Thursday, November 20, 2014

Magnet Applciation Deadline Dec 5th

Applications for all of the high school magnet programs except Pebblebrook must be submitted electronically by December 5th.  No late applications will be accepted.  Please see Dr. Deane if you have questions about completing your applications.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Is College Worth It

Today's economy means higher education isn't the best move for everyone

May 9, 2013

More Americans are going to college than ever before. Many graduates, however, are buried in debt with few job prospects. In "Is College Worth It? A Former United States Secretary of Education and a Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education" conservative pundit William Bennett weighs the relevance of a four-year degree against rising tuition costs. The Reagan administration official recently spoke with U.S. News about what prospective students should be thinking about, what they get for their buck and why a bachelor's degree is no longer synonymous with success. Excerpts:

Should Americans keep sending their kids to college?
Sometimes. But they shouldn't automatically or reflexively send their kids to college. They should pause and stop and think. It's not like deciding to have breakfast or go to bed. It's more like, say, to get married. It's a big decision. [There are] a lot of consequences, a lot of costs, a lot of ups and downs. Investigate it with your eyes open.

How does someone know if college is the right choice?
First, look internally. Why do you want to go? Is it just because everyone else is going? That's not a good enough reason. Is it because that's where the good parties are? That's not a good enough reason. To get away from the folks? That's not a good enough reason. What's your academic interest? How well does the school address that? What will you owe when you finish? What will your job prospects be?

What is different today about college than in years past?
First of all, a lot more people are going. But, oddly, a lot more of the public has questions about whether it's worthwhile to go. In 2008, 81 percent of adults thought college was a worthwhile investment. This year, 57 percent think so. The second thing, of course, is loan shock.

Why is college so expensive?
There are three main reasons. One is a lot of families, out of the goodness of their hearts and love of their children, will pay anything to send their kids to college. Two, many colleges will try to get as much money as they can. Three, the federal government endlessly subsidizes the increases in college and higher education. And so the price keeps getting higher. There's an academic arms race.

What are the most unnecessary costs at colleges and universities?
We have some great examples in the book, where if you look at places like High Point University, they're talking about things like climbing walls, gourmet restaurants, room service and hot tubs. If you're borrowing money, paying your own way, or maybe if you have a job, you can go to the Comfort Inn of dormitories. You don't have to go the Ritz-Carlton.

Can the situation be improved?
Yes, I do think there's a way this situation can be improved. One, we have to become aware of it. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. It's the 30th anniversary of "A Nation at Risk," that famous report about American high schools. We haven't had this conversation about colleges and universities. We need to have it. We hope this book initiates it in earnest.

What are students and their parents getting for their buck?
We actually point out in the book exactly what they're getting for their buck. We have charts on their return on investment, which will be, I think, a matter of some controversy where we use information gathered and put together by others. So, you can measure it in terms of actual dollars. The other thing I'd say is that when we talked to managers and employers, only 16 percent said the people they hire are ready for the workforce.

Is a four-year degree needed to succeed?
No. There's a statistic we cite in the book that by the year 2018 there will be 14 million jobs available, well-paying jobs, which will require more than a high school diploma but less than a college diploma. Right now, a graduate of a community college, which is a two-year college, on average, makes more than a graduate of a four-year college.

What are some alternatives to going to a four-year college?
Community college is one alternative. A trade school is another alternative. Work for a year and think about it is another alternative. Put some money in the bank. Join the military is another alternative where you earn great trade skills. We heard from an expert that there are 115,000 janitors in America with B.A.s. It's fine to be a janitor, but you didn't have to spend that kind of money to be a janitor.

What will most surprise readers?
It's a tough book. It's a serious book, unflinching on the statistics, but we try to make it very helpful for parents and students and readers in terms of actually thinking through whether they go to college. I think what may surprise them the most is the large array of options available, other than the B.A., that can give you success and economic success, and not have to make you defer for 10 years getting married and starting a family and buying a house.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Is College Right For Me 8th Grade Lesson

During classroom guidance this month the 8th grade students discussed the pros and cons of their various post-high school educational opportunities (college, technical college, vocational tech, military, etc).  As part of the lessons students debated the accuracies and fallacies of a John Stossell news report.  To view the news report click on the link below.

Download 090128_2020_stossell_college

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