Friday, December 20, 2013

Ending 2013 on a good note

This is the last day of school for my kids, and I must say I do enjoy spending time with them. They are so vibrant, energetic, and curious; I lucked out with my kids. Actually, I lucked out with a lot of things and that is my point.
There are ups and downs for all of us, there are hardships and successes, but do we think about how lucky we are to live here? Are we grateful everyday for the people in our lives, for professional careers we have, for simply being alive? The simple things.
I want to close this year out by saying I am grateful everyday for what I do have, and I will continue to strive to not only bring to light the issues in education that need focus, but also collaborate with others for true solutions to educational issues; and I will have funding it.
Merry Christmas everyone and see you in 2014
The ETeam is now on vacation!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

What are your thoughts teachers?

I found this story today interesting for many reasons, chief among them that the California teacher exams do not tell you who will be a good teacher or not, and they are incredibly expensive. I personally have known people whose teaching career got delayed because of these exams and they ended up being wonderful teachers.
By the way I do not like the term minority because there is nothing minor about my culture an heritage.
“Professor: Why I Stopped Recruiting Minority Teaching Students”
“As one of the few ethnic minority professors in my university's education department, I am frequently, actually always, asked to take on a leading role in attempting to increase minority teacher candidate recruitment at the university.”
“Not coincidentally, this initiative becomes a priority exactly at the time when a national accreditation review is due. Among our most pressing tasks is writing up strategic plans for increasing our minority enrollment so that it is, at least, on par with those of the other departments--in particular the math and science departments.”
“This year, for the first time, I declined the offer to join the committee. You see, I know that the effort is not just a "dog and pony show" for the benefit of the accreditation reviewers, but it's actually something far worse. We may be setting ethnic minority students up to fail.”   
“More often than at any time in my career, I am seeing minority students, who may have succeeded within math and science-focused careers, struggle with passing the qualifying teacher certification exams given toward the latter half of their college coursework. Because these students are often raised in poverty and have fewer experiences with academic language used in their homes, linguistically dependent courses, majors, and tests become more of a challenge for them.”
“ As state teacher certification entities face pressure to increase the rigor associated with teacher education program entry and exit, they also face the consequence of diminishing their ethnic minority teacher workforce due in large part to ethnic minorities' historically lower performance records on standardized tests.”
What are your thoughts on this?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III    
The ETeam

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sharing article about the GI Bill 2013

“With GI Bill at Milestone, Veterans Push for Campus Services”
“When Jose Roman enrolled at Old Dominion University in the spring of 2012, he thought he would find more services for veterans on the campus than he did.”
“Fresh off a deployment to Afghanistan—his final mission in a 22-year career with the Navy and Navy Reserve—Mr. Roman soon linked up with other veterans, and they pushed for a meeting space as well as an orientation just for students affiliated with the military. They succeeded on both fronts.”
“The Norfolk, Va., campus, he says, has become a more welcoming place for veterans. They now have their own faculty adviser, a small office, and a Student Veterans of America chapter, of which Mr. Roman, 40, is president. Last month the university held a conference for student veterans from around the state.”
“More and more colleges are recognizing veterans as a distinct demographic group, with specific needs. As those students become more visible, they are finding one another with greater ease, pressing for better support services, and raising the bar for what is expected of colleges.”
Hopefully this is a sign that schools are becoming truly ‘Veteran inclusive’ rather just being friendly, because being inclusive involves true student services for Veterans and their families.
Let us all stay tuned…
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gainful employment rule in the news…

So for profit schools are under pressure to prove gainful employment; I wonder why this is not across the board for all schools? Anyway, back on track, I read an interesting article today about Corinthian Colleges:

“Corinthian Paid for Job Placements”

“An Everest College campus located near Atlanta paid employers to hire its graduates for short periods of time in a maneuver designed in part to boost the for-profit college's job placement rate, reported the Huffington Post. The now-defunct Decatur campus in 2011 shelled out $2,000 for each graduate hired, according to company documents the website published. In most cases those employees were let go one month later, sometimes after pushing a broom around for 40 hours a week.”

“The practice was not limited to Everest's Decatur campus. Two California campuses of the chain, which is owned by Corinthian Colleges Inc., paid temp agencies to hire graduates, the Huffington Post reported, citing a lawsuit filed by California's attorney general. As in Georgia, the practice was aimed at keeping job placement rates above minimum standards set by accreditors. Everest's holding company defended its career services and said the job placement program did not violate any regulatory or accreditation standards. “


If this is true, do you find it shocking, so what, or par for the course? What are your thoughts?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sharing an article today Monday 16 December 2013

“Highest-Paid Presidents Face Backlash, Study Finds”
“When defending compensation of $1-million and more for college presidents, trustees and university officials often repeat a simple refrain: Attracting the best talent costs money.
“In 2011 the 10 highest-paid private-college presidents cost their institutions an average of about $2.3-million each. Some trustees would say that's a bargain compared with the amount a high-caliber president can bring in through fund raising. But the actual cost to a university of having one of the highest-paid presidents in the country may be more than just salary and benefits, according to a new working paper.”
“Institutions whose presidents appear in The Chronicle's top-10 list of highest-paid private-college executives receive between $2.8-million and $4.5-million less in donations the following year than their peers whose presidents are outside the top 10, according to the paper.
Here is the actual list:
Executive Compensation at Private Colleges, 2011
What are your thoughts?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Friday, December 13, 2013

Searching for sunshine at the end of the week

Rather than report on trials and tribulations of education today, let me search for a ray of sunshine. Let us see:

·         I have a home to live in

·         My kids are healthy

·         My Marriage is healthy

·         I live in a land of plenty

I could go and on because when you think about it, you do not have to look far to find sunshine.

Be thankful everyday because that is part of true education.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Thursday, December 12, 2013

San Francisco City College and Accreditation continued…

This issue is not over, the fate 80000 students is still up in the air. The latest and greatest:

“College's Fight Underscores Love-Hate Relation Between Faculty and Accreditors”

“Faculty members sometimes grumble about the administrative burdens associated with accreditation, but a conflict between the accreditor and the faculty of City College of San Francisco may have set a new low for such relationships.”

“The dispute highlights the ambivalence that many in higher education feel toward accreditation. While most embrace the values and goals of accreditation, the process and procedures are seen as arcane and unwieldy, the result of layers of federal oversight that weigh down both the accreditor and its members.”

“In July the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges put City College on "show cause" status, giving the institution less than a year to prove that it is meeting the commission's standards or lose its accreditation entirely. Without accreditation, the college would not be eligible to receive federal student aid and would almost certainly have to shut its doors to its nearly 80,000 students.”

“But the union that represents faculty members at City College, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, has taken steps to discredit the commission and to preserve the college's accreditation, including lodging a lengthy complaint with the U.S. Department of Education and filing a lawsuit.”

Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I hope there is a plan to take care of the students.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Study about Smartphone use and lower grades

I have a rule in my classes:”I do not want to see or hear your noise making devices unless you can prove they are relevant to the class”. That of course does not stop it completely, there are always those who continue to do so (very rudely I might add); and for the most part I can say, their grades are amongst the lowest because they do not pay attention.

“Frequent Cell Phone Use Linked to Anxiety, Lower Grades and Reduced Happiness in Students, Kent State Research Shows”

“Today, smartphones are central to college students’ lives, keeping them constantly connected with friends, family and the Internet.  Students’ cell phones are rarely out of reach whether the setting is a college classroom, library, recreational center, cafeteria or dorm room. As cell phone use continues to increase, it is worth considering whether use of the device is related to measurable outcomes important for student success, such as academic performance, anxiety and happiness.” 

“Kent State University researchers Andrew Lepp, Ph.D., Jacob Barkley, Ph.D., and Aryn Karpinski, Ph.D., all faculty members in the university’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, surveyed more than 500 university students. Daily cell phone use was recorded along with a clinical measure of anxiety and each student’s level of satisfaction with their own life, or in other words happiness. Finally, all participants allowed the researchers to access their official university records in order to retrieve their actual, cumulative college grade point average (GPA). All students surveyed were undergraduate students and were equally distributed by class (freshman, sophomore, junior and senior).  In addition, 82 different, self-reported majors were represented.”

“Results of the analysis showed that cell phone use was negatively related to GPA and positively related to anxiety. Following this, GPA was positively related to happiness while anxiety was negatively related to happiness. Thus, for the population studied, high frequency cell phone users tended to have lower GPA, higher anxiety, and lower satisfaction with life (happiness) relative to their peers who used the cell phone less often. The statistical model illustrating these relationships was highly significant.”



Smartphones are simply tools, and like all tools if they are used incorrectly do not work. Put the phone down students, it will be there when the class ends.


Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sharing an article about poverty in the U.S.A

Show me one person who wants to be poor and I will show you a liar. Prove to me that the working poor receive food assistance because they do not work hard: you cannot. Show me a person who wants the stigma that our society places on them for being poor, and yes, there is stigma. I challenge you to walk into a public assistance office and watch how people are trying not to be seen, to feel the misery, and feel the despair of someone who is missing a piece of paper and therefore cannot get their food for the month.

Here is an excerpt from an article I just read:

 “Poverty Amid Plenty - America's Continuing Shame”

“If that dismissal of American poverty is not to hold sway, we need to go beyond the statistics in the CBO Report, to say other things about the American rich and the American poor. One thing we need to say is that -- as the CBO Report indicates -- both the rich and the poor are still with us. The poor have not gone away, and their conditions of life remain seriously impaired when compared to those enjoyed by the rich. Another thing we need to say - following Eugene Robinson -- is that there are poor Americans primarily because there are also rich Americans. The rich and the poor in contemporary America are not separate categories of people, unconnected and dissimilar. Instead the two categories are organically linked: linked because the rich and the poor are ultimately just people sharing a common country and economy; and linked because in a world of scarce resources, the excessive claims of the privileged deny full access to those resources by the less privileged. In a very real sense, the pursuit of rising incomes in contemporary America is a zero-sum game -- if the man in the big office takes a big salary hike, that hike leaves less in the salary pool for those working in the smaller offices behind -- and like all games, this one only works if everyone follows the rules. Right now, the rules in America's zero-sum income game are heavily stacked in favor of the excessively wealthy and against the excessively poor; and because they are, they are rules that we need to change.”


America, we are the land of plenty and we can do better (not just around Christmas time as well).

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ongoing battle in K12 education

Ongoing battle in K12 education

The word ‘common-core’ seems to appear everywhere when reading about K12 education issues. Are you up to speed on this?

An interesting story today popped up in the news. I say interesting because it seems to be the beginning of a big fight coming up; one that will be played out in the political arena.

“'Day of Action' planned by teachers, union”

“Teachers across the state will wear blue and rally for more funding and less testing as part of a national "Day of Action" organized across numerous states.”

“Richard Iannuzzi, president of New York State United Teachers, says he's starting Monday at an event at Nyack High School with American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, parents and legislators.”

“In Rochester, there is a local press conference scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday at the NYSUT Regional Office, at 30 N. Union St., Rochester.”

“Speakers scheduled for the local event include K-12 educators and parents, including Jim Bearden of United University Professions; student performers from School of the Arts; President of the Rochester and Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation Jim Bertolone; and others.”

“Events are also planned in Albany, Binghamton, Syracuse and West Seneca.”

“While actions will be tailored to each states' concerns, a central theme is a call for more funding for public schools.”

“Protesters also want a three-year moratorium on high-stakes consequences linked to tests based on new Common Core learning standards.”

Read here:

The political money is flowing on all sides, I just hope we all remember who this is really about, and it is not us…

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela

You lived a life that meant something, enjoy your rest.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sharing an article December 5 2013

Sharing an article December 5 2013
PE in schools is what it is nowadays. I personally think the curriculum could use some beefing up but that is just my opinion. On that note, I wanted to share an article I read today in ‘Education Week’ and get a conversation going about what your opinion is.
“One in Four Parents Dissatisfied With Schools' Phys. Ed. Offerings”
“One in four K-12 public school parents believe their child's school isn't placing enough emphasis on physical education, according to a new survey from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Harvard School of Public Health, and National Public Radio”.
“The survey, which drew upon 1,368 parents of public school children in grades K-12 on a range of education-related issues, asked parents to grade their child's school based on its support of physical activity”.
“Twenty-eight percent of parents gave their child's school a C, D, or F grade on providing enough time for physical exercise, while 44 percent gave a C, D, or F on encouraging students to walk or bike to school (by providing bike racks, crossing guards, or offering incentives to those who walked or biked). A higher percentage of high school students' parents gave their child's school a low grade in both categories compared to parents of K-5 students”.
So what are your thoughts on this subject based upon your experiences?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Positive Education of Visitors in Your Country

A lot of people visit America for so many reasons; a big reason being tourism. We recently had the opportunity to host some random travelers from Germany in our home and it has been wonderful (they are also wonderful) They have been travelling from Canada down the west coast for a few months.
I seem to remember that kind of thing happening to me a lot during my youthful travels, and it always left me with fond memories of wherever I stayed.
My point is, we know people want to visit our country and spend their money here. However, let us try to leave them with fond memories that last a lifetime because who knows; you might make a lifelong friend.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Looking at the education headlines today

As I read the headlines for interesting education articles, I realize that sometimes, ‘the headlines’ are the story.
Case in point:
·         “Streaming Suicide”
·         “'Party School'”
·         “Scrutiny for Loan Servicers”
This is not even a full list, it is just a sample!
We need to accept the good with the bad, however, it is ok to post good news everyday as well because it makes us feel…well good.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Monday, December 2, 2013

When the job you were hired to do changes without notice

I have blogged about this subject before and it never gets old because nothing ever changes. There are very ‘few training” programs for university administrators (academic or non-academic alike), most people are handed the job based upon seniority or ‘other’ reasons (you figure out the other). There has been a rise in the ‘professional’ administrator, but that is not the norm.
From the Chronicle of Higher Education today:
“When Domenick J. Pinto first became a department chair, more than 25 years ago, it was a different job than it is today”.
“Mr. Pinto, who still heads the department of computer science and information technology at Sacred Heart University, created the schedule of classes, advised students, hired adjuncts, evaluated faculty members, and reviewed the curriculum”.
“"It was a very academic post back then," he says. "We were thought of as faculty members with managerial responsibilities."”
“Now Mr. Pinto and department chairs everywhere have become more like managers who happen to work in academe. He and his peers were once uninvolved in budgetary matters, but now they often swim in spreadsheets. They have become fiscal overseers and fund raisers, student recruiters and public-relations gurus”.

This is a familiar story is it not? It continues:
“A strong department chair can expand the unit's stature and improve its performance by recruiting top faculty members, attracting more students to its majors, creating a climate in which professors can excel at their jobs, and revising curriculum to keep up with new scholarship. But if a chair doesn't woo enough donors, faculty members may not be able to travel to as many conferences as they would like, or do as much research. If a department's leader fails to promote the group's work and convey its importance, deans and provosts might overlook the department when deciding where to allocate limited dollars. And if a chair is ineffective at mediating conflicts between colleagues, the simmering tensions can disrupt day-to-day work and undermine collaboration”.
“Yet, even though the job is becoming more pivotal, it remains a role for which few faculty members are properly trained”.
“"I was just handed this job," says Mr. Pinto of his transition from professor to administrator. "Most people are."”
“And that's when it becomes most evident that the skills most professors have honed to become strong teachers and researchers aren't the ones they'll flex as they run a department, says Jeffrey Buller, dean of the honors college at Florida Atlantic University. In short, what attracted faculty members to academic life in the first place—the autonomy, the camaraderie of colleagues, opportunities to teach and do exciting research—isn't the stuff that department-chair appointments are made of”.
I am surprised that at the very least, there are not more ‘in-house’ training programs being developed. Programs like that could be a model for eventual certificate programs or university courses.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam