Friday, November 16, 2012

Skip College

Interviewing various bouncers, bartenders, pedicab drivers and other low-skilled workers along Bourbon St. in New Orleans, Peter  Schiff ound almost everyone had an expensive college degree. And not meaningless ones, either. He found people with advanced degrees in neuroscience, robotics, radiology, mechanical engineering, engineering, to name but a few.

"President Obama promotes the myth that everyone must go to college," says Peter. "That if you don't go, your life will be ruined -- that you will end up waiting tables, or trapped in some other mundane occupation. The truth is, even with a college degree, you may still end up waiting tables, you'll just begin your 'career' four or five years later, tens of thousands of dollars in debt."

Watch the hilarious, thought-provoking video below:


British education bureaucracy to be slashed

Education Secretary Michael Gove wants to have halved his department's running costs by 2015-16.  Michael Gove will shed 1,000 jobs from the Department for Education as he tries to set an example to the rest of Whitehall.

The Education Secretary has pledged to do 'more with less' by halving the £580million running costs of his department by 2016.  He won the approval of Cabinet colleagues to conduct a radical 'zero base' review of his department, as though it were being set up from scratch.

But his plans have drawn the ire of unions, who warned they were balloting members on the reforms.

Mr Gove said poor performers will be 'speedily managed out' of their jobs and higher standards will be expected of those remaining.

Many back-office roles will also go as management consultants warned their costs were too high. Work that is not a ministerial priority is also likely to stop.

Children's services are likely to be hit, with resources diverted to supporting academies and free schools – which will account for one in four schools by 2015.

Staff will also be forced out of their expensive Westminster headquarters, which include a 'contemplation suite' and a massage room, to a cheaper building. Real estate costs for the DfE have soared to £40million – £6million of which is spent on vacant buildings.

Unions criticised the job cuts as an 'ideological attack on the civil service as a whole' and accused Mr Gove of 'playing politics' with people's livelihoods.  PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: 'Michael Gove appears to want to run his department as some kind of nightmarish Right-wing experiment, playing politics with people's livelihoods and putting at risk the very important services DfE civil servants provide to schools, teachers and the public.  'Staff in the DfE will not sit back and allow their jobs and the vital work they do supporting the education and development of our children to be used as some kind of ideological testing ground.'

A review document drawn up by the department's permanent secretary, Chris Wormald, said: 'While there is no formal headcount target, this is likely to mean that by 2015 the department will have fewer than 3,000 posts, around 1,000 fewer than we have now.'

Mr Wormald added: 'We will be smaller and will operate from fewer sites. We will focus on our duties to the taxpayer with renewed vigour, investing where we need to but always remembering that every pound we spend on ourselves must be justified to the citizens who pay for us.'

Cost-cutting will mean leaving the ministry's HQ in Great Smith Street in Westminster

Most Whitehall departments have been asked to save a third of their costs by Chancellor George Osborne as part of the austerity measures to reduce the country's deficit.  But Mr Gove's target was to cut administrative costs by 42 per cent by 2015, which he has extended to a goal of 50 per cent by 2016.


Queensland private schools announce fee hikes of up to 7 per cent for 2013

Fees at Eton are approx. $48,000 p.a. at current exchange rates.  But that includes full board, which is not discussed below.  Considering the standard at Eton, one imagines that food and accomodation accounts for around $20,000 of that.  So Australian private schools are well funded, considering that they get substantial Federal money as well

ELITE private schools have announced fee hikes of up to 7 per cent for next year, with one charging parents $19,880 for annual tuition.

Brisbane Girls Grammar School (BGGS) has posted the most expensive "all inclusive" tuition fee so far of $19,880, just above the 2012 tuition fee for Brisbane Grammar School (BGS) for Year 8 to 12 students.

In a letter to parents, BGGS board of trustees chairwoman Elizabeth Jameson said the 6.4 per cent fee rise reflected "the lowest percentage increase in many years and the school's concerted effort to constantly contain the impact on our families".

"Brisbane Girls Grammar remains one of the few independent schools which does not impose additional levies on top of our tuition fees," the letter states.

Brisbane Boys' College (BBC), Clayfield College and Somerville House have posted the biggest fee percentage increases so far of about 7 per cent each.

BBC is charging $17,920 for annual tuition in Years 7 to 12 next year while Somerville House is charging $17,776.

Extra levies and other school costs mean BBC Year 12 parents will pay more than $20,000 next year for the cost of education.

BGS parents are expected to pay more than $20,000 for tuition in senior year next year - the first time in Queensland a tuition fee would have risen above that mark.

The all boys' school, which is also the state's most consistent top performer in OP rankings and NAPLAN, charged Queensland's top 2012 tuition fee of $19,635. Parents of Year 8 to 11 pupils also paid $1005 for a tablet PC levy.

Independent Schools Queensland executive director David Robertson said fee increases generally reflected the rising cost of education.  Education costs have gone up 6.1 per cent over the past year according to Australian Bureau of Statistics Consumer Price Index figures.

"Around 70 per cent of a school's expenditure generally goes to teachers' salaries," Mr Robertson said.

"Education costs include increases in salaries, capital costs for new buildings and maintenance programs plus implementation of the Australian curriculum."

Somerville House principal Flo Kearney said fees needed to go up "because of the increasing cost of delivering a quality education", including recruiting and retaining the best teachers.

"There are things that are out of our control as well such as significant increases in the cost of insurance and also meeting growing costs of compliance," she said.

Cairns-based Trinity Anglican School principal Christopher Daunt Watney said they tried to keep their costs to a minimum.


No comments: