Friday, June 28, 2013

“U.S. Releases New Lists of Nation's Most- and Least-Expensive Colleges”

“The U.S. Department of Education released its third round of College Affordability and Transparency information on Thursday, calling attention to the nation's most- and least-expensive colleges”.
“Started in 2011 as a requirement of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, the information—with price lists by sector—is part of a continuing effort to give prospective students and their families more information about college. At the same time, the lists call out colleges whose prices are rising most quickly”.
“Some of the lists look at tuition alone, while others include net price, subtracting grant aid from the total cost of attendance, which includes expenses like housing. The government calculates increases in tuition and net price on a three-year basis, in accordance with the federal higher-education law”.
Just sharing!
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Checking in

Does anyone have any positive inspirational stories to share? I know they are happening and would love to hear them.

Let’s hear about the positive in education today!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sharing articles: “Was the military sexual assault hearing stacked against major changes?”

“The tone of questioning at Tuesday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing left little doubt that there will be action soon on the issue of sexual assault in the military. But the witness list seemed stacked against one of the bolder proposals — a push by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to take serious sexual assault cases out of the military’s chain of command”.
“There were 20 witnesses at the eight-hour hearing, and all but two of them supported keeping these cases within the military justice system”.
“Under Gillibrand’s proposal, military prosecutors would handle the decision to take a case to court-martial for all serious crimes except those that are uniquely military in nature. Military chiefs of staff would have the power to establish courts, empanel juries and pick judges, and commanders would not be able to overturn convictions or reduce sentences”.
“4 Big Players Emerge In Military Sexual Assault Debate”
“The nation's top military leaders came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday primed to defend their ability to handle, in their chain of command, the sexual assault scandal that has engulfed the armed services”.
“But the dramatic faceoff with the Senate Armed Services Committee — in particular two of its female members — appeared to only deepen the chasm between the four-star brass and those who want significant change in a system that has failed victims for decades”.
“If nothing else, the hearing revealed the four players who will play an outsized role in the debate: Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno; Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos; Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y”.
“Tuesday's wall of blue and green, stars, medals and testosterone (there was one woman — a vice admiral — among the dozen decorated officers who appeared before the panel) may not have crumbled”.
“But they took some serious, and, at times, seriously embarrassing fire as the committee contemplates more than a half-dozen bills designed to respond to the crisis”.

What are your thoughts on this hearing?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We are more than numbers

Today, I am writing not so much about education, but about certain aspects of our society that are probably not helping our education system.
Have you tried calling your bank, or your utility company to ask a simple question about something lately? Be prepared to have at least half a dozen numbers memorized, plus date of birth, and social security number. Standardized tests in school are all about the results, in other words the numbers.
When did this phenomenon happen? When did our humanity become merged into digits? When did your number become more important than your name?
From a customer service standpoint, if someone is calling because they are having a bad day, at the very least take the time to ask their name first before requesting their number! Treat them, as a human being not a digital file and you will create customer loyalty. This works in schools as well, treat our students as people not results and student ID numbers.
It is not too late to reverse this trend; it is never too late to be human.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Monday, June 24, 2013

Breaking news today

“Ashford Offers Buyouts”
“Ashford University has begun a voluntary buyout program for non-faculty employees, said a spokeswoman for Bridgepoint Education, which owns the for-profit institution. Enrollment has tumbled at the university, which is also grappling with uncertainty about its regional accreditation. To reduce class sizes, Ashford has hired more faculty members while eliminating all of its teaching assistant positions, according to the company. Next month the Western Association of Schools and Colleges is expected to publicly announce whether Ashford has succeeded in a revised accreditation bid. The university's current regional accreditor is the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools”.
“Court's Ruling Sets Up Another Round on Affirmative Action”
“WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court today issued its long-awaited ruling on affirmative action -- but didn't offer a definitive opinion on whether colleges may consider the use of race in admissions”.

“Ruling 7-1, the court found that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit erred in not applying "strict scrutiny" to the policies of the University of Texas at Austin. The case is Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in which Abigail Fisher, a white woman rejected for admission by the university, said that her rights were violated by UT-Austin's consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions decisions. Fisher's lawyers argued that the University of Texas need not consider race because it has found another way to assure diversity in the student body”.
“The decision said that "good faith" by the university would not be enough to justify the consideration of race. But the decision -- by Justice Anthony Kennedy -- does not offer an opinion on whether the University of Texas can produce sufficient evidence. Rather, it faults the appeals court for not reviewing that question using the high bar of "strict scrutiny" for the consideration of race”.
“It is likely that today's ruling could mean that -- after another round at the Fifth Circuit -- the case could return to the Supreme Court”.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Friday, June 21, 2013


I saw this today and thought: is this progress?

“In a Rare Collaboration, Researchers Will Study Student-Loan Counseling at DeVry U.”comment

“Many academics say they have a hard time conducting unfettered research on students at for-profit colleges. And just about everyone says that all students, but particularly those who are first-generation college students from from lower-income families, need better counseling about the loans they are assuming to go to college”.

“Now two professors at the University of Wisconsin at Madison will attempt to bridge both challenges with a new six-year study set to begin this September at DeVry University”.

“The researchers, Sara Goldrick-Rab, an associate professor of educational-policy studies and sociology, and J. Michael Collins, an assistant professor of consumer science, will be studying the borrowing practices of 10,000 online students at DeVry”.

“All of the students in the study will receive loan counseling through a special online portal offering basic, intermediate, or intensive levels of loan counseling that the researchers will design. Students will be assigned randomly to one of the levels. Then, with the cooperation of DeVry, the researchers will track the students’ borrowing patterns and academic progress”.

It is possible for “traditional” and “for-profit” educators to work together! Let us see more of this!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam                                               

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How parents should deal with each other in school

We have all heard the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”; the saying is actually influenced by various proverbs found throughout the continent of Africa, and in an ideal world is really true.
When parents at school get to know each other, interact with each other’s kids, and perhaps even become friends, it fosters an atmosphere conducive to education. However, this is not an ideal world, this is a world often filled with mistrust, suspicion, and that is highly litigious. As a result, simple problems that should be solved by a conversation between two people become blown up, with some people trying to place blame, find a scapegoat, and just generally behaving badly.
Parents please talk with the each other first and work out those simple problems with each other. It can be done as long as you all have the best interests of your kids in mind. The minute this escalates to administration, all our kids suffer because of the CYA (figure it out) syndrome.
It takes a village not just to raise kids, but also to have a peaceful functioning society. Talk with each other.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Unemployment gaps

Thought I would share an article or two today:

“Job Searching While Black: What's Behind The Unemployment Gap?”

“In the classic American story, opportunity is always in front of you. You finish school, find a job, buy a home and start a family; it's a rosy dreamscape.But that world is one-dimensional. Income inequality is just about as American as baseball and apple pie. And though the economy has improved in the past few years, the unemployment rate for black Americans, now 13.2 percent, is about double that for white Americans”.

“Persistent unemployment and difficulty getting a job cumulatively impact the so-called wealth gap. Wealth or net worth is defined as a person's total assets — such as bank and retirement accounts, stocks and home value — minus debt. It's what families lean on in a downturn”.

“How High Is African-American Unemployment And Is It Going Down?”

“Paul Solman: Last hired, first fired. It's a cliché of the labor market that becomes an especially bitter reality during economic downturns. In both the Great Depression of the 1930s and the more recent Great Recession, the cliché held particularly true for African-Americans, as we pointed out in this broadcast story about East St. Louis from 2009”.

“So how are African-Americans faring in the labor market these days? The question is prompted by this email from Dr. Napoleon N. Vaughn of Philadelphia:

What is the unemployment rate for blacks 16-24 with less than high school, high school only, and four years of college?

The answer to Dr. Vaughn's question: Dismal. Indeed, the numbers never cease to stun me”.

These facts speak for themselves.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Former Teachers/Educators and the news

There are a lot of former educators in society for a variety of reasons, chief among them is retirement. However, there are those who were in the profession for less than five years who left for one reason or another, there are those who were substitutes, and there are professionals who taught as adjuncts part time.
You do not hear much about these folks and their contributions to society, that is, unless of course they do something wrong. When you are an educator and you are doing good you do not get a lot of attention, in fact you are often anonymous; when you do wrong the headline (blasted across) is always “former teacher/educator.”.
This is an interesting phenomenon and one that still remains quite consistent with certain elements of our society, with teachers being near the top of that list.
Why is this?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Monday, June 17, 2013

Furlough Days

My kids are off from school for the next two days, and it is not because they are on vacation; they go to a year round school, which means the school year does not end until the 3rd week of July.
They are out because, yes, you guessed it “teacher furlough days”! Although the kids are out of school, I know for a fact that most teachers are going to work these two days because they still have the same amount of work to do!
We do not pay educators enough as it is in this country, that is a fact. We do not value those who teach, in fact we tend to devalue their contributions to society (we have heard the sayings so I do not need to repeat them). I understand these furlough days are supposed to be for budget purposes, however, how can we casually accept teachers (who are professionals) having to work without pay for several days during the year?
Food for thought…
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Friday, June 14, 2013

If these students focused that energy on school, imagine the possibilities…

Two articles today:

“Purdue Students Charged With Hacking to Change Grades”

“Three current or former Purdue University students face charges of conspiracy to commit computer tampering and conspiracy to commit burglary to hack into computer networks to change grades, The Indianapolis Star reported. Some of the alleged grade changes were from A to A+ while others were from F to A. The investigation that led to the charges started when an engineering professor noticed that his password had been changed”.


“Ugly Fraternity Incident at U. of Chicago”

“The U.S. Postal Service has cut off mail delivery to the Phi Delta Theta fraternity after an incident in which fraternity members mistreated a mail carrier, The Chicago Sun-Times reported. The mail carrier received an order for 79 postal supply boxes, which he had to deliver in six or seven trips. After the last trip, fraternity members told him it was a prank and that he should look at the name on the delivery order -- “Reggin Toggaf" -- and read it backwards. Doing so reveals two slurs. The postal service said it will not deliver mail to the fraternity until an apology is made. A university statement to the local CBS affiliate called the incident "deplorable".


Refocus that energy students, you are in an elite position so do not squander it!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Thursday, June 13, 2013

It would be better to work together education than fight apart

“Senators Condemn For-Profit Colleges' Use of Military Tuition Aid”
The battle between certain elements in our government and the for-profit education industry continues. I should preface by saying, for me, this is not about taking sides but about wasting resources and having no quantifiable end goal.
These senate hearings cost money, and the for-profit schools spend money defending themselves; all this money would be better spent on students. Unsubstantiated accusations go back and forth with no result, and the whole thing ends up being sideshow entertainment not progress in higher education.
Progress will come if everyone steps away from the cameras and the media, and focus on real results based upon real problems. We know there are problems in certain institutions of the for-profit industry, but there are also problems in higher education in general across the board including the “traditional” schools.
Is the idea of pooling resources and working together with true education experts (not witnesses) so abhorrent? Stop the fighting and work together on solutions! There are already many solutions out there, if you are prepared to open your eyes and ears.
Stop making these fights personal, they do not help students at all when you do that.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Whatever happened to the professional interview?

From an article I read:

“You finally landed that coveted job interview. Maybe you aced it; perhaps you flopped. Either way, you send a thank you note and check your inbox compulsively for a week, waiting not-so-patiently for some sort of response. But you hear nothing”.

“This happens far too often”.

“According to a new CareerBuilder study among 3,991 employees, 60% said they’ve experienced this as a job candidate”.

“Why is this so common”?

“Sadly, many times it is simple rudeness that is present when a candidate never gets a response after a job interview, says HR expert Steve Kane. This should never happen at a sophisticated, progressive employer. Obviously, if someone is going through the effort of preparing for an interview, they deserve some idea of their likelihood of receiving an offer”.



The sequence of applying for a job used to be you fill out the application/resume and they say come in to talk, or they say no thanks.

Then we went to fill it out online and get a rejection by computer or come in to talk.

Next, we went to fill it out and maybe you will hear from us whether you interview or not.

How did we get to this point where after professionals talk, ask questions, and references are checked, that employers do not even bother to tell you are not getting the position? What is the difficulty in letting the person know? I understand there is a lot of CYA with human resources on how you respond, but at least respond.

In this day and age of a difficult job market and where scoring an interview is in itself a triumph, we should not forget the basic professional courtesies of letting the professional candidate who interviewed know their status in the hiring process.

Do not make excuses for this kind of rudeness, it should have no place in the professional world. If we continue to let this go next thing you know is we will be paying a fee for an interview.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Why is there so much ‘anti-education’ in the media?

We hear about student loan debt, we hear about gainful employment, we here about college educated folks working in restaurants, and I could go on. However, do you truly believe that going to college equates not being successful in the work place?

“If college were easy, everyone would do it”; college has always been reserved for the elite and wealthy, with the occasional charity case thrown in. Name one politician without a college degree, name a president without one, or how about a fortune 500 CEO or president who tell you not to go to college.

Do not equate bad economic times with education being useless: it does not add up. The people who are suffering by scale the most are those without an education.

“Stop Scaring Students”

“It is high school graduation time, and some columnists here in California and nationally, in platforms such as Forbes and U.S. News & World Report, seem to be heralding in the season by carrying articles questioning the value of a college education. They report record unemployment levels among recent college graduates as the rationale for pursuing a trade right out of high school rather than pursuing a college degree”.

“What such articles fail to report is that the best insurance against unemployment is a college degree. A review of Bureau of Labor Statistics data tracing educational attainment and unemployment for all recessions since 1981 suggests that adults with a college education were twice as likely to be employed as those who had earned only a high school diploma. The logical claim is that education is an investment that pays off”.

Until you can show quantifiable evidence, that education is not useful, please stay silent.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, June 10, 2013

An excellent Immigrant story

I thought I would share this article because it speaks volumes on the good immigrants do, since we mostly hear about the bad.

What Immigrants Bring to America

By Olúfémi Táíwò

Immigration opponents often don't understand how varied are our stories. Even immigration supporters sometimes treat us as charity cases who should be forever grateful for being taken onto American shores. The institutions that employ us also seem to expect exceptionally audible and constant thanks for having jobs in this land of opportunity”.

“Anyone with a good job and prospects, immigrant or not, should probably feel grateful in this rocky economy. But on the whole, immigrants contribute as much as the American-born. Yes, we have good reason to come here; but don't forget that you have equally good reason to welcome us”.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Friday, June 7, 2013

“UNC Drops Charges Against Student Who Spoke Out on Rape”

“The student who was charged with violating conduct rules for speaking out about her rape and the way her allegations were handled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been exonerated, Chancellor Holden Thorp announced in a letter to campus Thursday”.

“The student-run Honor Court charged Gambill in February under an Honor Code provision prohibiting “disruptive or intimidating behavior” that affects someone’s education. Gambill responded by filing a federal complaint with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. A couple of months later, OCR sent a letter to colleges warning them not to retaliate against students who make civil rights complaints with either an individual institution or the federal government. (An outside review, Thorp also said Thursday, found no evidence that UNC retaliated against Gambill.)”

“UNC is undergoing a broad review and revision of its sexual assault policies, after Gambill and others filed a separate OCR complaint in January alleging that the university underreports and mishandles sexual assaults. Thorp said all other student charges under the intimidation rule will also be thrown out, and future charges under the provision must be reviewed by UNC’s Committee on Student Conduct before moving forward”.

“This action is not a challenge to the important role of students in our Honor System, Thorp wrote, but is intended to protect the free speech rights of our students”.

This is good…I guess, but how does a serious issue like this get skewed so far? How does a rape victim initially get put on trial?

Dr Flavius A b Akerele III

The ETeam

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Interesting article June 6 2013

I believe all teachers go through bouts of not liking teaching just like a lot of professionals from other industries. I enjoyed reading this blog.

“I Don't Like Teaching. There, I Said It”

By Sidney Perth

“I will never forget the day. I was in my third year of graduate school and had reached a point where I was comfortable discussing things with a faculty mentor. Perhaps letting down my guard too easily, I told him that I was not so sure I liked teaching”.

“That was an understatement. My admission wasn't because of a bad episode. And it wasn't that I was experiencing my first taste of burnout (that would come later). Rather, my discomfort with teaching stemmed from the broad experience I was gaining in the classroom. My Midwestern state university required teaching assistants to lead four 50-minute tutorials each week for a large introductory course. I had four semesters of that behind me, and two small courses that I taught on my own during summers”.

“I had become aware of just how repetitive teaching can be, of how few students had much interest in the topics to which I wanted to devote my life, of how universities thwart learning in various ways, of how sometimes I was too tired to enjoy a class or was just not in the mood to teach, and of the many pedagogical failures and disappointments that I would face if I continued. The list of cons has multiplied since then”.

“The mentor to whom I spilled the beans had won teaching prizes and honors at college, university, and even national levels. His response? He didn't like teaching, either”.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sharing an article on Campus Sexual assault

I believe we all look forward to the day when a sexual assault is a complete anomaly and not the norm. In the meantime, I will count it as positive that the conversation is still going strong and that people are talking about being ‘proactive’ rather than having to ‘react’ to situations. We need to do more than give women instructions on how to stay safe in situations, we need to foster a culture where young men think the idea of assault is abhorrent and recognize what is consensual and what is not.
“Beyond Rape Prevention”
BOSTON -- Here's one variation on a common scenario: A student wakes up in the middle of the night to find that her roommate has crawled into her bed and is groping her. Afraid that if she resists, he might act out and even rape her, she has sex with him.
What makes the scenario common? The fact that the woman didn't want to have sex, but still describes it as consensual. This makes it the sort of case -- like so many that unfold on campuses -- that could never be prosecuted in a student judicial system.
"I do not want to teach our students to consent, I want to teach our students to hold out for that really mutually desired moment," Melanie Boyd, a scholar on gender issues and assistant dean of student affairs at Yale University, said here Friday at the annual meeting of the American College Health Association. Boyd shared several stories of students who grudgingly accepted sexual advances because it was "easier than not" or they "wanted to be a good girlfriend" or "didn't want to be the ones who refused" -- but still considered the sex consensual.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Latest on Military Brass and Issues of Sexual Assault

“Military calls sexual assault 'like a cancer'”

“WASHINGTON (AP) - Military leaders said Tuesday that sexual assault in the ranks is "like a cancer" that could destroy the force, but they rejected far-reaching congressional efforts to strip commanders of some authority in meting out justice”.

“Seated side-by-side at a long witness table, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the head of each branch of the military and Pentagon lawyers testified on what is widely viewed as an epidemic of sexual assault plaguing the services”.

“Outraged by recent high-profile cases and overwhelming statistics, lawmakers have moved aggressively on legislation to address the scourge of sexual assault. They summoned the military brass to answer their questions at a jam-packed hearing”.

“Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said the problem of sexual assault is of such a scope and magnitude that it has become a stain on our military".

“Congress has acted in prior years to ensure the aggressive investigation and prosecution of sexual assaults, Levin said, but more needs to be done. The committee is considering seven bills to deal with sexual assault”.

Talk is cheap, know there is a problem, and the problem has steadily gotten worse over the last 4 years with reported assaults continuing to climb (emphasis on reported).

“While acknowledging the problem and accepting that legislation is inevitable, military leaders insisted that commanders keep their authority to handle sexual assault cases”.

“Service chiefs expressed concern over making broader changes to the military's legal code that would undercut the ability of commanders to discipline the troops they need”.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. How they think taking away this authority could have adverse affects needs to be explained in more detail because right now the way things are going, the adverse affects are already here!

You have people in charge of preventing assault being accused of assault, you have people who have stepped up to serve their country being treated like lepers because of someone else’s bad behavior; less talk more action!

More intervention would mean fewer victims. How about writing bills to ‘prevent’ sexual assault not just “deal” with it? There should be no victims created from within, the US military should not be its own worst enemy on this issue.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, June 3, 2013

How information can be mis- reported

I saw this title today and was bothered about something:

“For-Profit College Will Pay Up to $2.5M to U.S”.

Now the very short article is talking specifically about “American Commercial Colleges” however, the way the title reads seems more like a dig at all For-Profit schools.

It is not unusual for some people to get a lot of their news information from just the headlines, but the trouble is the headlines need to be a clearer. There are a lot of good players in the education industry, and a For-Profit college is not inherently bad. As someone who has benefited from non-traditional education, I feel that what I learned is highly relevant and applicable in today’s market.

American Commercial Colleges got dinged, not the whole For-Profit industry so let us be clear on how we report the news.

We want to set a good example do we not?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam