What’s wrong at school?
We all know schools that seem to work well.
The kids graduate from middle school, high school and college to find themselves in the job market applying some of what they learned along the way. If that is our ultimate criteria than the majority of schools keep feeding into the job pool with some success. I believe/hope a larger “we” are beginning to ask for more- The statistics are frightening, particularly for the kids I reach out to who have little or no chance of looping into the dwindling “American Dream.”
In Washington State the completion rate in high school is 68%. Native Americans are at 40%, African Americans 50% and Hispanics at 55%. They are sold a promise of marginal success if they go along with the weak curriculum that delivers irrelevant information to them. They are not necessarily offered the opportunity to mull over challenge/solutions and the applicability of choices to relevant circumstances in their lives.
The interviews I just completed with three homeless people will dramatically show the reader how the foundations in education may have crumbled for some. The interviews can be viewed by linking to our blog through our website.
“And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey”- Exodus 3:8
February is significant in African-American history – It’s Black History Month. This year marks the 32nd year that the month has been so recognized and the 2008 Black History Month Theme “Carter G. Woodson and the Origins of Multiculturalism,” an opportunity for reflection on its founder.
The month-long celebration is an expansion of Negro History Week, which was established in 1926 by Carter G Woodson, director of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. While Carter G. Woodson was not the only person celebrating the achievement of blacks, he broadened the scope of the celebration in three significant ways:
- First, he conceived of the event as a national celebration and invited groups across the United States to participate. – Secondly, he sought to appeal to both whites and blacks and to improve race relations. – Finally, Woodson viewed Negro History Week as an effort to demonstrate to the world that Africans and peoples of African descent had contributed to the advance of history.
Its yearly national theme’s provided scholarly and popular materials as a means of undermining the idea of black inferiority. And this year marks the 75th anniversary of Woodson’s book “The Mis-Education of the Negro” which examined how African Americans, deprived of knowledge of their history were being disadvantaged in grappling with racism, poverty and other problems confronting their community.
Hong Kong, one of the places any person would love to visit. And it’s not just tourism that draws in people but the positive economic climate is drawing in investors in more numbers than ever! Today, Hong Kong serves as a centre of international trade and many businesses are spreading their wings there.
In recent decades, as the economy of Mainland China has undergone a process of opening up, Hong Kong has transformed yet again, this time into a service-based economy as well as an important gateway to the world’s largest market. Hong Kong can mostly thank its colonial history and international harbour for the rich blend of cultures that gives it its unique character.
As a place, the city has touched the sky when it comes to its economy because its economy features three important things. Any good economy needs these to stand out and the three things are free trade policy, low taxation and minimum government intervention. It is the world’s 9th largest trading economy, with the mainland of China as its most significant trading partner with the labour force being HK$3.79 million during 2012. It is expected to rise further in the coming years.
The city has achieved great heights only because of the development in the education policy and the willingness of people to become educated and work hard. Consider this. Today, the Bureau of International Student Assessment has ranked Hong Kong’s education as the second best in the world! The statistics of the education attained till secondary course during the year 2000 was 25,749 students. The New Senior Secondary academic structure and curriculum was implemented in September 2009, which provides for all students to receive three years of compulsory junior and three years of compulsory senior secondary education which increased the statistics to 2,58,530 students in 2012 and it thereby kept increasing. In secondary schools, ‘biliterate and trilingual’ proficiency is emphasised.
It seems these days that we are watching the government regulators crack down on Wall Street with the new Financial Reform Law, and their theory is that they will now have the power to enforce regulations and prevent another global economic meltdown or disintegration of the US economy plunging us into a near depression rather than our “shallowed-out” business-cycle recessions. Is that possible? No, and let me tell you why.
Consider if you will after the big S and L Crash many years back, junk bond challenges, Enron fiasco, or the mortgage crisis. If you will recall each time more regulations were put into place, did they stop the next round of nonsense? NO. After Enron we watched one of the largest Accounting Firms crash and burn, remember Arthur Anderson, and then we ended up with new accounting standards and Sarbanes-Oxley, but did that stop the next crisis? NO.
Now we have a new Financial Regulatory Reform Bill, after the mortgage meltdown, which crashed Wall Street and the Global Economy. And with fire in their veins we have regulators and the Department of Justice looking for heads to roll, why? To show they are doing something of course, and bring back consumer and investor, small business, and foreign institutional investment confidence. Will it work? Yes, it might bring back confidence at first, but the law of unintended consequences will make it worse.
Now then, let’s switch gears and talk a little about regulation in our great nation, let’s talk about the truth, the façade, and the incestuous relationship between law-makers, corporations, banks, and those who perhaps really do need regulation but are essentially assured of not get any. Only their competitors will be regulated in the future, as those bigger culprits and their lobbyists did most of the work on forging these new regulations and making things best for them and their way of doing business, while creating barriers to entry for the rest of the industry.
The Problem – Understanding 529s
Like many sections of the Internal Revenue Code, section 529 involves more than meets the eye. Misunderstanding or underutilizing its capabilities can present problems or forego opportunities.
The Solution – Debunking Key 529 Myths
In debunking the top five 529 myths you will gain a clear understanding of how powerful the multi-purpose 529 can be.
Basics on 529
Based on The College Board 2008-2009 College Pricing Trends report, a child born today can expect to pay over $154,000 for an undergraduate public college degree and $395,000 for a private college. Congress established Section 529 of the tax code so savings used for qualified higher education expenses at an accredited education institution would be free from taxes.
These plans are often called 529s, 529 college plans or 529 higher education savings plans. The plans offer tremendous estate tax planning tax shelter benefits. With a 2009 federal estate tax exemption of $3.5 million (45% tax rate) and a NJ state exemption of a mere $675,000 (16% top tax rate), the 529 can save you and your heirs millions in taxes.
1. Money Contributed to a 529 Must be Used for my Children’s College Education Myth. The money can be used for any purpose for anyone. If it is not used by the beneficiary for higher education expenses, only the gains will be assessed a 10% penalty and taxed as income. The penalty and taxes may be a worthwhile if you can defer taxes over many years, for example 20 or 150 years.