Tag Archives: education

(1199) Don’t forget the students

At a time in life when we should be building strength many of us are exposed to difficulty.
Unpaid internships damage long-term graduate pay prospects
The poverty of student experience
New study finds higher air pollution at school drop-off zones. Emissions were higher in the winter because of air stagnation around the Great Lakes
image: Chris Murphy via Flickr/CC

(988) Income & advanced education [Study]

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

(874) Star looks in on child poverty program in Oshawa

OshawaA car building town that builds a lot less of them is responding in a number of ways to changed conditions.

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

(846) STEM looking shaky

14782844164_192e194d91_zScience, 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.

(720) GTA school closures

3109012794_ed170a6fb4_zA 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

(524) Working at Western

Weldon Library University of Western Ontario“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.

Purple and poor: the real Western experience  

image: D. B. Weldon Library on the campus of University of Western Ontario by Balcer via Wikimedia Commons

(514) School daze

UniversityLet’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.

Surviving the post-employment economy. In the new economy, it’s people, not skills or majors, that have lost value

Why education spending doesn’t lead to economic growth

Soaring tuition costs force students to work more hours: analysis. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives notes significant increases between 1975 and 2013
cbc.ca – see video links

See also: (78) Students! Find out how screwed you are

(502) Business ed and your overqualified future

Dorian-ElectraIf you’ve spent any time near Canadian universities since the late 1980s you’ll have noticed how so many of them have come to host major business schools.  Business education has also spread to the community colleges in a big way, too.  That makes careful consideration of a new report from Statistics Canada well advised.  It appears that business education is pretty commonplace among younger workers having difficulty with employment.  That’s gotta be a sore proposition.  All that faith in markets and money …and then no job.  All those seats in classes in fancy business schools and all that tuition …and then some crap job.

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.

image: artist Dorian Electra at the chalkboard via Wikimedia Commons

(318) Ontario school streaming [Study]

Dunce_cap_from_LOC_3c04163uStreaming 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