Distance Education—A Boon for Career Changers and Apprentices!
Nationally syndicated columnist and expert on career education Joyce Lain Kennedy recently published an article promoting the many advantages of distance education. Highlighted with the caption, "Home study today—this isn't your father's Studebaker," Kennedy explains that "Even the name of learning miles away from the site of instruction has changed from the century-old 'home study' or 'correspondence school' to 'distance learning,' a term in use only during the past 10 years. . . .
"Distance learning has always had advantages for serious adult learners: monthly payments are affordable, self-starters can study at their own pace, anywhere, anytime. They're able to balance busy jobs and family responsibilities without missing a beat. The spectrum of career fields is gigantic.
"Many of the career fields covered by the [Distance Education and Training Council (formerly the National Home Study Council)] schools require fairly brief training of several months to one year, an ideal situation for career changers who don't wish to devote more than a year to retraining.
"For years the technologies available for distance education were few and familiar: the printed word, recorded video and audio, live television program and telephone consultations. Now live, interactive media have appeared on the distance education scene and we're beginning to learn through microwave ITV (interactive television), computer conferencing, audio conferencing and more."
A free Directory of Accredited Distance Education Schools is available upon request by writing: Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), 1601 18th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20009-2529. Distance learning programs are ideal for home school graduates seeking to fulfill apprenticeship career training models.
ESEA Reauthorization Offers Startling Statistics of School Crime
Embedded in the controversial S.1513, the reauthorization vehicle for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, are the following "Findings": "Our Nation's schools and communities are increasingly plagued by violence and crime. Approximately three million thefts and violent crimes occur in or near our Nation's schools every year, the equivalent of more than 16,000 incidents per school day. Approximately one of every five high school students now carries a firearm, knife, or club on a regular basis." Title IV §4001(3).
Schools Use Home Education as "Dropout Dumping Ground"
Reported in the 1994 convention issue of Family Voice, "A dropout dumping ground is what home schools have recently become. Administrators and principals throughout the Albuquerque area have been strongly encouraging their trouble-maker students to quit school and start home schooling. The flood began after the schools gave their final attendance count for funding.
"Most of the inquiry calls we receive from their parents are not asking how they can home school their kids. They want to know where there is an existing home school family that will just add their high schooler in."
Head Start Results Show Lowering Compulsory Attendance Age Unnecessary
Head Start is often cited as "everyone's favorite program," and there are numerous outcries for its expansion. But syndicated columnist Ken Adelman explains that "expanding funds into Head Start is easier than showing any positive results that come from it. Sadly, after some three decades of programs and billions of dollars, Head Start seems to have no long impact on the kids enrolled."
Complaining that "Many of the local programs for the 700,000 children served suffer from poor management, dilapidated buildings, and low quality staff and teachers," Clinton advisory panel leader on Head Start, Mary Jo Bane, seeks to boost Head Start from its $3.3 billion yearly up to as much as $8 billion each year by 1997.
That's a lot of money when you consider that "Even the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where Mary Jo Bane is assistant secretary, reported that 'in the long run, cognitive and socio-emotional test scores of former Head Start students do not remain superior to those of disadvantaged children who did not attend Head Start.'
There's no lasting effect of Head Start—even through grammar school, let alone through a child's whole schooling, or through life…."
"John Hood, research director of the John Locke Foundation and author of an independent Head Start analysis, found that 'short-term gains in intelligence scores and learning skills disappear for most Head Start students after two years at school.'…
" 'We must reward the people and ideas that work and get rid of those that don't.' So wrote Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 'Putting People First.' This quote is highlighted on the first page of the Vice President's superb 'Reinventing Government' report." Ken Adelman suggests that the call to "get rid of the programs that don't work" should begin with Head Start.
Metric Measures Important to Curriculum
In 1988, Congress passed a law requiring federal agencies to begin using metric units whenever practical by September 30, 1992. The act was designed to make the United States more competitive in trade. Knight-Ridder News Service reports that the Federal Highway Administration is again considering whether to put kilometers on road signs—this time replacing those familiar miles! Make sure your children are learning to make the necessary conversions.
National ID Card—Do You Want One?
Investor's Business Daily reports that the Clinton administration recently unveiled plans for a "general-purpose" identification card "that would electronically tie every American to Uncle Sam." The proposed card, a "brainchild of the Postal Service," is a "plastic 'smart card' with a private key that, when entered into a scanner, would authenticate the identity of the person by generating a unique 'digital signature.'"
The card would "also incorporate enough memory to enable the storage of health care, financial, tax, and other personal data. It would be used in all interactions with the federal government, with particular emphasis on those transactions that are prone to fraud."