Posts Tagged ‘Economy’

No Child Left Behind at the High School

October 29, 2008

CNN informs us that the current administration is seeking to push NCLB at the secondary level in these last few months of their time at the helm of policy

Now I don’t disagree that dropping out of high school is a tragedy, and ashamedly I admit that I witnessed more than 10 percent of my Senior English class dropped from my original, first day of school roster over the course of 36 weeks.  That means of the 3 classes of 32 each I started with, I ended the school year with more than a dozen students missing from the original roster.  Some graduated in January.  Some went on to our night school program where students are eligible to fulfill their English requirements online.  Some dropped out entirely with plans to work at the factory down the road. 

It’s wonderful to target dropouts, but I’d like to know how the federal government would like local schools to go about making students turn in work that they do not turn in.

Admittedly, we failed to educate the student wishing to drop out and work in the factory down the road because that student clearly had no idea how to read his world.  There are no job opportunities in the factory down the road.  In fact, the factory down the road produces gas guzzling dinosaurs and is laying off workers — not hiring. 

When it comes to increasing our graduation rate, I’d like to know how to encourage the upper-classman to focus on schoolwork as her family struggles to make ends meet.  Are the feds planning on interviewing these drop-outs to find out why they drop out?

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Stupid Economy

September 19, 2008

I’ve been avoiding this because from the way John McCain talks about it, I know as much about the economy as he does, and I don’t have a Military or Congressional Pension coming to me in retirement, I owe another 22 years on my home, and I’m not running for President of the United States.  Okay, okay, the quotes have been taken out of context, but Senator McCain’s financial security is clear. 

I’m worried.  I’m not in a panic, but I’m actually watching financial news with a bit more interest. 

See, I’ve been worried about my retirement since I started my job.  I’ve socked away into a 403b and a Roth IRA, and any tax refunds went to my kids’ college funds or retirement for my wife and I.  I’m not stupid.  I listened to my dad’s advice and started with my retirement during my first year teaching.  I started a college fund immediately after the birth of each of my children — all the while heeding the advice to save for your children but not at the expense of your own financial security in retirement. 

What kind of loans will they have to take out?  What will they qualify for?  What kinds of outrageous interest rates will they be faced with?

But don’t worry about your children, worry about yourself. 

Social Security is in danger.  Word from the current administration was to invest early and often.  Privatize Social Security.  Put Americans in charge of their financial futures.  I’m okay with that, but I can’t help but feel my government is out to get me. 

The IRS recently changed rules, making non-profit businesses where employees are eligible for 403b’s jump through more hoops, in some cases limiting the number of plans employees might choose from.  I recently received notice that my current 403b provider is no longer an option for me through my place of business, but I can choose between AIG and another company. 

AIG.  That’s refreshing. 

Don’t even get me started on the Republican Party as the party of smaller government.  Not in the last 8 years it isn’t.