Ahh, Your Safety Net Is Burned … Now Jump!!

We do live in a disgusting world, and at School Yard Fights, what else is new?

Coaches deserve those salaries? Look at this web site, Inside Higher Education, and we even get a few comments on why coaches deserve millions a year at public universities with a cabal of coaches and assistants and staff and 400 million dollar stadiums.

And political science teachers … English teachers … shoot, music teachers?

It’s the market — we are a dime a dozen. Hence, we deserve DIMES.

The March of Dimes.

Read story here.

If you’re an instructor in the Western Athletic Conference, the football coaches at your university and your fellow WAC member institutions are only making triple what you make. Only, because in the Southeastern Conference, the coaches’ salaries are eight times that of the faculty’s. (Well, 8.3 times as much.)

That big-time coaches earn more than professors may not be a surprise, but a new study documents the striking extent and longevity of the gap: Coaches’ salaries increase year after year at much higher rates — even as many colleges say they are engaged in belt-tightening across they board — and that pattern is driven by the institutions with the largest athletic programs.

Even pathetic USA Today covers the grossness of this wage theft from faculty, from students, from parents:

The great lie of college sports

Posted by  November 21, 2012

This week, my colleagues at USA Today published a database with the salaries of college football coaches from schools in the NCAA’s Bowl Subdivision, the highest level of competition.

In my years of covering sports, I learned that the response to news on player salaries is pretty evenly split between people who are outraged and people who are indifferent.  Some folks will say “if they can earn that much money, good for them.”  Others will  indignantly ask “whatever happened to doing it for the love of the game?”

But the issue is much more complicated  in college sports, because the majority of these coaches work for public universities.  Their salaries are paid by taxpayers.

At a school like the University of Texas, coach Mack Brown’s $5.3 million annual salary may not seem out of line.  The Longhorns athletic programs generate $150 million in revenue each year — the most of any school.  Roughly $17 million of that is profit, which can be turned around to help fund academic programs at the school.

But it’s the great lie of college sports — that high profile programs generate income. The vast majority of them lose money and have to be subsidized, either through exorbitant student fees or, more often, with money pulled out of the school’s general coffers.

Of the 227 public schools that compete at the Division I level, only 22 have athletic programs that bring in more money than they spend.

Among the biggest money losers is the University of Connecticut, whose sports teams combined to lose $15 million last year.  For years, Jim Calhoun, the head coach of their men’s basketball program resisted efforts to publicly disclose his salary, as is required under the state’s open records law.  When a reporter asked him in 2009 whether it was appropriate to draw a $1.6 million salary while the state was being crushed by budget deficits, Calhoun launched into a tirade.

Well-Well, The Sequester No One is Talking About Hits WA State, Yours Truly

Yep, I am still sending out applications. Taking part-time jobs. Today, after my 15 mile bike run, I stopped by a greenway, in Vancouver — giant blue herons, bald eagles, turtles, a beaver and, oh, 30 men, various ages, shapes, colors. Fishing. At 11 a.m. There’s your yuppie-inspired, NPR-loving statistic of a great economy coming back like a roar!

This is in the education news, another telling case for our times of misinformation, misanthropy, missed opportunities to shine as a society — you know, jobs corps by the government, funded by billionaires.

Unpaid internship at the UN auctioning for $22,000! Sick stuff. Here — **.

Unpaid internships lock out millions of talented young people based on class alone. They send the message that work is not labour to be compensated with a living wage, but an act of charity to the powerful, who reward the unpaid worker with “exposure” and “experience”. The promotion of unpaid labour has already eroded opportunity – and quality – in fields like journalism and politics. A false meritocracy breeds mediocrity.

Worst of all, unpaid internships in policy and human rights send the message that fighting poverty, inequality, and other issues of injustice is something that only rich people should do. Qualities that should be encouraged in society– like empathy and the willingness to stand up for others – are devalued when ordinary people are told that they literally cannot afford to care.

“I think right-wing populists hate the ‘liberal elite’ more than economic elites because they’ve grabbed all the jobs where you get paid to do something that isn’t just for the money — the pursuit of art, or truth, or charity, “ notes David Graeber, an anthropologist whose ideas helped shape the Occupy movement. “All they can do if they want to do something bigger than themselves and still get paid is join the army.”

So, get this – I was in downtown Portland interviewing for a part-time job working with adults with disabilities — intellectual, and physical. We are talking a non-profit, and, I parked at a bike shop. Latte stand right there at the curb. First road bike I look at — Specialized, for $10,000.

IMAG0352.jpg

Sick. I then later went to my local Vancouver shop for the first time. Relayed that bit of information. Here’s what the manager said:

“You been to the shop in Lake Oswego? Downtown? You could easily walk out of that store with a bike costing $28,000.”

Well, not I, walking out of the store, but IT types, knowledge workers setting up the next million products that will be obsolete in six months. Yep, a sick world.

World's Most Expensive Bicycles - Aurumania's Gold Bike Crystal edition

 

$1.25 million for a bicycle? Say no more!

World's Most Expensive Bicycles - Trek Yoshitomo Nara Speed Concept

So, this is short for me, the long winded stream of consciousness guy. Here’s what I got in my email today, minutes ago.

Sequester My Ass 

 

This is an important message from the Washington State Employment Security Department.

You are receiving this message because you have been claiming Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits.

The federal sequester legislation that took effect March 1 requires cuts to all federally funded programs, including EUC. The Employment Security Department is preparing to apply the EUC cuts in May. Here’s how you will be affected.

Cuts apply when you move to the next EUC tier

Beginning May 19, 2013, we will reduce your weekly unemployment benefit when you move from your current tier of EUC to the next tier. For example:

  • If you start tier 1 before May 19, the reduction will occur when you move to tier 2. Your benefit will not be reduced again when you advance to tier 3.
  • If you start tier 2 before May 19, your benefit will be reduced when you move to tier 3.
  • People who are already on tier 3 by May 19 will see no reduction.

Weekly benefit will drop by 21.08 percent

We will reduce your weekly benefit amount by 21.08 percent. For example, if your weekly benefit is currently $357, it will decrease to $281 ($357 x 0.7892 = $281, rounded down) when you move to the next EUC tier.

To estimate what your lower benefit amount will be, multiply your current weekly benefit by 0.7892, and round down to the nearest dollar.

Minimum weekly benefit will be reduced

Since EUC is a federal program, the federal law requiring across-the-board reductions takes priority over the minimum weekly benefit established in this state. Therefore, if you are currently receiving the minimum weekly benefit of $143, it will be reduced to $112 when you move to the next EUC tier.

Watch your postal mailbox for additional details

If you are still claiming benefits when its time to move to the next EUC tier, we will automatically mail you a “Statement of wages and hours” describing your lower weekly benefit and the total amount of benefits you may receive for that tier.

If you have questions

If you have additional questions, here are some resources:

  • esd.wa.gov – In the “Alert” section of the homepage, we will post new information as it comes available. Also, you can submit a question by clicking “Ask questions about your claim” in the center of the homepage; claims-center staff will receive the question and respond to you by email.

Due to federal budget cuts, staffing at our claims centers is being reduced. Claims-center staff will not have any details about how the reduction will affect you until you enter a new tier of EUC and our payment system recalculates your benefits.

Therefore, please do not call the claims center until you receive your new “Statement of wages and hours” in the mail. Then, if you still have questions, contact the EUC claims center at 877-558-8509 (toll-free). Due to high call volumes, it may take multiple attempts to reach a claims agent.

This email account is not monitored. Your responses or questions will not be received. Please use the resources above if you have questions

Federal Programs for Educating Poor = Zero; Wall Street = 15 Thousand!

What other bit of School news? Oh, the TRIO program does work, but the ax cutters and the elitists from Brookings Institution and Department of Ed cooked the facts again!

A report from the Brookings Institution released Tuesday makes a harsh judgment about the federal government’s college preparation programs for low-income students: After four decades, the programs have little to show in return for the Education Department’s $1 billion annual investment.
Read more: Inside Higher Ed

I’ll let one of the many commenters on this program’s value speak for herself:

Deborah Megivern Foster 
The evaluation that the Brookings Report references has been discredited by experts as knowledgeable as Vincent Tinto, the guru of higher education research. As it is, the flawed evaluation still found, “Longer participation in Upward Bound increases the likelihood of completing any postsecondary credentials, with a statistically significant eight percentage point impact.” (p.94). Notably, the program takes applicants regardless of academic background, and does not focus on the most gifted students. Given that it only serves 7% of impoverished, first generation students, the decision not to practice creaming will naturally also dampen the potential results. If Upward Bound were to begin accepting only impoverished students with GPAs above 3.0, there is little doubt that their effect on college participation would be substantially greater.

In addition, the program has many effects on outcomes that were never measured including 1) helping youth to avoid substance abuse, 2) helping prevent teen pregnancy, 3) improved mental health, and 4) high school graduation. The director of our Upward Bound program was happy when she helped impoverished students to avoid falling prey to the many devastating consequences of poverty such as drug abuse, premature parenting, and school dropout. The intervention has value beyond simply attaining postsecondary education.

The timeline for college participation was also problematic. While 7-9 years post high school seems sufficient to measure college participation, my current employment at a university serving overwhelmingly adult students from low-income, first generation backgrounds shows me that it is not uncommon for these students to take far longer than traditional middle class students to begin or complete their education. Scores of students I’ve worked with have exhausted their 6-yr Pell grant eligiblity well before graduation demonstrating their need to work while attending school is unlike wealthier students.

Speaking as an alum of the program, I can say that myself, my brother, and my sister all attended college (and two of us have post-graduate degrees) following the intervention. The likelihood we would have done so without Upward Bound is extremely minimal. Given that I nearly dropped out of college twice but was prevented from doing so by Upward Bound staff I had worked with for several years, and Student Support Services staff, I am unconvinced that the program is ineffective. Through close contact with other alum, I know that our story is not unique. It is time to reevaluate Upward Bound based on a stronger research design, the addition of other substantial outcomes, and giving consideration to the population studied.

Student Debt? Wall Street Scandal. Banking Felonies. Obama Milquetoast!

“The federal government is going to charge interest rates nine times higher than the rates they charge the biggest banks,” she said. “The same banks that destroyed millions of jobs and nearly broke the economy. That isn’t right. We shouldn’t be profiting from our students who are drowning in debt while we’re giving a great deal to the big banks.”

“The student debt problem in this country is a quite but a growing problem,” said the Democratic senator from Massachusetts. “This will give them relief while giving Congress a chance to find a long-term solution. Doubling interest rates on new loans will just increase pressure on our young people. These young people didn’t go to the mall and run up charges on a credit card. They worked hard; they stayed in class; they learned skills; and they borrowed what they needed to get an education.”

Paul Kirk has been a journalist since 1977. He's covered police, environment, planning and zoning, county and city politics, as well as working in true small town/community journalism situations in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico and beyond. He's been a part-time faculty since 1983, and as such has worked in prisons, gang-influenced programs, universities, colleges, alternative high schools, language schools, as a private contractor-writing instructor for US military in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Washington. Read other articles by Paul.