This month the Centre for the Study of Living Standards issued a new report all about income gaps, inequality, job quality and other such things that determine much of daily life in Canada. Among the findings: what looks like a slackening of the connection between advanced education and higher income. Canada’s lowest income brackets have seen an increase in the number of PhD holders therein. This may be evidence of something many of us have observed casually over the years? More study is needed to understand the depth and meaning of these particular findings but if they are true this isn’t really good news. We are supposed to be living and working in a society that needs and respects education and rewards strivers. Maybe that proposition has changed?
Low-wage earners with graduate degrees on rise, new study shows
Trends in low wage employment in Canada: incidence, gap, intensity 1997-2014 66-page .pdf file
Rays of hope rise in Oshawa’s battle against child poverty.
Durham District School Board’s sweeping pilot project to help kids in Oshawa’s 12 poorest schools focuses not just on the usual free breakfasts and after-school programs but on boosting academic expectations
Science, technology, engineering & medicine, the STEM sector of the economy, has been touted for decades as the place to be for good employment. Yet, change in workplace organization and business models appears to be undermining the value of pursuing education for future work in STEM fields. What exactly, then, is the promise of the so-called information economy or knowledge economy? Tons of profit and no jobs?
Generation Jobless: are STEM students next?
See also: (253) Have “eds & meds” peaked?
image: Internet Archive scanned book image, 1912 via Flickr/CC.
A school closure list is probably not designed to make anyone happy. Declining enrollment is hitting schools all over greater Toronto and buildings are physically aging, too. Closures are inevitable, it would seem, and concern is being raised that low income students are taking the hit disproportionately. Do we see a resemblance between the closure map and a map of the GTA’s priority neighbourhoods?
Mapping which neighbourhoods could be most affected by TDSB school closures. A look at potential school closures across Toronto reveals that it could affect communities with the greatest need torontoist.com
Majority of schools on TDSB hit list in poorer neighbourhoods. Majority of elementary schools targeted for closure due to falling enrolment are in city’s poorer neighbourhoods, according to a report to be released Monday by the Elementary Teachers of Toronto thestar.com
image: Thomas Hawk via Flickr
A: Getting ripped off, apparently.
See also: (524) Working at Western
image: Dr. Cyclops via Wikimedia Commons
“Bland Stalinist optimism.” Now that’s a sharp turn of phrase well applied to one of the priciest and most image-conscious universities in Canada. Western’s white collars must be reaching for the Prozac™ and the Pepto Bismol™ a lot these days. Looks like rebranding the university Canada’s Harvard is turning out to be a little tougher than they thought it might be. Jacked up tuition leaves students indentured with uncertain prospects for employment regardless of how much fantasy projection those running the university apply to their brand. Sessional instructors, teaching assistants, doctoral students and support staff at the university have come to find their working lives frequently as precarious as those of fast-food workers while trying to contribute to an institution that is supposed to exemplify our society’s best ideals. Read about Western in this piece from the blog of Openwide, an alternative student print publication.
image: D. B. Weldon Library on the campus of University of Western Ontario by Balcer via Wikimedia Commons
Let’s not trash education as a driver of good things. Instead, can we make sure we have sustainable educational aspirations in tune with local and regional realities, the better to produce valuable, productive skills in fully empowered citizens.
Overqualification among recent university graduates in Canada
Statistics Canada – Insights on Canadian Society, April 2014. 13-page .pdf file.
See Table 3 on page 8 in particular.
Streaming high school students, the process of deciding the level of study they pursue with their perceived abilities and life after high school in mind is firmly back in Ontario. More precisely, it never really left. Children from lower income families are still pushed toward applied programs and their better off classmates towards university preparation according to a new report. The idea that schools in higher income areas simply get more extras and see their students go further isn’t new at all. In the 1980s streaming students became quite controversial and the link between income and educational achievement has been the subject of study for decades all over the developed world. Ontario is supposed to be the kind of jurisdiction that takes steps to ameliorate the worst effects of streaming. It does, just not enough it would seem. You can see how streaming probably sows the seeds of deeper inequality. The lawyer’s son becomes a lawyer kind of thing. Add in the high costs of a post secondary education and streaming begins to seem even more problematic when you consider that ability, in say mathematics or language skills, is pretty evenly distributed. Anything that closes down options based upon where a child or youth started out has to be viewed as socially harmful. You can put streaming on that list.
The trouble with course choices in Ontario high schools
People for Education with link to full report
“Streaming” slips back into high schools: higher ratio of low income teens in applied courses called “problematic”
The Toronto Star was given an exclusive on the the People for Education Report and produced a good feature article accompanied by a P4E map for Toronto
image: child wearing dunce cap in 1906, Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons