Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘higher education’

It’s not a joke. Republican voting states have lower education & income.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, November 18, 2012

Like it, love it, or hate it… there must be something to 1.) Richard Nixon’sSouthern Strategy,” and; 2.) The line made famous (or infamous, depending upon one’s perspective) by then-Washington Post reporter Michael Weisskopf in 1993 about being “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.“ And, for the readers’ benefit, in context, he wrote, “Corporations pay public relations firms millions of dollars to contrive the kind of grass-roots response that Falwell or Pat Robertson can galvanize in a televised sermon. Their followers are largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.”
— Washington Post reporter Michael Weisskopf in a February 1, 1993 news story.

America’s Best (and Worst) Educated States

Published October 15, 2012

24/7 Wall St., Michael B. Sauter and Alexander E.M. Hess

The number of Americans with college degrees has increased steadily in the last decade. According to the latest government data, 28.5% of U.S. residents 25 or older had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2011, up only slightly from 27.2% in 2005. While the number is relatively unchanged, there are substantial differences across the country. In West Virginia, the state with the lowest graduation rate, 18.5% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree. In Massachusetts, the state with the highest graduation rate, the figure is 39.1%.

Best & Worst educated states & voting record

Best & Worst educated states & Presidential voting record

This article was originally published by 24/7 Wall St. 

Based on education data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s’ American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the U.S. states with the largest and smallest percentages of residents 25 or older with a college degree or more.

The difference in median income between those with only a high school diploma and a college degree is dramatic. The median pay for U.S. adults with just a high school diploma was $26,699 in 2011. For those 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree, median annual earnings came to $48,309. Residents with a graduate or professional degree did even better; median annual earnings was $64,322.

Differences in poverty rates related to education are just as dramatic. For U.S. adults with at least bachelor’s degrees, the percentage living in poverty in 2011 was just 4.4%. For adults with only a high school diploma, 14.2% were living below the poverty line.

The effects of wage gap by education becomes clear when comparing the states by graduation rate. Of the 10 states with the largest percentage of college-educated residents, eight are in the top 10 for median income. Among the worst-educated states, eight are among the 10 with the lowest median income.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the percentage of U.S. residents 25 or older with at least a bachelor’s degree for 2011 from the annual American Community Survey. From that survey, we obtained Read the rest of this entry »


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Nursing shortage could be compounded by faculty shortage

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 3, 2012

One of the inevitable consequences of an aging population is the loss of their significant contribution and influence upon society from myriad perspectives.

To account and plan for such inevitabilities is not simply wise, but rather, it is common sense and a hallmark of effective and competent management.

Having been warned of the potential for crisis, we would be wise to double down on solutions.

Nursing Schools Brace For Faculty Shortage

by Sandy Hausman, WVTF

Listen to the Story Morning Edition; August 3, 2012; [4 min 16 sec] Download; 04:43 am

There have been lots of goodbye parties this year at the University of Virginia School of Nursing. So far, eleven professors have retired. That’s one-fourth of the faculty, and Dean Dorrie Fontaine is in no mood to celebrate.


Nursing students in a simulation lab at the University of Virginia School of Nursing. Photo by: Elizabeth Lee Cantrell/UVA School of Nursing

Over the next few years, the Affordable Care Act will probably boost demand for nurses to take care of the newly-insured, she says, “And I need faculty to teach the practitioners that are going to take care of these uninsured.”

In the last year, more than 76,000 qualified applicants were turned away, in large part because nursing schools didn’t have enough professors. Polly Bednash heads the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. She explains that nurses comprise the oldest workforce in the nation, and many of them kept working during the recession.

“They are going to leave in droves and are already leaving in some places where the economy is getting better,” she says.

Finding professors to Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama: I love my state, and despise her corrupt officials.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 7, 2012

This entry starts out in a wee bit different tenor, then points directly at the problem.

Read on to see what I mean.

Not many folks may recall Alabama‘s state song, which lyric reads, “Alabama, Alabama, I will aye be true to thee. From thy Southern shore where groweth, by the sea the orange tree.”

As a kid, I kinda’ thought it was Read the rest of this entry »


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Our National Economy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This is the second in a multi-part series about our national economy.

How we are affected by downturns, spikes and elevations in the economy individually/personally and as families/communities has great similarity across a wide spectrum. But perhaps most importantly, in this instance, once we know the problem, or the causes of the problems, we also know the solutions. That is the natural corollary to identifying those problems.

The CIA World Factbook – which is available online at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html – indicates that “Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households.

The next question that arises from that fact is this: Why?

The Central Intelligence Agency offers this explanation: Read the rest of this entry »


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Veteran’s Day 2009

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 9, 2009

I’m proud to have served my nation in the uniform armed services, having done so voluntarily. I think every young American should do similarly. And, I believe our nation should provide significant benefit to those whom so choose.

Some years ago, I envisioned what I called a “234 Plan,” which would:

  1. Double pay grade for two years up to pay grade E-3 for initial enlistees;
  2. Require a minimum of Four Years of service;
  3. Pay for four years of higher education, up to and including Ph.D., with the ability to transfer benefits to first-degree relatives;

and perhaps most importantly,

4. Provide such income as federally Tax-Free, forever.

At current pay rates, that would be slightly under $76,000 for a period of two years at pay grade E-3 – not a bad nest egg. And then, there’s the 30 days paid vacation, head-to-toe health care, incentive/bonus pay for skills, BAH (basic allowance for housing), and a host of other remunerations and fiduciary potential – all of which are added to Basic Pay, thereby increasing take-home pay. Potentially, managing money wisely, a young enlistee could emerge from a four year commitment with very nearly $125,000 in pocket, VA health benefits, GI Bill benefits, and more.

The money could be used wisely, or squandered. But the principle would forever be federally tax-free – and I think it should be at the state level, as well. It’s well known that young enlistees have high levels of “disposable” income. But WISE fiscal management could yield significant benefits to them individually, and by extension, to our nation.

Part three of the plan I envisioned – higher education – was implemented when President Obama signed the Post 9/1 G.I. Bill, providing the most comprehensive expansion and provision of educational benefits our troops have received since F.D.R.’s presidency.

I recollect a report entitled “Young Virginians: Ready, Willing, and Unable to Serve,” having read and saved it September 2, this year. It was authored and advised by an impressive cadre of Generals, Admirals, field-grade officers, and senior executive NCOs, from all branches of the service, and “supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts, and Pre-K Now, campaign of the Pew center on the States.”

Interestingly, NPR has only recently reported on it.

The problems the report addresses are from a thorough examination of Virginia, though it’s findings can be extrapolated to the United States at large.

According to the report, the three greatest problems disqualifying American youth from service to our nation include:

1.) Criminality – felony and serious misdemeanor offense;

2.) Education – failure to graduate high school, and low achievement in reading & math, 30% unable to pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test; and

3.) Health – specifically obesity, although asthma, eyesight, hearing, mental health, ADHD and additional health problems factor in, thereby disqualifying over half of all young adults.

Additional disqualifiers include single custodial parenthood, and drug or alcohol abuse.

These are all social ills.

Mission: Readiness – Military Leaders for Kids is a bipartisan, nonprofit, national security organization of more than 80 retired generals and admirals,” whom “accept no funds from federal, state, or local governments,”  and “call on all policymakers to ensure America’s security and prosperity by supporting interventions proven to help America’s youth succeed academically, stay physically fit, and abide by the law. Pre-K Now collaborates with organizations and policy makers to lead a movement toward high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds.”

In recent political history, social programs have been an “easy target” for many of the Republican stripe whom have seriously reduced or eliminated such programs’ funding, effectively or outright killing the very programs that could have done much to have prevented these anathemas.

Ironically, prison construction and maintenance is a capital expenditure. And of all the world’s nations, ours has more incarcerations per capita than any other, having exploded (doubling 2.5 times) since 1980 (though incarcerations remained relatively stable since 1920, according to the U.S. Department of Justice).

How’s that THAT for the so-called “Reagan Revolution?” It sounds more like a “Contract on America” rather than “with America,” to me.

Wonder why no more.

Governance is much more than infrastructure expenditures, and military readiness includes a strong social component.

Our Constitution calls it providing “for the common defense,” by promoting “the general welfare,” to “secure the blessings of liberty.”

Healthcare is an integral and unequivocal part of that equation… as we can now painfully, and plainly see.

I suppose it would be apropos and germane – though perhaps trite – to conclude with a line from advertising: “You can pay me now… or, pay me later.”


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“I don’t consider this an increase.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, October 22, 2009

I’ll reserve at least four pejoratives for Dr. Mary Jane Caylor, who, along with other Board of Education members – save one –  voted to increase Alabama’s Community/Junior College tuition 27% in two steps, with automatic 2% increases annually beginning in 2011. Fees were not increased.

The subject line is a direct quote from her after she voted to increase costs.

I don’t think I can express adequate contempt for that idiot woman. To call her a “bitch” would denigrate female dogs.

Members of Alabama’s Board of Education oversee K-12 schools and community/junior colleges.

The solitary vote cast against the increase was from Stephanie Bell of Montgomery, who cited students’ economic difficulties not only in her district but statewide.

However Dr. Mary Jane Caylor of Huntsville was quoted as saying, “I don’t consider this an increase. I consider this an adjustment.”

So… what is this, you lying dumbf@#$? A “reverse decrease”?

Board members justified their move claiming state budget cuts amidst difficult economic times had made it necessary, and that it was the first increase in five years.

One doesn’t have to be a rocket surgeon or brain scientist to figure out that if costs are decreased, a certain amount of increase will inevitably result. Consider, for example, what might happen to higher education in Alabama if tuition costs were halved!

Could we actually increase the average level of education in Alabama by so doing?

Community/Junior College tuition per credit hour will cost $85 in spring 2010, and $90 in the fall, making the average student’s tuition $3210 per semester.

The Board members biographies and contact information may be found on the Board’s website: http://www.alsde.edu/html/boe1.asp

The Board’s members include:

• Governor Bob Riley – President;

• Joseph B. Morton – Secretary/Executive Officer;

• Dr. Mary Jane Caylor, of Huntsville, President Pro Tem, serving District 8;

• David F. Byers, Jr., of Birmingham, serving District 6;

• Gary Warren, of Haleyville, serving District 7;

• Ella B. Bell, of Montgomery, serving District 5;

• Stephanie W. Bell (no relation), of Montgomery, serving District 3;

• Betty Peters, of Dothan, serving District 2;

• Randy McKinney, of Gulf Shores, serving District 1; and

• Dr. Ethel H. Hall, of Fairfield, serving District 4.


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