Follow the MONEY

woman wearing pink crew neck t shirt standing and leaning behind white bars
Access+Education+Success+Graduation+Employment Opportunities+WITH GRACE

In the last two weeks we have been given a wake up call. Really I don’t believe we should have had much of a surprise. When did we not have special consideration for any one with the money to influence a decision. Politicians spend exorbitant amounts of money to win an election. News media broadcast through their journalism how much each candidate has spent. Hollywood elite sit in the best seats and attend events no family could afford to be present. Now! We have been informed how family members of money have received special avenues to admissions into some of our most prestigious colleges and schools. One entrepreneur saw the opportunity to cheat, lie, and commit fraud for the highest bidders. Who were the people who could and would take advantage of this opportunity? This is just a tip of the iceberg.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is iceberg.jpg

I ask you where does that put you when you are reading this? Circling back looking at where colleges, politicians, leaders, and news media have been predators of colleges and schools who were serving students from the middle class and low socio economically challenged communities. The schools didn’t have millions or billions of dollar endowments. They relied on the systems allowed them by the federal government to allow these students to attend post secondary education. They were graced with attaining student loans initiated by the federal government to reach their potential academically. The majority of this population came from families that had never had any one attend a college. Family members who hadn’t been in a school since high school for six to ten years. Looking to better their families they attended the only school they could afford with private student loans. Others came from colleges and schools they could no longer afford or could not compete with the rich and famous. Over the past six years thousands upon thousands of students have lost their schools. The pitch was these schools were committing fraud and pressuring students to enroll. My life has experienced thirteen U.S. Presidents where everyone has held education of society as important. In the last ten years we have done irritable damage to the student population pursuing a better life. No one ever ask when these students take these loans where the interest payments go? We are in the middle of a drastic need to get our heads on straight and stop pointing our fingers and really look to how to improve access and completion with appropriate outcomes. Gallup completed a study on how our U.S. population perceived higher education:

How can we gain any confidence going forward with these measures of reliability. Recently, a group of people gathered to consider how to monitor and engage colleges and schools to improve their performance. Some of you may be asking who are these people and how can they understand and know who I am and what my family needs for an education?

Let’s be honest with our path of needs. I have enjoyed teaching and being a leader in the education arena for forty-nine years. It has been a blessing to work with youth and adults across the United States and abroad. Education always becomes important during elections to gain votes from parents and adults interested in education. So ask your self why the governing bodies have continued to accept the inequity of our schools and colleges in funding and regulations. This nation has been blessed with the ability to provide schools and colleges reaching the needs of many citizens with interest in an abundance of vocations. No one single career path or education endeavor is better than another. Life provides the opportunity to discover vocations that will foster individual achievement and satisfaction. The only path to success isn’t always a college. My journey in proceeding through the education maze was by having opportunities at a trade school, junior college, metropolitan college and large university. My life gave me the opportunity to teach at all levels and provide leadership for hundreds of colleges. First hand my life has allowed me to see how our schools can influence lives.

On the scale of measuring education success and opportunity how can we improve:

School and College access

equitable funding and regulations

School operations equal with opportunity, materials, technology, equipment, the retention of teachers.

Teacher education improvement (instruction design and methodology)

Allowing for students to receive personalized education by recognizing where they are functioning at the entrance into school

Student performance measurements from baseline data and not standardized test

Meaningful measurements for schools recognizing their populations with analysis of data

Variables affecting success and how to address them

Improve school attendance

Collaborative engagement between employers and schools

Flexibility (scheduling, matriculation, reaching competencies)

Stop the caste system of education in our nation

Today is the day we should start the road to improvement. A fifty member panel working around the political correct process is not the answer for the future. People like to think they are experts in education because we all went to school somewhere. I think we would all agree things have changed dramatically over the years since the year I was born in 1946. But some things have never changed. We should begin by asking why not?

Start now!


The Most Important Topic with Great Attention

boardwalk clouds country countryside
Path Less Traveled

The best way to start this article is to write it to myself. Throughout the years during my life it was no secret how important my family and community regarded a good education. For me to further my education beyond high school I knew I would be the first to go on to higher education. My path was nothing but questions on how I could actually go to on after high school? My inner thoughts were crowded with “Am I smart enough?”, “how can I afford it?”, “what should I study to become?” and many more deterrents to go forward. This time was in the mid to late 1960’s. The saying that some of us get to be in the right place at the right time applied to me. Fortune presented itself for me to gradually take the path by attending a junior college and then going on to a four-year university. I graduated as a teacher in 1969 with no student loans. I further continued my education and completed a Master’s Degree with no student loans. By age thirty-two I had finished my doctorate in education with no student loans. Did I have any scholarships or grants? Yes I did but not enough to pay for all the tuition and books. For me to complete any of my degrees I needed to work. I worked forty hours a week plus attended college full-time. How could that be possible? By planning my matriculation with courses, times and dates the plan was laid out to have a path of success. Good advisors and teachers helped to make all this happen. My goals were on a great start to completion.

Differences in that time and now was the tuition for me was affordable if I worked hard to have the additional funds each semester I could continue. Today’s tuition has grown to be inexcusably unaffordable and it has placed many students into lifetime debt. Through governmental allowable loans for students colleges escalated their tuition to be equal to what is allowable by the government programs. So upon graduation today a student now owes large amounts of money in federal student loan commitments. Colleges and schools became the scapegoat of the problem of student loan indebtedness. My era knew that upon graduation that upon taking our new jobs it would be at an entry-level and we could within time increase our incomes by our experience and our ability to be successful in our chosen professions. This worked so well it gave all students the opportunity to grow within their career. Today, loan debt has presented itself with frustration and anxiety to earn large amounts of money fast to meet student loan payments. Our government decided the way to face up to this student loan issue is to require schools tuition match a ratio with starting salaries in the given career field. This was without any regard to operations cost to the schools and the salaries needed to keep good teachers in their profession. This practice now had no regard ¬†for ¬†graduates to grow in time into their salary potential with success on the job. My work path has always been to practice a plan of getting better to achieve higher goals.

How important is a good education to any country. Should it be affordable? Does it have equity to other high priority funding in America? Does America encourage a caste system of education where those that have high incomes can afford better education than others. Have we priced out middle class Americans from attending expensive elite colleges? How many average American high school students have the opportunity to aspire to greater achievements? Has research shown the lack of trust for our schools and outcomes?

In the last few days we have only seen a small indication of the corruption and potential inequity in our systems. We will see finger-pointing and blame directed in all directions. The real need comes down to a complete look at cause and effect of all the education systems from the front door to tha back. All education in America is special. It is time all education be treated equitably. The better our citizens are educated the better our country’s foundation will stand. There is enough blame on this situation to go around running all the way to a government that has created corruption by its contradictory regulations and inequitable treatment of all schools.

America is better than this and a new era with a new path is necessary to get us back onto a moral, high integrity, dedicated systems to serve our citizens.

Any issue has a cause and usually it is deeper than it appears.

My prayers are for the those that look to education as a solution in life!