Almost Two-Thirds of People in the Labor Force Do Not Have a College Degree, and Their Job Prospects Are Dimming

Stable, middle class jobs are on the decline for those without college degrees. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not helping. Almost two-thirds of people in the labor force (65.1 percent) do not have a college degree. In fact, people without a college degree (which includes those without a high school degree, with a high school degree, some college education, and an associates’ degrees) make up the majority of the labor force in every state but the District of Columbia. Mississippi has the highest share of non-college educated workers (75.7 percent) while Massachusetts and the District of Columbia have the lowest shares (51 percent and 33.7 percent, respectively). It is no secret that wages for typical workers have stagnated over the past 35 years. The lagging recovery of construction and manufacturing sectors, two sectors which traditionally provide strong wages for workers without college degrees, is one reason for this wage stagnation. Trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership threaten to make the […] Read More

Mass Media: Often Pandering to Bias and Ignorance

The Texas board of education didn’t find anything wrong with a world geography textbook that said slaves from Africa were workers, but that immigrants from northern Europe were indentured servants. This is the same school board that five years ago demanded that textbooks emphasize that slavery was only a side issue to the cause of the civil war, and that Republican achievements be emphasized in political science and civics textbooks. For good measure, the officials also wanted a “fair and balanced” look at evolution versus intelligent design or creationism, and that global warming is only a theory, overlooking substantial and significant scientific evidence. Because Texas adopts textbooks for the entire state, and there is minimal local choice, publishers tend to publish what Texas wants. The geography book had a 100,000 sale in Texas alone. However, McGraw-Hill, under a firestorm of protest from educators and parents, is modifying the text—African […] Read More

“There Is No God but Allah”: Virginia School Forced to Cancel Class over Arabic Writing Assignment

A rural school district in Virginia felt compelled to cancel all classes and even a holiday concert after angry parents flooded the district with not just thousands, but tens of thousands of complaints over an Arabic calligraphy lesson. Students were told to copy a Muslim statement of faith known as the Shahada which translates to “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” in Arabic. The assignment included other religious faiths as well. The school claimed the lesson was meant to “illustrate the complexity of the written Arabic language”. While this specific message the kids were writing is a well known profession of faith for Muslims, it also happens to appear on the flags of the Islamic State. Augusta County Sheriff Randall Fisher said some of the angry messages the school received were “threatening and very profane in nature”. Investigators are sifting through the […] Read More

Should Your Political Beliefs Be Protected by College Discrimination Policies?

The inclusions of political and intellectual diversity are both tactics straight from the playbook of conservative polemicist David Horowitz. With another college semester well underway, college students across the country have already forgotten about the syllabi handed out the first week of class. Most include a nondiscrimination clause, letting the students know the protected classes and aspects of their identity. The list is familiar, and often includes race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran’s status. But at the University of Colorado, there is a peculiar addition: political affiliation and philosophy. This raises a lot of questions. The ones I want to try to answer here are: How did it get there? Who is it meant to protect? Will it do more harm than good? Short answers first. It’s the result of conservative efforts to insert themselves and anti-science views that align with their ideology […] Read More

WTF: Parents Are Hiring This Creepy Clown to SCARE Their Kids into Behaving

Society is effed up. There’s just no other way to say it. When parents aren’t busy letting iPhones and iPads raise their kids (considering 77% of two year olds are now on them daily), apparently they’re hiring creepy ass clowns to SCARE their kids into behaving. That’s right. As seen in the image above (yes, that’s not just a creepy clown, it’s THE creepy clown parents hire), a 65-year-old guy who dresses in a polka dotted red suit and creepy mask with elongated black eyes and goes by the monicker “Wrinkles the Clown” is offering his services of scaring people’s misbehaving kids into minding their parents in Naples, Florida. He’s always just silently standing there, wearing big rubber gloves and holding a bunch of balloons. To be fair, he actually seems like a nice enough guy, but that’s not even the point. Via WAPO: For a few hundred bucks cash, […] Read More

Why Even Progressive Democrats Fall for ‘Accountability’ and Phony Education Reform

A congressman calls out his colleagues on education policy. Progressive Democrats are right to hail the new populism in their party driving the debate about the nation’s economic policies and the atrocious inequality those policies have created. Heartened by the bold leadership of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the huge crowds cheering on the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, progressives can truly feel their agenda is driving the national debate and propelling change. So it’s beyond disappointing when progressive leaders in the Democratic Party who can knock an argument for economic populism out of the park continue to whiff on education populism. Currently, the House and Senate are in the process of rewriting No Child Left Behind — the federal law that started enforced testing and harsh punishments in public schools. Both versions that have passed in their respective chambers allow for states to end current accountability measures enforced […] Read More

How the Billionaire Kingpins of School Privatization Got Stopped in Their Own Back Yard

A unique coalition in Little Rock, Arkansas is pushing back hard on a Walton Family-funded attempt at a charter takeover. The debate over public schools in Arkansas has been, for decades, ongoing and often fraught. In 1957, the Arkansas school year began with white mobs viciously attacking nine black teenagers as they attempted to desegregate Little Rock’s Central High following Brown vs. Board of Education, shining a national spotlight on the state and forcing President Eisenhower to send in the 101st Airborne Division. This past January, nearly 60 years after Arkansas’ first desegregation efforts, the state board of education dissolved Little Rock’s democratically elected local school board, the most racially inclusive and representative of its majority-black constituency in nearly a decade. In making the decision, the state overruled widespread public outcry to take control of the largest school district in the state. Two months later, Walton Family Foundation-backed lobbyists launched a brazen legislative […] Read More

Teachers Are Spending Thousands Of Their Own Money to Stock Classrooms with Basic Supplies

They’re often forced to foot the bill for the essentials that make learning possible. School may be out for summer, but I guarantee you there’s one thing teachers are already worried about as they plan for the coming school year: how they’ll offset the inevitable out-of-pocket costs that come with running a classroom. It’s not just a few books or art supplies we’re talking about here; the truth is much more discouraging. During my last year of teaching, I spent over $5,000 of my own money on my classroom during the year, and I know I wasn’t alone. On an annual salary of $42,000, that was hardly pocket change. The Reason Teachers Have to Pay In the United States, it has become increasingly clear, we just don’t value education.The average starting teaching salary in the US in 2012-2013 was $36,141, notably low considering that even intern teachers require a […] Read More

The College Bureaucracy: How Education Forgot the Students and Became A Business

By Devon Douglas-Bowers Students attend college to pursue their interests, broaden their intellectual horizons and make headway toward a career. While this is made difficult due to the amount of debt that many must saddle in order to earn a degree, there is also another, much stealthier problem as well: the college bureaucracy. University bureaucracies absorb large amounts of funding and undermine the alleged goal of college, which is to provide an education. But they also signal something more sinister: the neo-liberalization of education, now viewed as a business. The rise in college bureaucracy is nothing new, and has been noted for quite some time. Ralph Reiland wrote in 1996 in the National Review that “over the past two decades, the number of college and university faculty has increased by 30 per cent and the number of non-faculty jobs on campus has more than doubled.” And Benjamin Ginsberg, in […] Read More