three suggestions that could help to turn the situation around. If you’re working in a school at the moment, try these concepts and see if you can spark their imaginations. Most of the people reading this post will have loved reading when they were young. It’s about time we helped the next generation to feel the same way.

Make the library seem like a fun place to be

The layout and design of your school library could play a role in how many students visit the room. So, you might like to spend some time thinking about how you can make it more enjoyable. Some people think the academic achievement system is beyond repair. Even so, we believe more reading could help to turn things around. Altering your shelves and library counter design is a good first step. However, you should also try to make the space colorful and fresh. You can do that by hanging student artwork or placing poems on the walls. Also, make sure you keep all the most popular books in separate locations. That way, the children will have to search to find their desired publications. Hopefully, that will encourage them to find something new along the way.

Run workshops in the library after school

Some students want nothing more than to go home at the end of […]

1104, 2016

The Academic Achievement System Is Beyond Repair

By |April 11th, 2016|Education|Comments Off on The Academic Achievement System Is Beyond Repair

Pexels Photo

When we look at the world, we know that we’re all different. We don’t act the same and don’t look the same. Our brains don’t work in the same way, in unison. If it did, then there would be such thing as free will. We’d all function based on the equivalent of computer code in our mind. But that’s not how the world works, and we accept that. We cater to the different people, ideologies and unique differences between single individuals. With one notable exception. We don’t change the game when it comes to academic achievement. To achieve academically, you either pass the test or you fail. You either get a great grade in that essay, or you fail. This is how we judge people through school life and onwards into their college career. Sure there are other factors at play here. If you exceed in a sport or social activity, you could win a scholarship to college with average grades. But this isn’t true everywhere. In most cases we determine the future of a school pupil based on the end of year grades.

If they fail, they hard work they might have completed the rest of the year is virtually wiped out. In the time it takes to answer a, b or c, their future could be down the toilet. Now, you might think this isn’t an issue. After all, there has to be a grading system otherwise no one would be able to achieve anything. It would be the end of capitalism as we know it. Before you call me a communist, allow me to present one important fact.

As I said, we’re all different. We don’t learn in the same way. Some people […]