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Afternoon Announcements: July 9, 2012

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July 09, 2012 07:24 pm

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Monday! The most magical day of the week! We’re almost through Monday here in Washington, but we can’t let you go through your day without delivering these afternoon announcements. Here are your news tidbits for the day, and there are a bunch of them today.

“Young people are getting left behind,” says The Huffington Post in today’s report about how older workers are benefiting from the economic recovery more than their younger counterparts. According to Dean Baker, codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, workers older than 55 have taken 58 percent of the new jobs in the past year. This makes things very difficult for younger workers who need to get started on the job market so that they can develop skills for future employment.

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel-prize winning economist, wrote recently in USA Today that debt is “[burying] the American dream.” Specifically, Stiglitz calls out “deficiencies in the regulation of for-profit schools” that allow these schools to “exploit those at the bottom.” An interesting read that paints a grim picture of the student loan debt situation in America.

Although there has been a push in recent years to get more students to pursue education in the STEM fields, The Washington Post has an article that says that jobs for scientists “aren’t there.” One of the main causes of this is that there are fewer jobs available in academia, a traditional employer of scientists. “Only 14 percent of those with a PhD in biology and the life sciences now land a coveted academic position within five years, according to a 2009 NSF survey.”

For all of the scientists in the above article looking for work, I hear North Dakota is nice this time of year. The Bismarck Tribune reports that “the state has a shortage of teachers in 18 subject areas including math, science and technology education.” In fact, “State Superintendent Wayne Sanstead said Thursday that a teacher shortage exists in nearly every subject area, with the exceptions of elementary education and physical education.”

The New York Times asks, “What is a Good Teacher Worth?” This seems like something that would be hard to quantify, but Janet English, a science teacher at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, California and a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching and the Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching, takes a shot at it anyway. Here’s an excerpt: “Our country produces about $4 million in earnings for every person over their lifetime, and improving those earnings by a mere 1 percent could be worth $40,000 per person. If a good teacher has 25 students in a class (and many teachers have up to 40), then $40,000 multiplied by 25 students per year would be a value of $1 million!”

California is rethinking the way its community colleges prioritize student enrollment, according to The Bay Citizen. The article notes that, “students who rack up more than 100 units or remain on probation for two semesters in a row will fall to the back of the line when enrolling for classes under a proposed policy up for discussion today by the Board of Governors. Meanwhile, new students who have taken assessments, completed an orientation and developed a plan for their education – such as transferring to a four-year university or earning a degree or certificate – would jump a step ahead in line.” This seems like a good incentive to stay on track and engaged with your education. What do our readers think?

That’s it from us for today, but we’ll be back tomorrow with even more announcements!

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