Category Archives: higher ed

What is necessary? White House Survey Seriously?

So today someone on my Facebook Feed shared this..

https://www.whitehouse.gov/reorganizing-the-executive-branch

The White House has asked people to vote to reorganize the executive branch.  Seriously… seriously..

First, while our current POTUS may have experience by online polls that ask if we should vote off Omarosa or not, they are not scientific.  They only sample those that are engage in a particular issue and those that have internet access and are comfortable with computers. (So let’s rule out my Mom, who does log into “the facebook” but really is not comfortable with a lot of navigation)  and those without access (like IDK, people in rural appalachia)

Second – I ALREADY VOTED!!!  I voted for a president, and I voted for senators and representatives – to represent me and my needs and it is time for them to do the job they are elected and paid for!!!!!!

Third, I am not qualified to vote on this.. (and sometimes I question our elected officials who don’t read the bills they vote for) but they have staff to educate them on their needs.

When I saw this survey I went immediately to the section for the Department of Education – What do you want to reform: and it lists the 9 Program Offices – Do you know what they all do? I am pretty knowledgeable (more than the average joe) because I am an Education Professor – but seriously – as an everyday citizen could you vote for which ones should be removed or reformed?

So I researched – (Copied and Pasted – from https://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/focus/what_pg5.html#howis )

The Department has nine program offices.

  1. The Institute of Education Sciences provides national leadership in expanding fundamental knowledge of education and produces rigorous evidence on which to ground education practice and policy. This is accomplished through the work of its four centers: the National Center for Education Research, the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, and the National Center for Special Education Research.

  2. The Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students administers, coordinates and recommends policy for developing and supporting high-quality instructional programs designed to serve the education needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students, thereby helping these English language learners and immigrants attain English proficiency and academic success.

  3. The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education provides leadership, technical assistance and financial support to state and local education agencies for the maintenance and improvement of both public and private preschool, elementary and secondary education. OESE administers programs designed to advance the academic opportunities of the nation’s neediest children.

  4. The Office of Innovation and Improvement administers and coordinates programs and activities designed to support and test innovations throughout the K-12 system, including a number of teacher quality programs and reforms that expand parental choice of schools for their children and information about best practices. It is also the Department’s liaison to the non-public education community.

  5. The Office of Postsecondary Education is responsible for formulating federal postsecondary education policy and administering programs that address critical national needs in support of increased access to quality postsecondary education for all students. OPE also promotes the domestic study of foreign languages and international affairs and supports international education research and exchange.

  6. The Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools administers, coordinates and recommends policy for improving programs and activities that promote the health and well-being of students in elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. Such programs and activities comprise drug and violence prevention programs, character and civic education, and a variety of other comprehensive efforts to promote students’ physical and mental health.

  7. The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services supports programs designed to meet the needs and develop the full potential of children with disabilities, reduce dependency and enhance the productive capabilities of youths and adults with disabilities, and support research to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities, regardless of age.

  8. The Office of Federal Student Aid administers the systems and products related to providing tens of billions of dollars annually in federal financial aid to millions of students pursuing postsecondary education and training opportunities. The office provides the information and forms needed to apply for loans, grants and work-study funds, as well as information for students, parents, financial aid administrators, lending institutions, auditors and others in the field. It also leads the U.S. government-wide initiative to deliver Web-based services from government agencies and organizations to postsecondary students (seehttp://students.gov).

  9. The Office of Vocational and Adult Education supports a wide range of programs and activities that provide adults with the basic skills necessary to obtain a high school diploma or the equivalent and support them in their pursuit of postsecondary, career or technical education and lifelong learning.

 

So what goes?

Given that information? Even just a paragraph – what needs dropped or reformed?  Do you want students with special needs to not be given an appropriate education – Get Rid of 7 !  Do you want those people who lose their jobs to not be able to get an education – no problem Get rid of 9!   How about making student loans a free for all – that meaning – an uncontrolled predatory lending situation – (When did you last ask yourself – why can’t student loans be like a title or pay day loans?) 

Now given the current leadership and the proposed education budget presented by DeVos to the Appropriations committee last week – many of these things will go away.

What should do you?  I have no idea how this “survey” will be used by the whitehouse..  but I have two action steps.

Watch Devos testify to House Appropriations Committee last week.

WRITE YOUR CONGRESSPERSON AND SENATOR:

In the end – this survey is unscientific and I ALREADY VOTED.  Please take the time to write your congressperson or senator and tell them how you as a consitutient would like them to represent you.

Wayfinding Academy – Why it has me excited..

So maybe its a midlife crisis, maybe its being an associate professor who at 42 is still paying her student loans, maybe it is the 21st Century masters and what I have been reading… . but I am worried about higher education and especially about some of our highest achieving students who get great grades but don’t really have a plan for what they want to do in life.

I am worried that there are lots of students who don’t know what they want to do and are going into extreme debt to leave college with a degree and still without a direction.

One Sunday morning as I drank my coffee to come to life I saw a story on CBS this morning  about Oregon Public House and one of the charities it was funding Wayfinding Academy.  A not for profit college that focuses on helping students find their way, their goal and mission and life before amazing a ton of credits and a ton of debt.

Here is the original story that Inspired me to get involved:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-nonprofit-pub-thats-good-for-what-ales-you/

I am pretty questioning about charities, and I am pretty sure to check them out myself – so in April I went to Wayfinding weekend – I will share more of my experiences in future posts –

But here are some of the questions I am asking:
How can we help more students be successful in college?

How can we help them explore who they are and how they can affect the world without them going bankrupt in student loans?

How can we help students identify their goals so that college catapults them to success rather than lets them wait out 4 years until they start asking those questions?

I have decided to support Wayfinding Academy though my charitable giving and you can get involved to.   We are starting a Crowdsourcing campaign after Memorial Day to provide students with a great start to college.   Join me and make me do something silly for something I believe in.   So you can support me in their mission:  https://www.razoo.com/story/Rgjd5f