Career Education Services – What Does This Mean For You?

When you are in college and are working hard to get through it you may not be bother to go to the career education services. Ironically, the sooner that you go to the career education services the better chance you will have of planning what your future will be once college is over. You don’t have to go there right away or even during your freshman year. However, you need to be realistic and acknowledge that at some point in time you will have to go to the career services office.

The sooner that you go to the career services office the better chance you will have of dealing with the end of college. They can help you get started with the career choice you want. The career education services are a powerful tool that you need to take advantage of.

One way that they can help you while you are still in school is to help you find internships in the field that you have chosen. This will make you a more attractive candidate to future jobs and even to graduate schools.

When you have no idea on what you want to do for your career you still need to go to the career services office because this will mean more to you than other students who do know what they want to do. Some of the career services offices have tests that you can take to help you figure out what you want to do. This will help you figure out what your talents are and what you are suited for.

When you do go to the career education services you will need to be prepared for the meeting. They can be helpful to you but you have to realize that you may only have one hour or even thirty minutes with the counselor. You need to do some soul searching and figure out what types of subjects that you gravitate towards. Then you can ask the counselor what someone with your interests can do for your career. The more information that you can give to the counselor the more they can help you with your career choices.

The Definition of Autism – How Will Possible Changes Affect Special Education Services?

There has been much talk about the potential changes to the Autism Diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) when the updated, fifth version is published (the projected date of publication is May of 2013). One of the expected changes is to combine several disorders including, Autism,Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) into one category called Autism Spectrum Disorder. Although this change concerns some people, most people in the fields of medicine, community services and education already lump these diagnoses together.

The major concern is over the potential changes to the specific criteria that people will have to meet to receive the official diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. In the current manual, a person can qualify for the diagnosis by exhibiting six or more of 12 specified behaviors. The proposed changes to the criteria narrow the field; a person would have to exhibit three or more deficits in social interaction and communication and exhibit at least two repetitive behaviors. The fear is that this will leave out a large group of people who are considered high functioning (including a huge portion of children with the current diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD-NOS). Currently, scientific, trial testing of the new criteria is under way and this data will be used to make final recommendations.

Although changes to the diagnosis will likely affect service delivery in the medical field and the community services field they are not projected to make significant changes in the education field because qualification for special education is not based on a particular diagnosis but on educational needs. Currently the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines the educational category of Autism as “a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.” Each state has their own interpretation of this law so it is worthwhile to search for your state’s educational definition of Autism.

Some people fear that a change to the official DSM diagnosis will give school districts a way to stop or decrease services for certain students who currently qualify for services. If schools attempt to do this, many experts believe that children who are on the higher functioning end of the Autism spectrum may still qualify for special education under the category of Other Health Impaired. It is also important to note that a school district cannot discontinue providing a service such as Speech Therapy or Occupational Therapy unless the child exhibits significant improvement and there is no longer a need for remediation in that area.

How to Get the Best Educational Consultant for Your Child

All parents want to provide the best education for their children. Parents who want to home school their child require support from an educational associate. An educational associate helps them create a balanced curriculum and assessment program- a complete educational plan for their child.

So, how do you find the most suitable educational planner? This process requires some due diligence in which the parents closely analyze certain characteristics. Here are some characteristics that you must look for in a professional educational associate:

1. Should Have Prior Experience working with Individual Students
It is essential that the educational associate you choose has some prior experience working with individuals. The experience helps them to deal with your child in a better way. They must understand that each child has his or her key strengths and weaknesses. This can help them develop a special customized educational plan for your child according to his or her learning pace and ability.

2.Should Have Experience in a Specific Area
In case your child takes special education services, you must choose a consultant who has thorough knowledge of all related laws for such services. In addition, you may ask specifications about the services to gauge the consultant’s understanding of the specialty. This is important in order to provide top quality education for your child.

3. Should Have Adequate Knowledge about Academic Assessments
The educational consultant should have in depth knowledge about how to prepare and conduct student academic assessments. You want to ensure that your consultant is well aware of the criteria, pertaining to the learning capacity and pace of your child. You may ask them to elucidate the entire assessment process for your own satisfaction.

4. Should have some Certification in Educational Psychology
Your child may have special needs, so you need to make sure your educational assistant has adequate knowledge in that area. Educational consultants help deal with children who have special needs such as behavioral problems. The accreditation ensures that the consultant has prior experience in that specialty.

5. Should have a good chemistry with the Family
An educational assistant should be able to make the child and his or her family comfortable. This is important as it makes it easier for the family to share relevant information about their child. This information can be necessary to create a customized curriculum and assessment plan. Therefore, this can enable parents and consultants to work together to maximize learning potential of the child.

India’s Education Sector – Back to School

India’s US$40b education market is experiencing a surge in investment. Capital, both local and international, and innovative legal structures are changing the face of this once-staid sector

The liberalization of India’s industrial policy in 1991 was the catalyst for a wave of investment in IT and infrastructure projects. Rapid economic growth followed, sparking a surge in demand for skilled and educated workers. This, combined with the failure of the public system to provide high quality education and the growing willingness of the burgeoning middle class to spend money on schooling, has transformed India’s education sector into an attractive and fast-emerging opportunity for foreign investment.

Despite being fraught with regulatory restrictions, private investors are flocking to play a part in the “education revolution”. A recent report by CLSA (Asia-Pacific Markets) estimated that the private education market is worth around US$40 billion. The K-12 segment alone, which includes students from kindergarten to the age of 17, is thought to be worth more than US$20 billion. The market for private colleges (engineering, medical, business, etc.) is valued at US$7 billion while tutoring accounts for a further US$5 billion.

Other areas such as test preparation, pre-schooling and vocational training are worth US$1-2 billion each. Textbooks and stationery, educational CD-ROMs, multimedia content, child skill enhancement, e-learning, teacher training and finishing schools for the IT and the BPO sectors are some of the other significant sectors for foreign investment in education.

Opportunity beckons

The Indian government allocated about US$8.6 billion to education for the current financial year. But considering the significant divide between the minority of students who graduate with a good education and the vast majority who struggle to receive basic elementary schooling, or are deprived of it altogether, private participation is seen as the only way of narrowing the gap. Indeed, it is estimated that the scope for private participation is almost five times the amount spent on education by the government.

CLSA estimates that the total size of India’s private education market could reach US$70 billion by 2012, with an 11% increase in the volume and penetration of education and training being offered.
The K-12 segment is the most attractive for private investors. Delhi Public School operates approximately 107 schools, DAV has around 667, Amity University runs several more and Educomp Solutions plans to open 150 K-12 institutions over the next four years. Coaching and tutoring K-12 students outside school is also big business with around 40% of urban children in grades 9-12 using external tuition facilities.

Opening the doors

Private initiatives in the education sector started in the mid-90s with public-private partnerships set up to provide information and communications technology (ICT) in schools. Under this scheme, various state governments outsourced the supply, installation and maintenance of IT hardware and software, as well as teacher training and IT education, in government or government-aided schools. The central government has been funding this initiative, which follows the build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) model, under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan and ICT Schools programmes. Private companies such as Educomp Solutions, Everonn Systems, and NIIT were among the first to enter the ICT market, which is expected to be worth around US$1 billion by 2012.

Recently, the central government invited private participation in over 1,000 of its industrial training institutes and offered academic and financial autonomy to private players. Companies such as Tata, Larsen & Toubro, Educomp and Wipro have shown keen interest in participating in this initiative.

Regulatory roadblocks

Education in India is regulated at both central and state government levels. As a result, regulations often differ from state to state. K-12 education is governed by the respective State School Education Act and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Rules and Regulations concerning affiliation and/or the rules of any other affiliating body. Under current regulations, only not-for-profit trusts and societies registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860, and companies registered under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956, qualify to be affiliated with the CBSE and to operate private schools.

While the K-12 segment accounts for the lion’s share of India’s educational market, weaving through the complex regulatory roadmap to qualify for affiliation poses serious difficulties for investors. The CBSE requires privately-funded schools to be non-proprietary entities without any vested control held by an individual or members of a family. In addition, a school seeking affiliation is expected to have a managing committee controlled by a trust, which should approve budgets, tuition fees and annual charges. Any income accrued cannot be transferred to the trust or school management committee and voluntary donations for gaining school admission are not permitted.
Schools and higher education institutions set up by the trust are entitled to exemptions from income tax, subject to compliance with section 11 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. In order to qualify for tax exemptions, the trust needs to ensure that its predominant activity is to serve the charitable purpose of promoting education as opposed to the pursuit of profit.

Alternative paths

Alternative routes do exist for investors seeking to avoid the web of regulatory barriers that constrain their involvement. Sectors such as pre-schools, private coaching and tutoring, teacher training, the development and provision of multimedia content, educational software development, skill enhancement, IT training and e-learning are prime sectors in which investors can allocate their funds. These areas are attractive because while they relate closely to the profitable K-12 segment, they are largely unregulated. As such, they make attractive propositions for private investors interested in taking advantage of the burgeoning demand for quality education. Companies such as Educomp Solutions, Career Launcher, NIIT, Aptech, and Magic Software, are market leaders in these fields. Educomp recently acquired a large number of educational institutes and service providers across India. It has also formed joint ventures with leading higher education groups, including Raffles Education Singapore, for the establishment of higher education institutions and universities in India and China. Furthermore, it has entered into a multi-million dollar collaboration with Ansal Properties and Infrastructure to set up educational institutions and schools across the country and closed an US$8.5 million deal to acquire Eurokids International, a private provider of pre-school educational services in India. Gaja Capital India, an education-centric fund, has completed the funding of three education services companies in India. NIIT and Aptech, meanwhile, are engaged in the IT training business.

Core Projects and Technology is also focusing heavily on India and is likely to bid to takeover, upgrade and run public schools for specified periods on a public-private partnership basis.

Higher hurdles

While state governments are largely responsible for providing K-12 education in India, the central government is accountable for major policy decisions relating to higher education. It provides grants to the University Grants Commission (UGC) and establishes central universities in the country. The UGC coordinates, determines and maintains standards and the release of grants. Upon the UGC’s recommendation, the central government declares the status of an educational institution, which once authorized, is entitled to award degrees.

State governments are responsible for the establishment of state universities and colleges and has the power to approve the establishment of private universities through State Acts. All private universities are expected to conform to the UGC guidelines to ensure that certain minimum standards are maintained.

Amity University in Uttar Pradesh is one of the private universities to open its doors. It was approved by the Uttar Pradesh state legislature on 12 January 2005 under section 2(f) of the University Grants Commission Act.

Not-for-profit and anti-commercialization concepts dominate higher education fee structures. To prevent commercialization and profit-making, institutions are prohibited from claiming returns on investments. This, however, does not pose a hurdle for universities interested in mobilizing resources to replace and upgrade their assets and services. A fixation of fees is required in accordance with the guidelines prescribed by the UGC and other concerned statutory bodies. For this purpose, the UGC may request the relevant information from the private university concerned, as prescribed in the UGC (Returns of Information by Universities) Rules, 1979.

In line with the policy on Fee Fixation in Private Unaided Educational Institutions Imparting Higher and Technical Education, two types of fees are required: tuition fees and development fees. Tuition fees are intended to recover the actual cost of imparting education without becoming a source of profit for the owner of the institution. While earning returns on investment would not be permissible, development fees may provide an element of partial capital cost recovery to the management, serving as a resource for upkeep and replacement.

Legal precedents

In order to be awarded university status by the UGC, institutions must comply with the objectives set forth in the Model Constitution of the Memorandum of Association/Rules, and ensure that no portion of the income accrued is transferred as profit to previous or existing members of the institution. Payments to individuals or service providers in return for any service rendered to the institute are, however, not regulated.

In this context recent court judgments on private universities are relevant. The Supreme Court, in Unnikrishnan JP v State of Andhra Pradesh, introduced a scheme regulating the admission and levy of fees in private unaided educational institutions, particularly those offering professional education. The ruling was later notified in the fee policy.

Subsequently, in the case of Prof Yashpal and Anr v State of Chattisgarh and Ors in 2005, the Supreme Court assailed the Chattisgarh government’s legislation and amendments which had been abused by many private universities. It was contended that the state government, simply by issuing notifications in the Gazette, had been establishing universities in an indiscriminate and mechanical manner without taking into account the availability of any infrastructure, teaching facilities or financial resources. Further, it was found that the legislation (Chhattisgarh Niji Kshetra Vishwavidyalaya (Sthapana Aur Viniyaman) Adhiniyam, 2002) had been enacted in a manner which had completely abolished any kind of UGC control over private universities.

The Supreme Court concluded that parliament was responsible for ensuring the maintenance and uniformity of higher education institutions in order to uphold the UGC’s authority. Following the judgment, only those private universities that satisfied the UGC’s norms were able to continue operating in Chattisgarh.

Professional institutions

Professional and technical education in India is regulated by professional councils such as the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Established under the AICTE Act, 1987, AICTE gives recognition to courses, promotes professional institutions, provides grants to undergraduate programmes, and ensures the coordinated and integrated development of technical education and the maintenance of standards. The AICTE has recently exerted pressure on unrecognized private technical and management institutes to seek its approval or face closure.

A single bench decision of the Delhi High Court in Chartered Financial Analysis Institute and Anr v AICTE illustrates the far-reaching implications this kind of pressure can have on all institutions operating independently of the AICTE. The court found that the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute, a US-based organization, was engaged in imparting technical education and that its charter, though not described as a degree or diploma, was nevertheless descriptive of the candidate attaining an academic standard, entitling him to pursue further courses, and achieve better prospects of employment in the investment banking profession. The AICTE argued that the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute fell within the ambit of its regulation and was therefore obliged to submit to the jurisdiction of the regulatory body. The Delhi High Court upheld the AICTE’s view that the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute did qualify as an institution imparting technical education..

This judgment may have emboldened the AICTE to proceed against a number of other establishments that are on its list of unapproved institutions. It holds particular significance since despite not granting degrees and diplomas, the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute was still deemed by the court to be covered under the description of a “technical institute”.

Enthusiasm grows for foreign participation

While regulators such as the AICTE continue to exercise influence in the Indian education system, the sector is expected to witness a surge in foreign investment and perhaps a reduction in the number of regulatory roadblocks as a result of the central government’s enthusiasm for overseas investors. Foreign direct investment in higher education could help reduce government expenditure and there is a general consensus that education as a whole should be opened for domestic and foreign private participation.

The entry of foreign educational institutions into India will be covered by the new Foreign Education Providers (Regulation for Entry and Operation) Bill. The bill seeks to regulate the entry and operation of foreign education providers, as well as limit the commercialization of higher education. Foreign education providers would be given the status of “deemed universities” allowing them to grant admissions and award degrees, diplomas or certificates.

Operationally, the bill proposes to bring foreign education providers under the administrative umbrella of the UGC, which would eventually regulate the admissions process and fee structures. Since these foreign institutions will have to be incorporated under central or state laws, they will also be subject to the government’s policies of reservations. The bill is pending approval from the Indian Parliament but it is unclear if it will be taken by the present government for a vote prior to the general elections in 2009.

Innovative structures unlock profitability

The regulatory restraints on running profitable businesses in the K-12 and higher education sectors have driven Indian lawyers to devise innovative structures that enable private investors to earn returns on their investments. These typically involve the establishment of separate companies to provide a range of services (operations, technology, catering, security, transport, etc.) to the educational institution. The service companies enter into long term contracts with the trust operating the institution. Payments made by the trust to the service companies must be comparative and proportionate to the services rendered by such companies. Furthermore, in order to qualify for tax exemptions, the expenses paid by the trust to the service companies must not exceed what may reasonably be paid for such services under arm’s length relationships.
Despite the regulatory constraints, the Indian education sector is on a path of exponential growth. A growing number of private companies are undertaking creatively structured projects in the education business and the level of investor confidence is demonstrated by the recent spate of M&A activity that has taken place.

With more domestic players emerging, the education sector is likely to witness consolidation, but at the same time, increasing foreign participation will drive competition and raise standards. Liberalization will continue to intensify as the government struggles to remedy its poor public education system and provide quality institutions to educate India’s masses.

5 Things to Know If Your Child in Special Education Needs Mental Health Services!

Does your child with autism have behavioral difficulties and need psychotherapy? Has your teenager with Learning Disabilities who struggles with academics begun to act up at school? Does your child have emotional disorders from trauma or early life before adoption? Mental Heath Needs affect a lot of children with disabilities who are currently receiving special education services. This article will discuss things that you as there parent need to know to advocate for these important services.

Below are 5 things that you need to know:

1. Mental Health services including psychotherapy and counseling are covered under Related Services in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA 2004). What this means is that a child with a disability can receive any service that is required to assist the child with a disability from receiving benefit from special education.

2. Related Services must be provided at no cost to the parent. Many school districts refuse to pay for psychotherapy for children or tell the parent to use their insurance benefits.

In a document by the Office of Special Education Programs entitled: Questions and Answers on IEP’s, Evaluations, and Reevaluations, OSEP states that: Mental Health services provided as a related service must be provided at no cost to the parent. In other words if your child needs psychotherapy or counseling in order to receive an appropriate education, the school district is required to pay for the service; and cannot require you to use your insurance benefits.

3. If the school district does not have qualified staff to perform the psychotherapy or counseling they are responsible for paying for an outside person to give the services. Lack of money or staff is not allowed to be used as an excuse to not provide a needed related or special education service.

4. You have the right to be an equal participant in making the decision of who will provide this service to your child. If your child has had a therapist for many years that they have bonded with it is within your right to ask that the school district reimburse you for the therapy provided by this person.

5. If the school district offers a staff person that does not have the appropriate qualifications it is within your right to ask for a qualified person. For example psychotherapy is given by a licensed psychologist. A trained social worker may be able to counsel your child, but is not trained as a licensed psychologist, so will not be able to give your child psychotherapy. Lack of training for school staff is a huge problem when children require specialized mental health services.

Many years ago I was on my states committee when OSEP came to monitor Illinois compliance with IDEA. One of the areas that they found in non compliance was that many children throughout my state needed mental health services, that were not being provided by school districts. OSEP required Illinois to send out a document stating that school districts were required to pay for mental health services, even if they did not have trained staff. Check your state’s Department of Education and see if they have any documents on providing mental health services to children with disabilities in your state who receive special education services, and need them.

You may have to fight for this service, but your child’s education will benefit! It will be worth the fight in the end!

3 Lies Told by Some Special Education Personnel About Autism and How You Can Fight Back!

Are you concerned that your young child may have autism even though you have you been told by special education personnel that he or she doesn’t? Would you like to know 3 of the lies told by many special education personnel about this disorder? Would you also like to learn advocacy strategies to overcome these lies? This article will address 3 of the most common lies told to parents about autism!

Lie 1: Your child does not have autism, they are emotionally disturbed! This is the most common lie that I see as an educational advocate. Most children with autism do have emotional and behavioral difficulty, but this is caused by the disorder. To truly be emotionally disturbed, the child cannot have any other disability causing the behavioral difficulty; which of course is not true in this case.

The reason that this is important is because if a child has autism, they will probably need extensive related and special education services, to benefit from their education. If the school district can convince you that your child does not have autism but is emotionally disturbed, they can try and deny all of the educational, services that your child needs.

You can advocate for your child by having them tested privately, with a psychologist specifically trained in this area. Bring these results to the school district and ask that your child be found eligible for special education under the category of autism; not emotionally disturbed (if the evaluation shows that this is true).

Lie 2: Your child does not have autism because they do not have the repetitive behavior that is a symptom of autism. I hear this a lot too, especially for children that have been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or Aspergers Syndrome. Many of these children do not have the typical features associated with this disorder. Over the years I have had many special education personnel tell me that a certain child did not have a certain disability; without testing them. The child needs to be given an autism rating scale by a qualified professional.

The one that I recommend is the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). It is easy to fill out and to come up with a score. The higher the score is the greater chance that the child has the disorder.

There is also an Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) that can be given again by a qualified trained professional. Insist that your child receive an Autism Rating Scale (CARS), or the ADOS.

Lie 3: Okay so your child has autism; but they are not eligible for special education services because the autism does not affect their education.

The federal law governing special education is IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). In 2004 the act was reauthorized, and the language stating that the child’s disability must negatively affect the child’s education, was taken out. It now states that for a child to be eligible for special education services, they must have a disability and have educational needs. No mention of disability negatively affecting the child’s education.

You should ask the special education personnel, to please show you in Federal Law where it states that special education eligibility, depends on the child’s disability negatively affecting their education. It does not exist and they will not be able to show you. As an advocacy technique keep repeating that it is your opinion that your child has autism and has educational needs. This is all that is required for a child to be found eligible.

You are the advocate for your child; stand up to special education personnel because your child is depending on you!

Should The G8 Be In Charge Of Education, Sustainable Development And Humanitarian Services

Should the G8 be in charge of education, sustainable development and humanitarian services in the Developing world?

Lessons in life come via formal and informal education, while formal education by most is valued as a human right it can also be utilized to train and develop partakers into self-sufficient contributors and participants towards the development of sustainable societies. Many others take education for granted and use it to spread general and even useless knowledge. Education must be taken seriously to protect Human Rights and enhance peace and sustainable environments in developing societies. Since there are immediate troublesome conditions throughout the world, and especially in developing states in Africa, one must deeply consider what role formal education can play to hasten holistic development of the people towards bringing solutions to conflicts. Many of the G8 nations have been the caretakers of the developing world for at least the last century. Although this time has proven to be quite successful for most of the developing nations, has there really been any measurable success for African people? Has there been measurable success for poor people? And not to unfairly place blame, has anyone besides the G8 even taken the interest or responsibility to find solutions to help educate and assist development in poor countries otherwise?

These strong European and American alliances are the foremost leaders in education and development across the globe. They are creators of most of the religious, social, economic and political organizations that provide programs and services that assist developing nations and they work together to provide humanitarian support to developing peoples throughout the world. Yet, ironically, these European partners are also among those since the beginning of the slave trade in the 1600s, 1885 and beyond that have combined resources to trigger colonialism and neo-colonialism, and setting up bureaucracy that has played a very significant role in the under-development of African states as well. For centuries, this leadership has gathered valuable resources from especially Africa and from other developing nations in South America and had utilized both human and natural resources to service their own national interest and drive their economic and technological development. If in truth this is a historical fact about the history of our leaders, then have our leaders evolved to be good stewards since the active practice of enslavement, apartheid and colonialism? Have they become willing and able enough to create educational services, and social welfare systems that can empower those they once sought to dominate?

A brief ‘stroll down memory lane’ will allow us to remember the roles that our leaders have played in crimes against humanity. Hate, racism, greed, and having little regard for the human life of poor peoples are some of the human dis-eases recognizable as the causes of both the exploitation and genocide of African related and other peoples. Certain systems of domination were implemented by most of the G8 governments that severely exploited human rights. One such exploitation existed in slavery. Slavery is a system noted by the United Nations Human Rights Charter, to be a severe violation of human rights. Although many of the G8 nations have offered formal apologies for enslavement of humans there had been no reparations or solutions to the poverty that slavery and apartheid and colonialism created, given to most of the people that have suffered and chiefly those of African descent.

These African related people are themselves not respected by other nations and thought to be abusers of themselves and indifferent, and are among the same populations that present in large numbers as the impoverished and needy. On the other hand, since there has been no formal display of remorse to show respect for life in their behalf and no sentiments that seek to replace or rejoin families that were separated. And are there any sincere activities by leading governments to make amends for land, possessions or lives lost for those enslaved or exploited? Has there been a real effort to provide reparations for the lost of life, dignity and human rights? Additionally with no formal activities to address the trauma that these certain groups experienced for generations, is there any wonder how serious social problems including poverty might prevail among those with former slave, apartheid or colonial experiences?

And finally, some ask, how can the same Leaders who appear not to support the reparation of crimes against humanity perpetrated on specific peoples seek to bring other leaders of countries to justice for similar atrocities, RE-SURFACE as the teachers and healers of those same societies and the world? It is possible that governments do have remorse and seek healing from somewhere to learn how to show respect for people they once hated or abused. But let’s ask the Afrikaners, if they have healed from the system of Apartheid in the last 20 years, where suddenly in the last 20 years almost 70 percent of the cases of HIV are in Africa, with the most cases in South Africa. Why are these Black African populations suddenly the most infected with HIV, and they appear not to thrive specifically? Could there really be a plan of genocide targeting specific people to gain their resources? I pray genocide in 2007 is not a reality, but if this is the case, human-kind and particularly those who stand up as global leaders are still terrible offenders of Human rights and need serious support in their recovery.

But maybe the same religions that were used to enslave Africans and others are working towards the healing of man-kind and can mend the dis-respect for life that caused exploitation and crimes against humanity such as slavery and genocide? Maybe the government and leadership of yesterday active in committing crimes against humanity did eventually want to rectify human dis-eases that caused exploitation and so they produced a document that would eventually manifest justice as created in the Declaration of Independence of 1776,

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —

When the initial colonies wanted freedom from Britain their aim was to create a government that would protect human rights and they themselves were champions of liberty. Today have Americans lost sight of the initial purpose of America—to protect Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness for all men? Since most of us really have faith in life and Liberty it is certain that many would like to support the protection of the quality of life that our constitution as human, as opposed to animal stands for. We do not want to believe that there are leaders operating in 2007 who no longer care about protecting this quality of life. It appears that something has gone astray from the initial declaration of Independence that greatly supported the protection of Human rights and the happiness of mankind?

Consequently, some are not very confident that leading governments want to be successful in providing human services or champions of peace. Certainly, the last 50 years had not hosted a global environment of peace and security to warrant success. Even less than 40 years ago, numerous martyrs were assassinated and imprisoned in the name of human rights and development or peace: remember, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Patrice Lumumba and Kwame Nkrumah just to name a few. In more recent history Leaders in the African-American community are still arrested or detained for unifying their communities to enhance the quality of life of economic development: remember Yahweh Ben Yahweh who was arrested and detained from 1990-2007. It is thought, he was arrested just because his community became economically sustainable. This happened in America. It would appear that government leaders in today are not in the business of supporting education systems or services that support the development of leaders that seek to protect human rights, at least this proven to be the case for African related or poor people specifically.

If this is so, can the G8 or other super powers be supported in their lead especially in sustainable development programs and global peace for Africa or elsewhere? Can they continue to take charge of programs and services that are established to protect human rights if their evaluation is not good?

The European alliances through religious missions or programs are the foremost providers and pioneers of services to humanity and continually raise money to serve and protect the needs and wants of developing peoples especially. Consequently, they have had the most potential to champion human development and the peace process. They have been the Global leaders in developing systems in Education, Health, Economics, Social Welfare, Business and Commerce and the pioneers in implementing related programs, services and activities across the globe. Certainly they have been successful in protecting the human rights of some, but it is also evident that they have not supported the sustainable development of Africa. Maybe they need guidance to direct their Human development and Education to insure a better progress for African-related and poor people in the future.

A look at recent history reflects that they need support in providing effective programs or services to Africa specifically. The protection of Human Rights in the last 50 years in Africa shows little progress in peace and sustainable economic development. A 2005 UN Human Development magazine about Africa reported 70 percent of the worlds HIV cases were in Africa alone and 27 percent of the worlds Refugees came from Africa, while Africa only contributed to being 10 percent of the world population. If the G8 have been in charge of Education programs in Health; Peace building and conflict management, then the amount of Refugees and bad health alone reflect little progress with government programs to support peace or human development and education in Africa.

Maybe Government leaders need others to help them with their health education and global peace and conflict management programs because something has gone astray from the intention of American Founding Fathers. We as consumers have a right to direct our support to programs and services that can better relate to the Life, Liberty and pursuit of happiness for all people it intends to serve. There are other leading agencies that can lay the foundation that will protect and service the rights of all humans in the future, which are usually non-governmental and have a genuine interest with no strings attached for human service. Governments in the business of Human Rights and protection should carefully review the Declaration of Independence and restructure to effectively champion Life; Liberty and pursuit of happiness for the good of all humanity. The specific target of groups of human beings for genocide or exploitation is a crime against humanity.

For those whose rights are continually and maybe even unintentionally disrespected, a Champion must arise to help open the door for non-governmental agencies to save innocent people and provide some immediate relief. Many will benefit and many more warrant the protection of their human rights, but targeting those in the most distress in a beginning. Every life is precious even though it appears that poor or people in developing countries are taken for granted. This makes it obvious that Governing bodies need assistance with their global peace and development objectives, especially when they try to serve the poor. The wars that exists today in Africa and the Middle East do demonstrate the lack of progress of super powers in protecting human rights and being real champions of peace.

While there is respect for our powerful leaders some guidance is needed in education and social affairs so that meaningful servicing of Human rights can progress. Non-governmental agencies can better support developing peoples with no strings attached.

The American Public Education System: Adjusting to a New Era of Technology and Change

The world as we know it is changing in leaps and bounds on a daily basis. Our children are growing up knowing and using iPods and computers with gigabytes of data storage for all their music and video files. High-speed Internet has become a way of life where more young people subscribe to, read, chat, and communicate with friends online than ever before. As the Internet marketplace continues to expand rapidly, and technologies afford education access from the ease and convenience of home, it is imperative that parents and educators recognize the benefits involved in education online.

The public education system in the United States grew out of an economy based upon single income workers, zero competition from outside markets for internal education consumers, and more manufacturing jobs than service jobs. The baby boomers born during the post World War II era, enjoyed the benefits of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Servicemen’s Readjustment Act or the GI Bill of Rights, which granted affordable access to college education. The baby boomers of the United States catapulted into growth as a result of this, enjoying an unprecedented level of abundance and prosperity.

One of these baby boomers is President George W. Bush, who enacted the No Child Left Behind Act (NCBA), offering the societal challenge of making every child proficient in reading and math by 2012. A schoolteacher for more than thirty years, who now runs a management company for teacher training, described the resultant effect of this act upon the public school system as one which far exceeded the capabilities of what American public schools can currently offer.

Despite the grandiose claims of the NCBA, actual school performance began to decrease after the passage of the act and the United States, as a whole, fell behind in education.

Supplemental Educational Services

In 2004-2005, there were more than 22 million children eligible for “supplemental educational services”, which includes tutoring. About 19% of those students got those services, or roughly two out of every ten students who were not proficient in core subjects, received aid. A good analogy would be a physician telling the parents of ten children that that they need medicine to cure an illness and only two out of the ten children can receive the medicine that they need.

The need for tutoring is obviously there. Why then is the current method of tutoring inadequate? There are principally four reasons why tutoring has been ineffective:

1) Schools can recruit tutors for students in rural areas and even fewer for those students in those areas with disabilities.

2) School districts do not tell parents that tutoring is available. When letters are sent home they often arrive late and are hard to understand.

3) Tutors are not allowed into schools and do not coordinate with teachers or the curriculum in the classroom, leaving the student confused.

4) State education departments do not evaluate the quality of tutors, as the law requires.

On one hand we have American schools and students failing and in need of remediation, operating under an outdated system of education, and money going to waste, and on the other hand we have an emerging technology platform based on high speed broadband technology that is leveling the playing field for people, and companies worldwide. This technology is one that not only attracts our children, but also captivates them, so that they return to computers and multimedia repeatedly for entertainment.

Armed with this knowledge, how can we as parents and educators remain blind to the changes within our own culture for learning and acquiring knowledge and the ways in which our children are learning? Tutoring programs such as take these tools and put them to use to educate our children in a fun and engaging manner.

6 Things That Parents Need to Know About Special Education Resolution Meetings

Do you have a child with autism or a learning disability who is not getting needed special education services? Have you considered filing for a due process hearing? Would you like to know about resolution meetings, and if they could help your child get needed services? This article will discuss 6 things that every parent should know about the special education due process resolution meeting!

1. The resolution meeting is mandatory to parents who have filed for a due process hearing. Due process is a hearing that is held in front of a special education due process hearing officer. If you have filed for a due process hearing against your school district, you must attend the resolution meeting. Though the resolution meeting can be waived, if both parties agree in writing.

2. While attendance is mandatory, parents do not have to bring any evidence with them, or show special education personnel what their case is! In fact I recommend that parents bring only three things with them to the resolution meeting. A pen and paper to take notes and a list of things that they are willing to settle for.

3. School districts may not bring their attorney to resolution meetings unless the parent is represented by an attorney. Parents may bring advocates though, and I suggest you consider this.

4. In most states what happens at a resolution meeting is not confidential and may be brought up in due process. Some states such as Indiana, Ohio, and Texas do consider the resolution meeting confidential! Parents should not agree to sign a confidentiality agreement before a resolution meeting why? Because any thing stated at the meeting by school personnel can be used at due process, unless a confidentiality agreement is signed between the two parties.

5. In the states that do not make the resolution meeting confidential, parents may have the right to tape record the meeting, and use a transcript at the due process hearing. Check with your state board of education if you are interested in tape recording a resolution meeting.

6. If a resolution is reached between special education personnel and parents a written legally binding settlement must be developed and signed by both parties. Make sure that the written agreement is specific to what services the school district is going to provide the child: minutes of the service, who is going to provide the service, how long the child will get the service, and anything else that is important. This agreement is enforceable in any state or federal court.

Whether resolution meetings are helpful to settle due process cases depends on where you live, and your school district. I do think that it is helpful for parents to attend with an open mind, and listen to what special education personnel have to say. By knowing these 6 things you will be an assertive and persistent advocate for your child. Good luck!

Career and Technical Education for the Service Industry – A Triple Win

In today’s society, post-secondary education is a topic that is getting an increased amount of attention. The American President, national, state, and local politicians, and educators across the country continue to work towards identifying new ways to increase the attainment rate for postsecondary education. Career and technical education (CTE) is an important and increasingly popular component of post-secondary education. The role of CTE has continued to develop and evolve over the past several decades. Some people, however, correlate CTE to blue-collar manual labor jobs, and that stigma sometimes detracts from the appeal of CTE for many potential students.

CTE can have a significant impact on the attainment levels of post-secondary education, and it can occur rather inexpensively and efficiently. What is important is that the CTE offerings must continue to expand and evolve as the marketplace changes. One of the largest opportunities for an increase in formal post-secondary education involves current and future employees of the service industry, specifically food service and sales.

There are vast amounts of employees in these sectors, making them prime candidates for further education. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (May, 2014), 12.9 million workers in the United States were employed as front-line waiters / waitresses, sales representatives, or first-line supervisors of those two segments of the working population. That is almost 10% of the working population of this country. However, very few members of these occupational segments have received any formal training or education relating to their occupation from an educational institution.

What would be the benefit of launching and promoting an organization similar to the technical institutes that provide CTE to individuals seeking occupations in the technology or mechanical industries that many people see advertised on television? Who would benefit from a Service Industry Institute (SII), similar to ITT or MMI but focusing on the service industry rather than technology or motorcycles?

The first people to benefit would be the employees themselves. There is a strong correlation between higher earnings potential after completion of a CTE program versus simply having a high school diploma or GED. It has also been widely observed that individuals who complete a CTE program are much more likely to pursue and complete additional post-secondary education. Lastly, people who complete a CTE program and enter the workforce for 4 years prior to pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree incur much lower education debt and a much higher rate of completion than students who pursue a degree directly out of high school. Bottom line… the employee benefits significantly in several very important ways.

Another group that would benefit from service industry-focused CTE would be companies and organizations that provide those services to consumers. Having a highly trained and knowledgeable workforce enables companies to meet their customer’s needs more effectively and efficiently, leading to higher profits, more satisfied customers, and increased repeat business and net promoter scores. Companies would also be able to streamline their hiring practices by focusing on attracting potential employees who have formal training in the service industry. Lastly, companies would be able to reduce their own training expenses either by hiring candidates who have already completed post-secondary training and certification in their sector or by making the successful completion of such certification a requirement for their continued employment.

The last group that would benefit from a better-educated service industry workforce would be the customers who use the service of those employees, and the economy as a whole. Anyone who has gone to a restaurant and been served by a waiter or waitress has experienced the impact of that server’s skills (or lack thereof) first-hand. Anyone who has shopped at a retail store and interacted with a sales person has experienced first-hand how that sales person’s skills affected the transaction. Bottom line… the better the experience by the individuals providing service to you, the higher level of enjoyment you experience in that interaction, and nothing sets the stage for a good experience more than effective training. Finally, when a customer experiences exceptional service, they spend more money. That helps stimulate the economy, and that is good for everyone.