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U.S. Leads the World in Most Expensive Tuition

The U.S. Education system is far from perfect, ranking somewhere around 17th out of the top countries in the world. It does not come as a surprise however that as far as the amount of spending to attend school for students, the tuition costs, the U.S. ranks at the top of the list with an average of $8,200 per year for an undergraduate degree program at a public school(private schools are several thousands of dollars higher) according to a report by the OCED released in 2017. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental economic organisation founded in 1961. The main goal of the group is to help grow the world economy. Thirty-five countries currently participate OECD membership.

Chile came in second-highest on the OCED produced list at $7,654 a year in tuition. Japan ranked third with an average of cost of $5,229. Canada was 4th, $4,939. Australia was 5th, $4,763. South Korea was 6th, $4,295. New Zealand, Israel, and the Netherlands were also high on the list, with tuition of over $2,000, while Spain, Italy, and Portugal also made the list with tuition of under $2,000 but well above $1,000.

One saving grace that many students in the U.S. may benefit from compared to students of other nations is that they are elidgable for many forms of financial aid not available other places, nearly $6,000 a year in federal pell grants, to scholarships, to several thousands of dollars a year in multiple forms of student loans.

The Abandonment of the American Public School System

The American public school system, while funded like no other nation in the world, is in an extremely poor state of being. With the Republican appointed new U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos cutting funding to the failing system and redirecting focus specifically to the private sector there may be little hope for any real repair in the near future. Since taking office in 2017 the Trump administration has proposed over $9 billion in cuts to the education system in general and while it effects on everyone it impacts the poor of the nation more than anything.

DeVos has criticized the public school system, calling it a dead end, and seems to have little, to no plans at all, to even attempt to fix the issues causing it to be so lacking. She has attack the system and teachers of the public school system, claiming they care more about a system than the actual students they are teaching – which is quite the opposite of what actually is. Public school teachers have proven time and time again that they put priority on individual students than anything.

Despite the negative outlook on the system by the average American, test scores from public schools are higher than they have ever been. Statistics from the past 40+ years prove that student abilities, like reading and writing for example, have risen by almost 5% despite the fact that in the same amount of time the public school system has taken on more challenged students who previously would have been denied access to public schooling due to their physical or mental disabilities.

Teacher Arrested After Inquiring About Superintendent’s Pay Raise

A teacher has been arrested after questioning the pay raise of her school district’s superintendent.

The woman, identified as Deyshia Hargrave, is an English instructor at Rene Rost Middle School in Kaplan, La. The incident occurred at the Vermillion Parish, La. school board meeting Monday night.

In a video posted on YouTube, Hargrave is seen questioning superintendent Jerome Puyau’s pay increase during the meeting.

“A superintendent or any person in a position of leadership getting any type of raise, I feel like it’s a slap in the face to all the teachers, cafeteria workers and any other support staff we have,” Hargrave told the board in the video.

School board president Anthony Fontana silenced Hargrave, saying her concerns weren’t relative to the board’s agenda for that night. Hargrave was then approached by an officer, who asked her to leave. The YouTube video shows Hargrave obeying the male officer, but once off camera, she can be heard screaming.

In video obtained by Shreveport, La. station KTBS taken the night of the incident, Hargrave is seen outside the board meeting being placed in handcuffs on the hallway ground. As she is escorted, still cuffed, out the door, she can be heard asking the officer, “Why are you pulling me?”

The disturbing video of Hargrave’s arrest attracted the attention of national media, and reaction to it was swift. One teacher who retired last spring from the same school district where the incident occurred told the Huffington Post that the arrest was “absolutely ridiculous.”

The school district said it was not pressing charges against Hargrave, though she was booked into the local city jail.

On Tuesday, Vermillion Parish board president Fontana told local television station KATC he thinks the incident with Hargrave was a “set up.”

Things That Colleges Consider During the Application Process

Are you trying to get into the college that you have been dreaming of? According to the New York Times, here are some things that you should know about getting into your dream college.

First of all, whether you get accepted or not has to do with more than just your grades and who you are. Colleges sometimes consider things like diversity levels and revenue. However, grades and the scores that you got on your tests still have a lot more to do with getting accepted then your personality and your other good traits. However, when colleges have created a list of students with excellent scores, they then go deeper to decide who to accept. At this point, they will consider things such as your personality, your positive traits, how good of a student you are, and more. Colleges want to get to know the real you. They want to know what your passions, dreams, and goals are. So instead of writing a boastful essay, you may want to consider talking about yourself and expressing your deepest dreams, goals, and views on life.

Colleges also consider your life experience. They want to give access to students who have not had the same opportunities as privileged students but still worked hard to get good results. They will consider the kind of high school you went to, the neighborhood you grew up in, the level of income that your family had, whether you are a minority or not, and other things. Diversity is still a major issue for colleges, as they want to be as diverse as possible and give everyone a chance. Of course, colleges still need you to be able to pay your tuition. If you do not have enough to pay your tuition, a college may not accept you.

Betsy Devos Urges Major Reform In Higher Education

United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is calling for a major reform in higher education. She says that we have to put a focus on apprenticeship and other workforce integration programs. She said that traditional students, meaning those who study for 4 years in college and graduate within 4 years, are very few. A small percentage of high school students actually graduate within 4 years. However, society has decided that the only way to get a successful career is by getting a degree through studying for four years in college. However, many students would benefit greatly from apprenticeship programs. Betsy DeVos said that we need to prioritize those kinds of apprenticeship programs, which used to be very popular but which were stigmatized in the past few decades.

At a conference with business leaders, Betsy DeVos urged them to create partnerships with colleges and other educational institutions near them. She urged the education community to stop pushing students to get a 4 year degree in college and instead give them many options from which to choose from. These options can include various technical and apprenticeship workforce options that help them get a career and develop a career path that they are interested in. Many students do not know what they want while they are still in high school or middle school. The fact is that a four-year degree is not necessary in order to be successful. There are 30 million well paying jobs in the United States that do not require a college degree. Her remarks are also part of the current administration’s efforts to help fill six million empty jobs. We should honor students that choose a career that does not include a 4 year college degree, and we should not give them a subtle message that it is the wrong way of doing things.

Strategies for Improving Education in Public Schools

Everyone believes education is vital and crucial to personal success and social mobility. However, America, one of the countries with excellent higher education, has been criticized for performing poorly in primary and secondary school education as compared to schools from other industrialized countries. Funding for students has been reported to be rising rapidly over the past decade. Recent news reveals that the key to a successful education is mainly to attract good teachers.

It further shows that one of the best methods to attract teachers is to raise the teachers’ salaries. However, this strategy seems to fail because higher incomes go to both good and bad teachers. As a result, bad teachers are given the incentive as the good ones. Another option that is believed to be a success is rigorous screening. Since every state requires teachers to be certified, statistics reveal that higher certification standards set should be replaced with better ones to improve the education standards. Despite the much research in determining the required qualities in teachers, there’s no proper formula for determining the exact qualities that make a good teacher.

Research also reveals that candidates who are aspiring to make good teachers should be tested for their uniqueness and not their ability to help students learn. Additionally, they should be able to inspire students, illuminate issues in productive ways, and build relationships with them. These reasons were reported to be the reason schools are struggling to get good teachers or provide better grades. Further, it was also mentioned that allowing genuine alternatives to certification does not hurt the quality of learning but makes the process of finding better teachers easier. Licensing of teachers in public schools does not only keep unsuited candidates from becoming teachers but also deters candidates that were well-suited.

Current Legislation Could See Teachers Lose Tax Deduction on Erasers and Pencils

Teachers who use their cash to acquire classroom supplies will end up losing their tax break if the current Republican legislation makes its way through Congress. The existing tax code allows for a deduction of up to $250 from their gross income. Therefore, if the tax bill pushed by Republicans is adopted, it would scrap the deduction. At the moment teacher’s write-off is estimated to cost about two billion dollars, and if the republicans eliminate such deductions, then they are more likely to offset the revenue loss from wealthy individuals and also simplify the tax code.

One of the similarities between the Senate and House bill is that they eliminate a lot of deductions while at the same time reducing marginal tax rates. According to experts, the legislation is likely to reduce tax for some households but not all of them. Despite the sentiments made by the experts, the Republicans believe that it is a win-win situation for all. However, it’s important to note that the few differences between the two bills can lead to a vote in the Senate this week.

It’s expected that the Senate bill will likely to double the educator deduction to five hundred dollars as opposed to eliminating it. Regardless of the discussion made by the two chambers, they need to settle on one legislation before presidential assent. According to Engel Suzanne, a language and speech pathologist who works at St.Louis she spends an average of five hundred dollars annually on what she needs for her job.

She also firmly believes that she’s going to be better off with lower taxes because she and her husband have taken various itemized deductions for state and local taxes as well as mortgage interest payments. The liberal center on budget and policy practice notes that the Republican tax bill touches on the education policy in different ways. For instance, if those who earn more cannot deduct state income taxes, and the opposition of such charges end up growing, then it can have a massive impact on the critical source of funding for most public schools.

Special Education Needs Improvement in NYC Schools

The New York City Department of Education has released their yearly report on special education, and the data shows that the city’s school system is not providing all of their special needs students with proper instruction. Over 100,000 schoolchildren in New York require government-mandated special instruction. However, the report shows that not all children are receiving help. 27% of special needs students in the city are unable to take advantage of the special education services that they need. Some of these 48,000 underserved students have limited access to school resources, while others have none at all. When special education services are unavailable within a school, New York City hands out vouchers to the parents of the students, allowing them to seek outside instruction. Outside specialists include professionals like speech pathologists, psychotherapists and occupational or physical therapists. However, many parents are unable to find an instructor in their area or don’t have the time to transport their child across the city. This results in an increase of students in New York City who are not not receiving government-mandated care.

The Department of Education stressed that the survey shows an improvement in access to special education instruction. During the previous school year, 41% of the city’s special needs students had full access to special education services. However, critics of the report state that the list of actual reported incidents does not match this trend. During the 2016/2017 school year, there were 500 more occurrences of essential special education services not being given to students than the year before. When compared to students in general programs, special education students need more training and support to succeed in the classroom. Without improved access to special resources, these students could fall behind.

Betsy DeVos under fire for schedule oddities

Since she was first nominated by President Donald Trump to be the United States secretary of education, Betsy DeVos has come under fire for one reason or another. This week, the problem with DeVos, who has been known to be hostile to public schools for decades is that her published schedule doesn’t seem to mirror her actual schedule.

US News is reporting there are quite a few people noticing this little anomaly. It also doesn’t appear the secretary is letting people know what she is planning on doing from one day to the next. Devos’ most recently updated schedule ends on October 20. The schedule being slow to update is only part of the problem.

On the last week that the office has published every day is notated as “There are no public events scheduled at this time.” The problem is that it appears she was making plenty of appearances.

On October 27, DeVos gave a speech at the Future Farmers of America convention. She also made an appearance at a round table that was geared towards figuring out how the department of education could better serve children with special needs.

The most interesting thing about both of these tidbits is that DeVos’ appearance at either one of these events would not be considered even a little bit controversial. So why is she hiding them?

Those who have been studying the way DeVos carries herself say that she simply does not go out of her way to make sure the public knows where she’s going to be. While this is not the biggest problem the federal government has ever faced, it’s clear that there are plenty of watchdog groups that aren’t happy her schedule is being kept off the books.

For now, the people looking into her schedule would just like the secretary of education to do a better job allowing the public to now her schedule.


A peaceful demonstration has been organized against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on later this week. The rally, hosted by the Colorado Education Association is planned for Wednesday in Denver where the secretary is set to appear on this week. According to this article, on The Hill, Ms. DeVos will be speaking at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) on Thursday this week. The teachers’ union has planned its protest for Wednesday, a day before Ms. DeVos makes her appearance to make her speech.

The protest is staged against what the union members and teachers view as a plan to dismantle the public institutions which they believe create and support many opportunities for the state’s students, educators and families. These sentiments have borne out of the Secretaries long standing position that the federal government funds alternative education options different from the traditional schooling system. She has also long held that parents should be allowed to seek educational opportunities for their children if the nearby schools are poor. These positions, the protesters argue, undermine the public education system and jeopardize the education goals and opportunities created by these institutions for their students.

Ms. DeVos has, however, been steadfast in her position and believes that those opposed to it are the ones in the wrong. She has previously described them as flat earthers and having chilled imagination. She believes that the current education system has been faulty and has had great negative impacts on American society. To ensure a return to the glory that was associated with American school system, she believes that the current public system should be overhauled, or at least people given options to opt from it for better systems. This, she believes, is a necessity and the federal government should bear the full weight. Ms. DeVos has not made a statement concerning the planned protest.