Facing the facts

The view of the Football Stadium is being blocked by the school, sorry.

Well it’s almost upon you( we are all done) and it is an exciting time whether it’s preschool or college. I wish you all the best as you begin your journey together with your student. The trips to Staples, the sad good byes, roommate troubles, tuitions, sports medicine bills,parent teacher conferences, weekends spent standing on the sidelines, homework, and the varied hijinks you will have to weather.

The newspapers are filled these days with articles regarding the cost of a college education. It’s the time of year , like lots of articles about homeless people at Christmas time. So you can expect to read lots of news on this front moving forward. It should be discussed, as we are foundering on this issue as a Nation. This post is not meant as an attack on youth sports. I coached the little ones in Soccer, t ball, it was fun. Our son Jeffrey lettered in Cross Country. I went to alot of meets,. A cross country meet is over in about 45 minutes. You might look into cross country for your son or daughter. It also has a low equipment cost. Jeffrey’s picture is not hanging on the wall of the local orthopedic surgeon.

I remember sitting in a hall at a University during the “tour time” with our number one son, Bryce. He graduated last year from Penn State. Honestly, we visited only 2 schools. The speaker was detailing costs and a parent thought the cost reasonable, he was speaking to the cost for one year. I thought for a moment she would need paramedics! Why was that family on the tour if the price caused so much distress?

I would like you to read this article from the New York Times, then come back. It’s only 3 pages. If you don’t have a NYT login maybe you will need one. I assume anyone reading this blog also has at least a few national newspaper logins stored.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/10/sports/10scholarships.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&sq=college%20athletic%20&st=nyt&scp=3&oref=slogin

The trigger for this post today was an article in our local paper regarding how a student was going to cover her college costs with a degree in social work. The same could be said for someone majoring in recreation. The salaries simply are not there to justify the cost of education. You would have to with a recreation degree wait for the head person in any organization to retire to make the big bucks. Take a look around, most heads of athletic departments seem to hang on forever . There does not seem to be much opportunity for the top salary. Now we need social workers, we need people to lead exercise classes on cruise ships, it’s all necessary. The problem is we don’t seem to “value ” those positions with salaries that will clear the debt. It’s a real problem. If we were to “value” education we will see teacher salaries go up. Don’t go crazy now. The teachers however will be from higher tier universities. The benefits to society will be enormous. Personally I think we got it all wrong currently. I ask this just for fun. Can you pronounce your doctors name?

I have not seen the movie titled “2 million minutes” It is about a high school in Carmel, IN. The movie is however being discussed quite a bit on the web. Here is an interesting link. You have to read again.

http://2mm.typepad.com/usa/issues_for_american_education/

I have before me the course schedule for Great Bay Community College. I was surprised to see so many course offerings for subjects that really are of HS caliber. So it begs the question as to why college age students are missing so many building blocks. If your child is offered AP classes it will save your family thousands in college tuition. They may even get into a better college. The gap in earning power to pay off college loans between top schools and lesser schools is significant. More reading, sorry.

http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ffp0002s.pdf

“Kids join youth sports programs in droves — and drop out in droves. Twenty million to 30 million 6- to 18-year-olds participate in youth sports programs, but around 80 percent opt out by the age of 12.

Coaching and the “fun factor” contribute to this attrition rate, say Indiana University coaching experts. Kids join such programs largely to have fun — and they drop out when it’s no longer fun. Pressure and competition need to take a back seat to the development of fundamental skills and enjoyment.”

http://newsinfo.iu.edu/web/page/normal/3885.html

Jeffrey our number 2 son(only for reference) has been engaged as an intern this Summer in TN writing for a newspaper. He will finish at American Univ in DC this December. Yea, a semester early! Gotta love those AP tests. I have nosed around a bit in TN as a result of his being there and came up with this piece.

http://www.sullivan-county.com/id3/tn_economics.htm

I will bet you Peter Francese could make some hay with this article of Tennessee’s plight. It would explain the youth migration, the educated youth, leaving in droves. The fast food register I think has pictures of the food item on the panel, and calculates the change. It still stymies many behind the counter. The economic health of this State , any State, is dependent on highly skilled workers.

If we are really serious about education we have to make a choice now in this era of “change”. Ok forget about the we, you have to decide.

I would hope that you want your little bundle of joy to be able to weather a rise in gas prices, heating fuel.The Fire Chief in Rye NH was quoted recently.” “I tell you, this year with the high cost of fuel, people will be cutting up their living room furniture”. Hey if that’s your plan hit the antique shops fast. I am looking for a headboard for a new bed in the spare room( the twin bed never came back from some college flop house) and they are all hurting, the shops. No one has been antiquing this Summer.

I am going to close with a little funny. I personally did not find it that funny, but you might. It’s from the Boston Globe Sunday magazine.

During a recent commuter-rail trip from Lowell to Boston, I overheard a girl, about 15 years old, talking with her mother. “Someday I’d like to take this train all the way to Paris,” the girl said. Her mother explained she couldn’t do that because the train couldn’t travel across water. The daughter answered: “I didn’t know that Paris was an island.” She was not kidding. Her exasperated mom, obviously concerned with what her daughter wasn’t learning in geography class, decided to give her a pop quiz. “I bet you don’t even know where China is,” she said. “Of course I do,” the daughter replied. “It’s in Japan.”

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