Friday, September 02, 2011

Study Finds Day Care Rivaling College In Expenses

Jessica Rivera wants the best for her children. Being a working mom, she has had no choice but to pay for day care so that she could help her husband keep the house up and running.

“A thousand dollars a month for two children so that along with mortgage and everything it was hard.” It became so overwhelming that Rivera sought financial help. Her daughter America was accepted into a program called ChildCareGroup.

But millions of parents are feeling the pinch from child care. A new study released by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies found that in 36 states the average annual cost of child care was higher than a year’s tuition at a four year public college.

In Texas one year of public college averages $7,743. While one year of child care for a four-year-old is $6,600. But the cost of child care for an infant was greater than a year of college at $7,850.

Susan Hoff is a child care advocate for United Way. She says finding affordable quality child care is a huge problem, but adds educating babies and toddlers requires a significant investment just like higher learning does. “Those first four years of life are the greatest amount of brain development in young children… It’s important to our entire public.”

According to the study New York is the least affordable state for child care, while Louisiana is the most affordable. But that’s based on a two parent income. Its even more difficult for single parents. “A little bit more than half my income goes to paying day care,” says Maria Ruiz, who is raising her three-year-old son Sidney alone.

She just moved her son from one day care because they went up on the tuition, again. “It was hard trying to find something that would meet my budget and at the same time meet my needs for my son.”

And meeting their children’s needs is every parents concern– no matter the cost. “His education means a lot,” says Ruiz.


Only 4 Percent of NEA Dues Dollars Dedicated to Improve Teaching

It looks like the National Education Association is not putting its money where its mouth is.

In its mission statement, the nation’s largest teachers union asserts that “we will focus the energy and resources of our 3.2 million members on improving the quality of teaching, increasing student achievement and making schools safer, better places to learn.”

But a secret union document reveals that the NEA’s commitment to “improv(ing) teaching and learning” works out to a paltry $7.44 per member every year. This is according to a document obtained from an internal source of the Indiana State Teachers Association, one of the NEA’s state affiliates. All dollar amounts refer to the NEA’s 2010-11 budget, and are the most recent numbers available.

While the majority of a teacher’s dues dollars stay with the state union, $166 is sent to the NEA every year, which is the parent union. As already stated, the NEA only spent $7.44 of that amount on efforts to improve teaching and learning.

To put that into perspective, the NEA spent four times as much ($31.05 of the $166) on “legislative and ballot initiatives” and “partnerships and public relations.” The union spent $68.69 of the $166 on administrative support, governance, legal support, and leadership development and constituency support.

That explains why the NEA could afford to pay its top three leaders more than $1 million in salary in 2009, the most recent year those figures were available.

The NEA is clearly more concerned about taking care of its leadership team than it is about improving student learning.

The reason the NEA gives anything at all toward improving teaching and learning practices is so the union can claim to care about students. That piddly amount is only meant to give the union a thin veneer of respectability.

We’ve got a lot of great public school teachers. But it’s a shame that they are being represented by such a self-serving, hyperpartisan group of activists.


AD and BC ruled out of date for national curriculum

This is just going to force kids to learn two systems instead of one. Most reference works use BC and AD so will be incomprehensible to the kids unless they learn both systems

CHRISTIANS are outraged that the birth of Jesus Christ will no longer be cited when recording dates under the new national history curriculum.

High school students will not use the terms BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) when referencing dates.

Although history dates won't change, with textbooks still using the birth of Christ as the change point, they will use the neutral terms BCE (Before Common Era), BP (Before Present) and CE (Common Era).

Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen said yesterday that removing BC and AD from the curriculum was an "intellectually absurd attempt to write Christ out of human history".

Do you agree with the changes? Vote in our poll below

"It is absurd because the coming of Christ remains the centre point of dating and because the phrase 'common era' is meaningless and misleading," he told The Daily Telegraph. It was akin to calling Christmas the festive season, he said.

A spokesman for the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, responsible for developing the national curriculum from kindergarten to Year 12, said BCE and CE were to be introduced because this was an increasingly common standard for the representation of dates.

The little known term BP (Before Present) will be used when dealing with "very ancient history and archaeology, and allows for the teaching of more sophisticated understandings of representations of time".

In anticipation of the curriculum change, textbooks for student teachers such as Teaching And Learning In Aboriginal Education, by Neil Harrison, were already using the term BP.

Federal Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne said: "Australia is what it is today because of the foundations of our nation in the Judeo-Christian heritage that we inherited from Western civilisation.

"Kowtowing to political correctness by the embarrassing removal of AD and BC in our national curriculum is of a piece with the fundamental flaw of trying to deny who we are as a people."

The curriculum was to have been introduced next year but has been delayed.


No comments: