Category Archives: education

No Dialogue Received Yet

I tried to start a dialogue with Chaffey College in an effort to save money by emailing one of the governing board members and recently sending a form email to the Chaffey College Superintendent/President, but it seems like nothing will happen until an insurgent reformer gets elected. Our incumbent governing board members may like it that low turnout elections make it easy for them to be re-elected, but we are wasting big money that could be used in keeping class sections open so we can get more people graduating and make more room for new students.

I know it might take a few days for the college president to reply back, but it seems it would take the governing board to get the fortitude to get some action happening. I may need to attend the meeting on June 28th if possible to air my comments.

If we can make it less likely for a dream to be deferred then that is what we need to do.

Also I would like to see the drop rate for particular instructors, if students are dropping from a particular instructor where students end up having to give up on the class or repeating it with a different instructor we should find out why and how so we can get students to successfully pass their classes and save the college money by teaming up with the success center or utilize supplemental instruction in particular classes of note. Even though some instructors are tenured and they could do whatever they please, they are costing the college money when students drop out. With a lack of funding we need to make sure we are spending our money efficiently.

Our current board members are doing fairly well, but it seems they may need to be led to do what is right for the students and the taxpayers of our communities.

A Reflection on Student Loans

After I graduated in 2003 I was on auto-pilot. I was not ready for prime time after I got my degree from UC Riverside. I applied for graduate school but the people who were supposed to sign my letters of recommendation never bothered to and they never had the fortitude to tell me they were not going to sign them. Maybe it was a good thing that I did not go to graduate school then.

It took me five years to realize I should enter the teaching field, but the economy crashed and it took me another two years afterwards for me to start on my subject tests so I could enter a credentialing program. When I passed my second out of third subject test I was thinking I should start the program now.

I realized that Cal Poly Pomona needed extra requirements such as prior involvement in education like how the plumbers union asks only asks friends and family members of plumbers in order to get in. So I investigated Western Governor’s University. It sounded great that I could do most of my coursework at home at my own schedule mostly, but they had some prerequisites before I was able to start the process. So I got delayed for a good year and a half in trying to meet the prerequisites that I finally met.

Now the cost of college is going up thanks to congress and President Obama. I put both sides at fault because President Obama blew the piggy bank and Paul Ryan is too austere for his own good. I do recognize that it costs six billion to fund the subsidy, but if progress can not be made we can meet each other halfway at 5.1 percent.

I am expected to borrow $10,000 and with the unsubsidized rate it is going to be a regressive 56 bucks in interest each month. Perhaps I am spoiled by my fixed 2.875 percent rate from my degree I am still paying for, but if tax cuts for the wealthy do not need to be paid for how come student loan subsidies have to be paid for? At least with my low yet reasonable rate I am still able to pay down that loan abet slowly.

I understand we want people to follow their dreams, but dead end degrees cost both the taxpayer and the student big time. Not all degrees are dead end degrees, but if the student is not going to do much with the degree then we are going to cause more problems in the long run. One of my Facebook friends is a big advocate of the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics fields where if you enter in a field that has ties to these sectors you will do very well. History or Sociology may not give people the big pay, but I would not be as selective when people choose bachelor degrees in various humanities fields.

When we have limited resources we have to make sure we can give people the maximum opportunities for the least possible price. I would like to see better counseling services so we can maximize the opportunities for both the students and the taxpayer. We need to ask students the big question, what profession or what job opportunities do you expect if you obtain this degree? It may be nice to have a barista at Starbucks that you can chat about Election 2012 with, but that is a waste of potential.

I would like to see the student loan system restructured to state, the more you borrow the higher the interest. Borrow from 0 to 15k in a year you would get a 3.4 percent rate, anything from 15001 to 30k would be like 4 percent, anything 30001 to 50k would be 5 percent, and 50001 and above would be 6 percent. So if you borrow 16500, the first 15 thousand would be at 3.4 percent and the last 1500 would be at 4 percent. The more you borrow, the more you would need to pay.

And since we can not escape these loans with bankruptcy, we should make these loans easier to pay off. We do not want to cripple people to where they end up causing more trouble than they are worth. And we give banks lower rates than students, what a crime.

A Legacy

School was not fun for many of us in prior generations, but the time has changed for many students. I would like to do something productive for future Tigers at Chaffey High School. I would like to see about a fifty dollar award that would be applied to a senior who has participated in the gay straight alliance club on campus and made a lasting impact to the school community.

Even though I graduated there fifteen years ago, and perhaps might even student teach in that district where Chaffey High School is a part of, I would like to see an award that states that the Chaffey High School alumni appreciate their efforts to make the school a better place.

I will likely need to talk to the school principal about how to endow an award for the Class of 2013 and beyond.

Likely criteria I would see would be, this award would be open to any student straight or LGBT that has helped foster change in their campus. This award would require a minimum of a 2.5 GPA and must be approved by the advisor on the campus. If the GSA no longer exists the money would be released to help efforts due to the McKinney-Vento efforts to help homeless students who may be at Chaffey High School.

I will see if any other Tigers who would like to partake in this effort.

Questionable Remarks

If you are wondering why Republicans will never get elected for the office of Superintendent for Public Instruction here is a whopper right here.

REMEMBER: 96% of “Bullying Issues” are against NON-Gay issues. Most Bullying is perpetrated against students and staff for their “RELIGIOUS or POLITICAL BELIEFS” and/or for being “smart..a nerd,” or over-weight, wear glasses, or look different. Here’s what to do:…ID the “bullying behavior, and report to the principal or district Superintendent and insist on a consequence for the perpetrator(s). If nothing is resolved, inform the news and radio shows. – Dianne Lenning

However Dianne how many times have you seen students actually committing suicide because they wear glasses, wear a hijab or because they are fat? Unfortunately we see many kill themselves due to the stigma of one’s sexuality or gender non-conformity in many places in our state. This is why LGBT issues have dominance in the media despite claims of media bias.

We need to make sure all issues have priority and not selectively enforce school safety policies. If we want students to learn, we must have an affirming environment. There is a reason why we have regulation’s such as Seth’s Law (AB 9), it gives teeth to the school safety regulations to benefit all children straight and LGBT. Problem was that many school districts just say to the bullied child and their parents, “kids will be kids, ignore them and it will go away”. Most of the time the bullying and harassment does not go away and problems get worse.

I can equally agree that the teacher who threatened a child for his opposition to President Obama should be dealt with just as much as what happened with the children who caused Seth Walsh to end his life. If a student insults another person’s faith then I would recommend the child spends a hour visiting the faith and attending one of their services so they could gain some understanding. Maybe we can see Republican conservative establishment politicians breaking bread with the Log Cabin members in the future. Maybe we can see Bob Huff getting some dialogue with the LCR members during the next Republican convention.

We need to make it where bullying should not remain a tool to get above the popularity ladder and have people earn their social status through different means. No matter if one does not like someone because your best gal pal took the boy you wanted, because Billy likes art more than sports or Susan is 50 pounds overweight we need to work together.

I do recognize Dianne wants safe schools for our students, without fear students will do their best. Unfortunately political leaders are helping to create the climate that makes schools a gauntlet for those who are not popular or part of the crowd.

Many of us have been the bullies, many of us have been the bullied and a few of us have played both roles. We can not replay the past, but we can make the future better for those who are involved with the education system. We may have different values, we may have different traditions. However we need to learn to agree to disagree. Personally I could care less what a particular faith believes in as long as that particular faith leaves me alone.

Unfortunately people on the other side want to make sure we do not talk about the issue, but if we do not identify the issue then how are we going to address the issue to help improve school safety?

Thankfully we live in America, where we can say stuff without thinking twice before hitting the send button.

Bob Huff Does Not Care About Taxpayer Money Wasted

Updated 5/18/2012

I used to think Democratic Party legislators were the ones guilty of wasting taxpayer money, money so hard to come by in this state.

First, let’s look Bridgepoint Education with their 1,250 dollar contribution to Bob Huff.  Who is Bridgepoint Education?  Bridgepoint Education is a for-profit education company that operates online and on-campus based schools in the San Diego region and they are the fifth highest private employer in San Diego.  Fine, it’s great that there are expanded education opportunities for people looking to expand their skills. However, there’s one major problem with Bridgepoint Education they get federal and state grants and the taxpayers are getting little in return with the company.Their profits are going up, but students are not completing their programs or even getting a decent job from their education.

The story began when a former executive for the for-profit University of Phoenix decided to look for a private liberal arts college for sale.  They found and bought one in Iowa which was already accredited, making it easier to quickly get students.  Then, regulations by the Department of Education in 2006 allowed schools with more than 50 percent of their students online to be eligible for federal assistance, leading to the growth of their company.

Bridgepoint has been more concerned with padding their bottom line by  selling their “services,” rather than providing a product to their “customers.” 84 percent of their students dropped out of their education program in 2010 according to the US Senate Education Health Labor and Pensions committee.  Meanwhile Bridgepoint has milked the taxpayers for almost $600 million in federal subsidies annually to help bring the school a tidy profit.  Aside from scrutiny from the Senate education committee, they are also being investigated by the Iowa Attorney General and the New York State Attorney General offices.

Bob Huff as a member of the Senate Education committee has some pull, but very limited influence in a state dominated by the Democratic Party.  Bob Huff voted NO on SB 70, a trailer bill that has numerous issues including the regulation for-profit colleges in their acceptance of Cal-Grants.  If more than 30% of students default on their loans from institutions that accept the state grants, that institution will have its aid  rescinded. Continue reading Bob Huff Does Not Care About Taxpayer Money Wasted

The Road To WGU

I am pondering going thru and signing up for Western Governor’s University for a teaching credential. It is noble to try and better ones place in life. Only thing good about it is I will be saving money in having to commute to a campus until my final semester.

I was pondering Cal Poly Pomona for the credential, but they were asking for prior experience with youth and most of the organizations ask for prior experience before getting in. It feels like trying to break in with the electricians union. WGU instead asks for 12 classes in addition to the BA and I completed most of them.
At best my program begins in 2012. I hope to blog more about these experiences.

The state budget crisis makes me uneasy about the increased fees at the CSU and UC systems. At least I would be secured a space to finish my course work and do student teaching at the end.

I have written an essay that was for the Chaffey College scholarship contest about my re-entry back to Chaffey College due to not quite meeting the pre-requisites of WGU. I only had 7 out of the 12 classes passed when I was looking to what schools I would need to further my career and aspirations, now I am finishing my last class needed to pass.

I hope to start in July. If I progress thru in 18 months it will cost me $11,105. At least this will be better than the infamous stories of people borrowing the cost of a house for their college education to get their MA in Underwater Basket weaving.

 

 

 

Chaffey College Needs More Distance Learning

One thing I noticed for the last two years is that we have no online classes during the Summer sessions. With the state budget crisis impacting the public schools from K-12 to the UC System we have to make do with the money we have and use it well.

With online classes we can pack a dozen more students in most sections compared to the sections that are held in traditional methods. I understand the faculty senate wants quality not quantity, but the more students we can get to graduate and leave Chaffey this would give more opportunities for the students looking to get in due to impacted classes.

I wanted to take History 18 online because it is a subject that I could do very well even without lectures and due to being a reentry student I have been doing very well in the last four classes I have taken. I wanted to take my classes either early in the morning or late at night so I could allow for my work schedule to have priority and I could have more hours at my part time job. However they had only History 17, so I had to make do this semester.

I have a co-worker who also attends Chaffey College, but due to not having a drivers license and having a full time job she can not take a summer session class easily. CIS 1 would have been doable online to help her get the credits to complete her degree program. Many students today have computers functional  to do CIS 1 at home. At worse it might cost a hundred bucks extra to buy a copy of Microsoft Office 2010, but at least you can save time.

If we want to save taxpayer money and get more students educated we need to reformulate how we offer classes at Chaffey. If Mt.San Antonio College and Riverside College can offer online classes in the summer, then Chaffey should consider it in the future.

The Class Act Is Not Exactly FAIR

I bet the San Bernardino County Democratic Party would love to have me instead of Ray Moors in their party right now. However, I will cringe hard in either major political party. I honestly may agree with the Republicans half the time, but when it comes to civil rights issues I have to be chugging the antacid pills when I attend the meetings at the San Bernardino County Republican Party. I bet Ray is feeling like an outcast in the Democratic Party right now.

I do not feel enthusiastic in participating in my local county and state Republican parties because they do not understand how to deal with groups such as Latinos and the gays. Even though the Democratic Party does not know how to balance a budget to save their lives in Sacramento, the Republican Party alienates more voters than they attempt to reach out to in California. The Republican revolution of 2010 failed in California. If Steve Cooley only refused to defend Prop 8 and supported marijuana users we would have had our only victory.

I am writing this column today in response to a letter the San Bernardino County Republican party issued in their support of the CLASS Act to repeal SB 48.

Republicans may be concerned that teachers and students are prohibited from using examples or language that would be not be adverse about the individual being studied. However we have to be tactful about what language we use because it can affect the students because they may be part of a demographic group discussed.

Being LGBT is not like switching religions or catching the flu, either you are or you are not. Watching a KD Lang concert will not make young girls want to drive Subaru and play in softball leagues. The goal of SB 48 is to show that there are LGBT people in history and many of them did great things such as save a president’s life from assassination, help Martin Luther King in his quest for civil rights for African Americans and to help in the formation of computer science. Maybe with a more holistic presentation of history it would help make students worldlier, so we can have respect for all students no matter what group or culture they may belong to.

Continue reading The Class Act Is Not Exactly FAIR