Sad State of Affairs: 16% of Kids in NY are Neither Working Nor Going to School

December 3, 2012 at 8:55 am (College, Dropout, Economy, Jobs, New York, President Obama, School, Unemployment, Youth)

And yet the youth vote nationwide helped propel the man whose economic policies have extended such trying times to another four years in office.

Via the Associated Press:

Sixteen percent of teens and young adults in New York are neither in school nor the workforce, part of a national problem that could lead to “dire consequences” for the younger generation’s financial stability, according to a new report.

The latest Kids Count report released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation said high school dropouts are having a harder time landing traditional entry-level jobs in retail and fast-food restaurants due to competition from older candidates with more experience. Front-line service providers add that the recent recession has added to the problem.

“You’re competing with people that are in the workforce now that have diplomas,” said Jeff Nixon, youth services manager for the Buffalo Employment and Training Center. “You’ve got people with college degrees that are competing for some of these lower-wage jobs. And obviously for an employer, if they have a choice between somebody with a college degree and a kid that’s a dropout, that’s a no-brainer.”

Nationally, there are 6.5 million youth 16 to 24 years old who are neither in the workforce nor in school — about 17 percent of that age group, according to the report. New York accounts for 406,000 of those young people, according to the foundation.

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France Seeks to Ban Homework. No Seriously.

October 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm (France, Francois Hollande, Homework, Political Correctness, Progressive, School, Socialism)

Remember last month when a school in Rhode Island had banned their Father-Daughter dances because they were not considered an all-inclusive event?

We had a similar incident here at the local elementary school, in which the father/daughter, mother/son events were canceled.  Why?  Because not every child has a father or mother available in their home.  It was deemed unfair.

Now, French President François Hollande is taking the equal opportunity nonsense to a whole new level, seeking to ban after school homework.  Why?  Because not every child has parents that can help them with their assignments.

Via the Washington Post:

How do you think this would go over in the United States? French President François Hollande has said he will end homework as part of a series of reforms to overhaul the country’s education system.

And the reason he wants to ban homework?

He doesn’t think it is fair that some kids get help from their parents at home while children who come from disadvantaged families don’t. It’s an issue that goes well beyond France, and has been part of the reason that some Americans oppose homework too.

We get it, not every child comes from the same home environment.  But why do those that come from a loving, nurturing family with one mother and one father, who try to instill a good work ethic in their children, have to consistently be punished for that?

Politically correct progressives at their worst…

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Not Cool: Youth Unemployment Skyrockets Under Obama

July 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm (2012 Election, Barack Obama, College, Economy, Graduates, Jobs, Paul Conway, President Obama, School, Unemployment, Youth)

Seems like only yesterday when the media was reporting on how cool President Obama was in the eyes of our youth – so much so that his popularity had influenced high school students, and changed the way young people talk to one another.  


Proof of this came via a Times Union report which featured two lone high school students who had created such phrases as:

What up, my Obama?

The appalling response to someone sneezing – Barack you.

And, Barack’s in the White House now – which means cool it.

One has to wonder if these same high school students, or current students, still view the President in the same light.  Because, as the phrase states, Barack is indeed in the White House now, and as a result, the youth unemployment rate has soared to 16.8%.

Yahoo! Finance reports (h/t Gateway Pundit) that the job market for college graduates grows ever more dismal.

The Class of 2012 may have few reasons to celebrate this year. Along with the long-term unemployed, experts say their prospects are the bleakest among all job-seekers.

The U.S. economy added a lower-than-expected 80,000 jobs last month, according to data Friday from the Labor Department.  Though the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2%, experts say this year’s 1.8 million college graduates have a rough job search ahead. “Over the last five years, the jobs situation has gotten increasingly intense for each successive graduating class,” says Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity, a non-profit think-tank based in Arlington, Va. “Their concern is now palpable.”

The last half-decade has not been good to graduates. Only a half of those who graduated since 2006 are now employed full time, according to a recent Rutgers University survey.  More college graduates are settling for jobs that in years past would have gone to those without degrees, while people in their 30s are now occupying jobs once taken by recent graduates, says Carl Van Horn, professor of public policy and director of Rutgers’ John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development.

But if all the young people who’ve already given up looking for jobs are included — the 1.7 million people aged 18-29 who’ve been out of work for more than a year — the latest 8.2% unemployment figure would be closer to 16.8% for that age group, Conway says. That’s the highest unemployment rate for that age group since World War II. “Their story is one of few opportunities, delayed dreams, and stalled careers,” he says.

Prayers for our children are necessary if this man gets another four years.  In other words, Barack you… 

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Saratoga Man Arrested For Threatening to Murder President Obama and School Children

March 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm (Brent G. Dickinson, James A. Murphy, New York, President Obama, Saratoga Springs, School, Terroristic Threat, White House)

The man has no ties to the area, and appears to have a history of criminal behavior.  He faces up to seven years in prison.

Via the Times Union:

U.S. Secret Service agents and local authorities collaborated to arrest a 33-year-old Saratoga Springs man on charges he made terrorist threats against President Barack Obama and Saratoga County elementary school children, the district attorney said.
Brent G. Dickinson of Maple Avenue was charged with two counts of making a terroristic threat after he allegedly sent two communications to a White House message board at around 11 p.m. Friday, county District Attorney James A. Murphy III said in a prepared statement. Dickinson named two intended targets: the President and an unspecified elementary school children at an unnamed school, Murphy said. The Secret Service intercepted the messages, he said.
“In both instances, it is alleged that the defendant intended to murder the intended targets,” Murphy wrote on his office’s website. He could not immediately be reached for further comment.

He’s officially been charged with two counts of making a terroristic threat, and was arraigned in Saratoga County Court with bail set at $50,000 cash, $100,000 bond.

Photo:  Times Union

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Student Petitions to Reinstate Pledge of Allegiance, Wins

February 15, 2012 at 11:48 am (Allegiance, Bethlehem, Charles Abba, Hannah VanWie, New York, Pledge, Pledge of Allegiance, School, Students, Vietnam)

Some hope for our future, but expect the ACLU to file a lawsuit any minute now.

Times Union:

About a year ago, Hannah VanWie was watching a segment on the news about the Vietnam War and talking with her grandmother.

Her grandmother told her about some of the criticism aimed at troops coming back from war.

The topic evolved into patriotism.

“I told my nanny we don’t even say the pledge in the morning at school,” Hannah said.

The 16-year-old Clarksville resident and Bethlehem Central High School student said she wanted to do something about bringing back the Pledge of Allegiance. But she wasn’t sure what, so her grandmother suggested starting a petition.

So Hannah typed up her petition, and hundreds of other students joined her efforts.

A few weeks later, more than 400 of Hannah’s classmates had signed the petition. She sat down with the school’s principal during the spring semester, and school officials agreed to reinstate the daily recitation in September.

Why was the practice of reciting the Pledge abandoned in the first place?

Hannah said Principal Charles Abba told her the reason the practice was discontinued at the high school had something to do with the phrase “one nation under God” in the pledge.

Of course…

Nice work Hannah!

Photo:  Times Union

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Lansingburgh School District Again Downplays Parental Concerns

February 1, 2012 at 8:49 am (Lansingburgh, New York, Rensselaer, Sara Salitan-Thiell, School, Troy Knickerbacker, Turnpike)

Tensions are mounting in the Lansingburgh School District – and rightfully so.  Parents have attempted to voice concerns about a recent school board decision, only to have those concerns dismissed out of hand.  The attitude toward the unease expressed by parents shows an outright disdain for the welfare of families in the district -something that is not new to Lansingburgh.

Last month, the board eschewed a logical progression of events in handling a proposed reconfiguration of their elementary schools, voting unanimously to make sweeping changes prior to holding an informative public meeting.  A meeting that would afford parents the opportunity to express a dissenting opinion and raise key issues with the proposal.  As it stands, the current reconfiguration will result in pre-k through second grade students attending Turnpike Elementary School, while third through fifth graders will attend Rensselaer Park Elementary.

A public meeting was finally offered Monday night, but the board continually provided non-answers by saying real answers would be provided at a future date.

Gina Santiago, a concerned parent who attended the meeting, explained that the furor isn’t over the decision itself but rather, how that decision came about.

“This is the most significant structural change in a generation, and it’s been rushed,” she stated.  “It was less than two months from a concept to a done deal.”

While the decision itself shows a district willing to bypass the people, the rhetoric since Monday’s meeting seems to underline the depth of contempt towards parents simply trying to have their voices heard.

Late Monday night, school board member Mary Sweeney, posted a message on Facebook that read, the ‘key to change… is to let go of fear’.  But how can people be expected to let go of fear if their concerns are being flatly ignored?

Worse, those sentiments seem to echo another board member who responded to Sweeney’s statement with an ‘Amen!’  Lisa Devaren also took to Facebook last week according to parents, posting a message that stated change is inevitable and that “we can bitch about it” but “sometimes we just have to suck it up”.

Meanwhile, parents who attended the meeting have claimed that once it was officially dismissed, members let fly with a slew of condascending remarks.  One parent who was present claims that Turnpike principal, Dawne Steenrod, made disparaging comments regarding the competence of the attendees.

“She made a comment that they will have to schedule some parenting classes and then laughed,” she said.
Laying blame at the feet of others in an attempt to shift focus from their own poor decisions is a staple of the Lansingburgh school district.

In November, in response to a 14-year-old student jumping from the room of the media center at Knickerbacker Middle School, school officials were quick to single out the girl as a “student in crisis” who suffered from “personal family problems”.  The girl, who sustained multiple broken bones and other severe injuries, was clearly being pointed at as the sole problem, despite the fact that the school itself was unaware that she had gone to the roof, gaining access through a door featuring a disengaged alarm.  Her path to the roof was also helpfully paved by the fact that a resource officer was not on duty that day.

Additionally, recent reports have surfaced that a 16-year-old female at Lansingburgh High had reported an assault to the school social worker.  The alleged assault was so severe that it may have led to the girl having a miscarriage.  School officials never reported the attack to authorities.

Sara Salitan-Thiell, the social worker, confirms that she was informed of the assault, but denies being required to report it due to the assailant having already been charged with a separate crime.

Salitan explained that the student informed her of a “pregnancy (that) resulted in miscarriage due to being beaten by the offender”.   She did not feel it necessary to report the incident because the offender’s other “legal charges trump(ed)” this particular attack.  The attacker had been charged and convicted of second-degree rape.

But the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s office disagrees.  When questioned if the social worker had the duty to report the incident, a lead attorney responded that “they tend to agree” based on the social worker’s status as a mandated reporter for the state.  The DA’s office also refuted Salitan’s excuse that other charges would have trumped the assault, because the crimes were different in nature.

Lansingburgh board members, district officials, and school staff should be ashamed of the way their workers respond to and handle a crisis.  Rather than mocking parental concerns by suggesting courses in ‘parenting skills’, perhaps officials in the school district should be looking within.  Perhaps they should consider taking courses of their own. Courses in empathy and understanding and legal responsibility, along with brushing up on their roles as educators, guardians, and ethical leaders.

Their past actions have not only served to frustrate parents, but have demonstrated an inability to serve as role-models to the very children they preside over.

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