Category Archives: Education Reform

Image: George Skidmore

School Choice Changes How Teachers Strike

Evergreen School District in Vancouver, Washington is delaying its first day of school due to the teacher’s strike. Many parents are frustrated with their tax dollars being spent on empty schools with picketing teachers. It’s even more frustrating that many of these parents don’t support the one thing that would change these strikes: School choice. Unions hate school choice because they know it would make strikes harder to organize.

They also hate it because teacher’s actually need to care more about the students than their unions. There’s no question that most great teachers care about their students. But the unions aren’t really thinking about the kids. Rather, their interests lie in getting the best pay and benefits for teachers. Why, then, do they act like they’re doing what’s best for kids?

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Why We Should Reformat Digital Academic Transcripts

Why are we still sending PDFs of college transcripts to employers, let alone paper copies? This means that someone will have to physically open it, read it, and then make a decision. As the saying goes, “Time is money.” This is especially true in business, but human resources can easily take up a lot of financial resources.

On top of this, we run into the issue of employers relying strictly on GPAs, which aren’t very reflective of skills. Skills are better found in individual grades, but there’s no way to quickly analyze based on this due to how transcripts are sent and received. However, if we were follow this one suggestion, we could forever change the playing field of how employers select people for an interview.

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The Truth About Student Loan Debt

These days, we hear a lot about student loan debt and how it’s really weighing down on students. I’m not saying that this isn’t an issue that college students have to deal with, but it’s certainly not as horrible as many people think it is. Many students don’t receive much financial aid. Others may have private loans, but when we hear about student loan debt, it’s usually federal aid that’s being discussed.

Most of the time, when we talk about federal aid for college students, we hear more about how hard it is for these students than we hear about the actual amount of debt. What do you think the average amount of student debt is? $50,000? $60,000? You may be surprised to find out that any guess over $30,000 is way off.

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Tuition-Free College Would Work Great At BYU-Idaho

As some people may know, Oregon had a measure nicknamed ‘Pay It Forward.’ It was a measure that would allow the state to incur debt in order to provide tuition-free college amongst its public universities and colleges. It was voted down by the majority of the state. While this is quite understandable, BYU-Idaho would have a very good chance at making it work. After some time, the school would not have any debt from it, but instead, would make a profit from it. This is because it’s a private college that is heavily funded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Potentially, this kind of plan could make the university completely self-sufficient.

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Oregon's Tuition-Free College Plan Might Have Worked

Not that long ago, there was a finance plan Oregon had called ‘Pay It Forward.’ It would’ve cost $5 million to $20 million per year to allow 4,000 students to try it out. Oregon obviously has many more than that. But it definitely would’ve been interesting to see how it would’ve panned out. It seems like it would be too good to be true. To an extent, it is. But at the same time, it really isn’t. It was shot down before it had the chance to show anybody whether or not it would’ve worked.

I personally believe that it would have worked. It would’ve been really hard in the beginning, but, it would’ve worked out in the long run had there been donors to fund it.

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Economic Analysis of Oregon's Gubernatorial Election: Oregon Voted for the Wrong Candidate

As everybody knows, election day was this month. This day was a chance for Oregon to move forward in the right direction. Below is a picture of how the gubernatorial election went in Oregon. Even though the majority of the state, in terms of counties, voted for Dennis Richardson, John Kitzhaber won the higher populated areas of Portland and Eugene. In the form of an economic analysis, complete with what we can expect, here’s why Oregon chose poorly.

Oregon is always called a blue state, but results always say otherwise.

Oregon is always called a blue state, but county results usually say otherwise. (Click to Enlarge)

What Oregon Had at Stake

Oregon had a lot riding on this election. More jobs, better education, and less waste of money. These were desperately wanted in Oregon. Now that John Kitzhaber is serving a fourth term, the issues Oregonians really care about will most likely not be addressed. At least, not for the next four years. It was very clear: Under Kitzhaber, we had higher unemployment than the national average and our high school graduation rates were pretty low compared to the rest of America. Under Richardson, we would have someone doing their best to see that all of these things were improved. In order to economically survive as a state, the state needs to ensure that jobs are available to those seeking employment, education is nothing less than top quality, and that state money is carefully monitored.

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