Saturday, September 05, 2009

Zogby Poll: 25% of College Grads Say Degree Not Worth the Cost

Survey finds 52% of likely voters believe higher education today is worth the price, 33% say it is not

One in four college graduates -- 25% -- believe higher education is not worth the price of attendance, given today's significant college costs including tuition, room and board, and books, a new Zogby-Scoop44 interactive poll shows.

There is a considerable difference in opinion between those who have earned their college degree and those who have not. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents who have a college degree think the money spent on higher education is worth it. Among respondents who do not have a college degree, fewer than half (44%) think higher education is worth the cost. Overall, slightly more than half (52%) of all respondents believe the costs associated with a college education are worth it, while 33% say they are not. Another 14% are not sure. Women with a college degree (65%) are slightly more likely than men with a college degree (61%) to believe higher education costs are worth it in the end.

The interactive survey of 2,530 likely voters nationwide was conducted Aug. 18-20, 2009, and carries a margin of error of +/- 2.0%. Margins of error may be higher in subgroups. The survey was commissioned by Scoop44.

While respondents of all ages are more likely to view a higher education as worth the expense, older respondents are most likely to believe the costs of college are worth it in the end - 61% of those age 65 and older feel this way. Among those age 65 and older with a college degree, 70% say the cost is worth it, and more than half of these oldest respondents without degrees (55%) feel the same.

On the younger end of the spectrum, more than half (55%) of those age 18-29 believe higher education is worth the price, while 35% disagree and 10% are not sure. Many of these youngest voters are already well aware of the high price tag associated with college attendance and the hefty student loans they may face after they get their degree, but those age 18-29 with college degrees are much more likely to believe the costs are worth it (62%). Even so, 28% of these younger respondents with degrees don't believe higher education is worth the cost. Younger respondents without degrees are even more likely to think higher education isn't worth the money (41%).

More here

Homeschoolers are beating the state

Moderate temps, shorter days, state fairs, football, peppers and gourds, “Labor Day” weekend….back to school. Except for some. A growing number of families have bucked the autumn tradition of pep rallies and discount office supply shopping. They have chosen to homeschool.

A few posts back, Brad showed how Sweden is trying to outlaw homeschooling. This is a travesty, and if you want to try to help all those young Bjorns and Bjorks who might have had a taste of true freedom, there is a petition here.

Reading about how Sweden is trying to crack down on homeschoolers, I get a very rare feeling of pride to be an American. Liberty lovers are losing the battle on all sides right now, but we do have one extraordinary victory in the recent past we can point to with pride, and that is the homeschooling movement.

In 1964, John Holt published How Children Fail, a small book of observations from a teacher, epic in its implications. Although he didn’t know it at the time, Holt was tearing down the notion of formal classroom schooling so thoroughly that he would kick off an international movement. Holt wasn’t alone, of course. Many parents, teachers, and child psychologists in the mid-sixties were beginning to suspect that kids might be better off if they stayed away from school altogether. So some of them started leaving their kids out.

These early pioneers frequently operated in violation of compulsory attendance laws. In 1976, Holt, now fully convinced that the classroom was a destructive place, called for a “Children’s Underground Railroad” to help children escape compulsory schooling. Families that were homeschooling in secret around the country contacted him. Through Holt, homeschoolers formed a network to help one another and work at legalizing their activity.

Homeschooling grew in the 70s as the movement figured out creative ways to get around compulsory attendance laws. With this growth came successful removal of legislation that prohibited it, state by state, including a landmark case in 1978 that concluded that “the Massachusetts compulsory attendance statute might well be constitutionally infirm if it did not exempt students whose parents prefer alternative forms of education.”

By 1980, homeschooling was completely legal in 40 states, and legal in the other 10 if overseen by a government-certified teacher. In 1983, The Homeschool Legal Defense Fund was founded. Once that legally approved door was opened, fundamentalist Christians began entering the homeschool movement in large numbers. Today homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. 2.5 million kids are doing it.

And, as readers would expect, the homeschoolers are torching their government school counterparts. On average, homeschool students score 37 per cent higher than their peers on standardized tests. There are no discernable achievement gaps between races, genders, and income levels in the homeschool movement, with homeschoolers consistently landing in the 85th percentile or higher on achievement tests, regardless of background. The average annual education-specific expense for a homeschooler is $500. For a government school student, it is $10,000.

With American homeschooling, we have a pro-liberty, anti-state movement that is:

a) Achieving positive results that far surpass the government alternative.

b) Growing rapidly.

c) Allowing a huge number of children to grow up in freedom.

d) Resistant to government attempts to thwart it.

It’s letter D that I think of as I read about the poor Swedish kids. In America, the government, which is winning in the battle against liberty at every turn, is losing its battle to shut down the homeschool movement. In 1997, as the explosive growth in homeschooling was first becoming evident, the National Education Association adopted its first anti homeschooling resolution, saying that homeschooling programs “cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience.” Clearly fearing that homeschooling would expose the government schools for the scheme they are, the NEA also resolved that, if homeschooling is chosen, “instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency.”

The NEA continues to adopt an anti homeschooling resolution in their charter every year, and lobbies state governments to make it harder to homeschool. The UN has adopted and is now considering resolutions that clearly are opposed to homeschooling.

Homeschoolers are under the same assault as anyone else trying to secure freedoms from the government.

But unlike most other pro-freedom movements, the homeschoolers are winning.

Since the NEA adopted its first anti-homeschooling resolution, the number of homeschoolers has doubled. Their number is growing at 7% a year, and through an immensely organized nationwide effort, they continue to win court cases and legislative battles making it easier to homeschool in America, even as the NEA tries to make it harder.

In homeschooling, I see real-time activity that improves lives, increases freedom, contributes to our efforts to one day achieve a free society, and successfully holds back the state. Not only is it growing, but its growth rate is accelerating.

Clearly we have a model of success. I wonder what lessons we might learn from the homeschool movement that can be applied to other freedom-seeking efforts.


Australian school wins right to hire male handler for aggressive student

Except for the complete destruction of school discipline by Leftist "educators", this would never have arisen. It is a disgrace that anyone was ever exposed to danger by an unrestrained monster like this. Plenty of thrashings in response to his acts of violence would have slown him down and taught him the badly-needed lesson that violence begets violence

A SCHOOL has won permission for a male handler for a primary pupil so violent the principal fears for the safety of teachers and other pupils. The special school in Melbourne's eastern suburbs was given an exemption by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to employ a man to supervise the youngster, because he is too dangerous for women. The school will now spend between $35,000 and $42,000 a year on the "education support" officer, the Herald Sun reports.

The youngster's "extreme" violent behaviour is escalating, despite intensive counselling and constant talks with the boy's family and protective services officers, the tribunal heard. The boy, not yet even a teenager, is so unruly he is allowed to use the playground only for a limited time in school breaks and under one-on-one supervision. He was also regularly hauled from class because of the disruption he caused, the school's application to the tribunal stated. The age of the youngster has not been released, but the school only accepts children aged five to 12.

The school contended it was "very difficult to provide a safe work environment for our staff, most of whom are female, and for our student population, without a male education support officer".

VCAT gave the school an exemption from anti-discrimination laws so that it could specifically employ a man for the role on August 26. "This student has exhibited extreme violence both within and outside school grounds," VCAT deputy president Anne Coghlan said in the tribunal's decision. "He demonstrates threatening and aggressive behaviour towards students and staff."

While the school accepts students with "severe behaviour disorders", its assistant principal confirmed the latest measure was a first. "This is the first time we have ever done it, that's purely something we decided as a staff to do," she said. "Within our school we have mainly women (staff)."

Australian Education Union state president Mary Bluett said in rare cases some special schools had to take the measure for extremely difficult students. "They get to a size and physical strength that it is a challenge to restrain them for both their protection and the protection of others," she said. "What it is, on the face of it, is an enormous effort by the school to maintain the student in their care and education. "At least we are not back in the dark days where these children were actually shut away. "In these cases we have to make every effort to ensure it is a safe working environment for teachers and other children."

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development spokeswoman Karen Harbutt said the department backed the school's decision.


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