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In our supposed meritocracy, it isn't a surprise that kids from high-income families are more likely to graduate from college than kids from low-income families. But, while test scores from eighth grade math are nowhere near the only measure of student merit, it does say a little something about that meritocracy that high-income kids with low eighth grade math scores graduate from college at the same rate as low-income kids with high eighth grade math scores.

And more:

  • If you eat chicken you'll want to pay attention to this one: The Food Safety and Inspection Service is proposing a new inspection system for chicken plants, raising the line speed from 91 chickens per minute to 175 chickens per minute, reducing the number of inspectors, privatizing some current inspection jobs so that the poultry plants are inspecting their own work (do you want to trust them with that?), and spraying chickens with chemicals to kill salmonella and other nasties.
  • Every teacher I know is sick of hearing about how their work days supposedly end at like 3:00 in the afternoon. It's a ludicrous thing to say—when do people imagine kids' work gets graded, or lessons get planned? A new survey of teachers offers a reality check: Teachers reported working 53 hours a week on average.
  • Six things rich people need to stop saying.
  • It's always a big scandal when an NCAA athlete takes a gift ... but the NCAA is raking in tons of money on those athletes' performances.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 05:55 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It looks like their plan is working perfectly... (8+ / 0-)

    creating more low-income, uninformed, undereducated people to vote against their own interest...ugh..!!

    We are not broke, we are being robbed.

    by Glen The Plumber on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 06:07:10 PM PDT

  •  It is complicated (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane

    of course, since rich people predominantly went to college, there are different familial expectations at work. THere's a bit of a chicken and egg problem at work here.

    •  Except That... (7+ / 0-)

      ...more rich kids from the lower 1/3 of test scores graduate from college than poor kids in the upper 1/3. That is not right. The poor kids clearly know which end is up and where they need to go to get ahead. That is not happening and it's a clear disgrace.

      That's not family expectations. My brother, sister and I came from poor-middle class roots and we were the 1st to graduate ever for our mother's or father's families. Both our parents KNEW what it took to make a good life in America: education and I expect poor families well understand that today.

      There are other circumstances at work here. Having to quit school to get a job and support a single working mom or not going in the first place or having to stay home to support their brothers and sisters, e.g. This nation is poorer by far letting the brightest poor kids go, not helping, not insisting that the stay in school.

      Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

      by TerryDarc on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 06:38:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that certainly too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, TerryDarc

        But I have had a reasonable number of colleagues whose families didn't support their getting an education much

        However, the economic factors are far and away the more important.  As you say. Something is not right

      •  Aren't there low income schools that do not teach (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TerryDarc

        to the same level as higher income high schools.

        There are many reasons for this chart.

        The best students in low income high schools are not always challenged with the same level of material as higher income schools.

        They may get into college, but have to take remedial courses to catch up.

        Higher income students also have more opportunity for tutoring as well as better educated parents who can help them.

        It still comes down to upgrading our lower income public education system. Not letting kids slide by. Getting as many parents as possible involved with their kids education as well as social life. It ain't easy, but it's the only way these kids will get an even break.

        You can't just throw them into college unprepared at so many levels. It's not their fault for the most part.

        What are you're (everyone here) suggestions for preparing kids to be ready for higher ed?

        Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

        by auapplemac on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 01:16:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What I see (0+ / 0-)

      is a little of the expectations, but also the expectation and even the need that the freshly graduated low income student will help support his family instead of the other way around, and the difficulty of being able to work full time to support oneself and attend college in the current economic environment.

      Even community colleges are problematic because it's hard to make a course schedule that gets you graduating on time in the first place (since they're all oversubscribed and not necessarily offering a full slate of classes) and then you have to figure out when you can work and still go to class. Even kids who get full scholarships (not always easy if your parents aren't good with paperwork) still have to find money to pay for their car, their food, and their housing.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 10:09:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's no surprise that the teacher, women, (6+ / 0-)

    government employee bashing persists.  It's a distraction from the congress and Wall Street where the true shafting of the taxpayers occurs.  OWS  has just slowed the slurs some which has caused the RW media tools to rachet things up.  

    Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Island"s, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

    by judyms9 on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 06:10:10 PM PDT

  •  Rich kids are smarter. After all, they made sure (10+ / 0-)

    that they had rich parents. Anyone with poor parents obviously doesn't plan ahead and doesn't deserve our sympathy.

    Just ask Dubya.

    •  Clearly, Picking One's Parents (4+ / 0-)

      Is paramount. Picking a time to live in America where we don't discard the brightest of the poor kids is likewise necessary. My sibs and I all graduated and did fine (no fortunate sons/daughter there, btw) but today? Quien sabe and the devil take the hindmost?

      Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

      by TerryDarc on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 06:40:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wages for graduates of lower-cost colleges (4+ / 0-)

    have stagnated.  This article notes that unless you attend a higher price school, your chances of earning a salary that actually grows are diminishing:

    the growing disparities in graduates’ starting salaries, which resemble those we’ve seen for the country as a whole. After adjusting for inflation, starting salaries for most graduates have remained essentially stagnant for several decades, while those at the bottom of the group have actually declined. Only the highest-paid graduates have enjoyed significant salary growth, and among those a very thin slice at the top has seen truly spectacular increases.

    Because of the bitter competition for those premium salaries, elite educational credentials are often a precondition for even landing a job interview. With so many applications for every vacancy, many consulting firms and investment banks, for example, now consider only candidates from a short list of top-ranked schools.

    Needless to say, by and large only the rich kids can afford to go to these elite schools to begin with.

    There's your "meritocracy" for you.

    •  I don't agree with your interpretation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane

      I think you are conflating two different point. I read the entire article and it does not say that there the school you graduated from determines what you earn. It only says that graduates for one particular specialty finance - find it easier to get interviews if they are from a more prestigious College and even this is offered anecdotal with no actual studies to back it up.

      The article claims (again with no supporting data) that most college graduates starting salaries have remained stagnant, but does not link that point to the school you attend. I took that to mean that it depended on the degree you received since it is common knowledge that an individual with a medical degree is going to be earning a whole lot more then a person with an Ancient Civilization's degree regardless of which college they attended.
      I

  •  Poor kids can go to college (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, Saint Jimmy

    but they have to serve a tour in the military to get the benefits.  There's always a catch.

  •  hate the NCAA.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LandruBek

    Wouldn't have a problem if they slaves didn't make so much money 4 evil white Massa. TV sports has put this problem on steroids. The fix would b not playing the games. It would b different if they were actually students not athletes getting paid with "school". Glad basketball gets screwed w/ 1 & done. Their product is crappy (the play) not the players.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 06:24:22 PM PDT

    •  totally agree (0+ / 0-)

      it is such an exploitative system.  I would love to join a protest at nearby NCAA events (I live in a college town) but it seems like most people don't really see the problem.  "They get scholarships!"  Pfft.  Do they get any time to study?  No.  And the scholarship is diddly squat compared to revenues being pulled in by the university.

      'Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that Government is best which is most indifferent.' -- F. D. Roosevelt

      by LandruBek on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 08:09:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right, then they break some arbitrary rule (0+ / 0-)

        Cant play; can't get a job doing anything else; colleges clean up; coaches & college presidents get rich.

        The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

        by a2nite on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 05:21:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Boortz......'If not for public schooling.... (0+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't have an audience'.....Good one Neil...certainly your Goober audience is lacking.....we'll fix it for ya.

  •  As a Chicken Lover I have to say Wow (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, True North

    My comment to the agency would be "I love chicken, but if these new rules goes into effect, I won't be eating it anymore."

    I have to wonder if this is going to effect organic chicken as well. I would not put it past a government agency to certify that a chicken was only fed organic feed and then turn around and allow it to be sprayed with chemicals after it is slaughtered.

    •  I could go ovo-lacto vegetarian fairly easily (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, True North

      and am considering it, after this "charming" bit of news.

      Alas, it seems that Upton Sinclair lived and wrote in vain.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 08:53:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hope everyone reading this takes the time (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, elfling

      to follow the link to the government comment page and submit a comment.  If enough people comment, it can make a big difference.  Here's mine:

      I am astounded that  you would even consider changing the current poultry inspection process, which allows for a line speed of 91 chickens per minute, to a new plan with a maximum line speed of 175 chickens per minute. In addition, the proposed rule will reduce the number of FSIS inspectors from four to two per line.

      If this happens I will either stop eating chicken completely, find a local farm that raises chickens organically, or grow my own chickens.  At least that way, I'll be more assured of the quality of the poultry I'm feeding my family.  

      How can you expect anyone to effectively inspect nearly 3 chickens every second?  This seems like utter foolishness and completely contrary to the reason for having the inspections in the first place.  Along those same lines, I believe privatizing food inspection will significantly reduce the safety and quality of food available to consumers.

      Even more ridiculous, under the new proposed rule the companies will be inspecting their own products.  Who comes up with such nutty ideas?  

      This new rule seems like something either written by the poultry industry or a bad joke.  Either way, I am strongly opposed to it and encourage you to either keep the inspections as they are now, or improve them.

    •  Chickens (0+ / 0-)

      News like this makes me so glad that I became a vegetarian years ago, and then a vegan.

      I feel so sorry for all the people who don't read dKos and won't know that they're doing this. A lot of people think chickens are somehow healthy food.

      dfe, if it helps with your decision-making, one author (whose name and book title I've forgotten) said that if you want to reduce animal suffering, the single act with the greatest impact is to stop eating chickens. The conditions that they are forced to endure in are horrendously cruel, and, of course, the number of animals killed for the market is huge, since each animal is so small.

      A prominent cardiologist once said something like this: "First we kill the animals to eat them, and then they kill us."

  •  When I began my first "real" job... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stwriley, Lujane, Brooke In Seattle

    ...working for a weekly newspaper in Ocala as a reporter and copy editor back in 1980, one of the things I was assigned to edit on a regular basis was a syndicated column by a man named Charley Reese, who wrote for The Orlando Sentinel. The column of his I most vividly remember was one entitled "To Heck with the Poor." I especially remember these three sentences, most notably the middle one (emphasis mine):

    "You hear people complain, well the poor can't go to college. Well the poor aren't supposed to go to college, just like the poor aren't supposed to go to the Riviera. Being poor means not having enough money to do much more than just get by,  so where does some poor person get off claiming he has a right to all the things he can't pay for?
    The column as a whole, and those three sentences in particular, cemented my opinion of conservatives as vindictive, heartless assholes.

    Amazingly, I actually found the column itself online tonight. Some conservative blogger who agrees with Reese posted it on his blog in 2008, saying he had found it on one of his old computer hard drives. It infuriates me as much to read it today as it did then.

    Reese's implication, of course, is that the poor are supposed to work their way through college. That was hard enough in 1981. It's impossible today. Sorry, Charley - college is not the Riviera, and the poor are as entitled to a quality education as are the idle rich.

    I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

    by ObamOcala on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 08:13:13 PM PDT

  •  You've managed to prove two things... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, elfling, Brooke In Seattle

    that are often glossed over in the public education debate.

    The first is the very well-documented but seldom remembered fact that the single most important determinant of a child's educational success is the income level of their parents. this has long been shown to be far more important than any other factor. Now we can see that it extends beyond K-12 education and right on into college and the rest of life.

    The second is that teachers are hardly the do-nothing layabouts that "reformers" on all sides tend to portray them as. The whole "all-stick-and-no-carrot" approach to "improving" teaching is predicated on the idea that teachers don't take their jobs seriously or work hard at them. This study of working hours gives the whole thing the lie. We work the same long hours as other professionals, it's just been hidden from most people and lied about by those who'd rather destroy the profession and privatize education for their own profit.

    Now we just get these kind of facts out and into the heads of the voting public. Then maybe we could finally rid ourselves of the attack on teachers and schools and get back to one of the great strengths our country used to enjoy; a robust and effective public education system.

    Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

    by Stwriley on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 08:21:08 PM PDT

  •  If this nation can't cultivate the brightest (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stwriley, Lujane, Saint Jimmy

    and the best from every income level to an optimal extent, then as a people we are well and truly toast.

    We'll know that failure has come home to roost when presidential candidates compete to out-stupid one another and...

    Oh. Never mind.

  •  How could you read that 6 things rich people (0+ / 0-)

    should quit saying with the pop-up mouth annoying the crap out of you.

    Proud Slut...Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 08:56:56 PM PDT

  •  It's really not that uncommon for someone who (4+ / 0-)

    starts work at 7 a.m. to get out around 3 or 4 p.m.  I mean- that is an 8 hour day.  And it was common knowledge that teachers at my high school were there before classes began at 7 a.m.

    So- I don't understand why people, who when employed full time generally work an 8 hour shift, would think there's anything wrong with a teacher's day ending at 3.  I am baffled that whoever it is saying this pejoratively never noticed that their kids teachers were at school before the kids were, and that they got lessons planned and papers/tests graded even while teaching all day.

    Democracy is often an indictment of the voting populace.

    by electricgrendel on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 09:14:38 PM PDT

    •  My daughter teaches high school (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, Mostel26

      and is there by 7:30 every day and rarely leaves before 5.  Then she spends most of her evenings grading papers and doing lesson plans.  She definitely earns her summer off, as do most teachers.

      When I taught math in the 70s it was the same - I spent an hour most evenings calling parents, another couple hours doing lesson plans and most of the weekend grading quizzes or tests.  My husband was very happy when I quit to take a job as a mathematician with NASA.   There, I worked fewer hours and was paid more.

      It's frustrating that the people who do the most important jobs in our society - teachers, fire fighters, police, nurses, etc. - are paid so poorly for working under what can be very difficult conditions.  And now the Republicans want them to work even longer before they're allowed to retire.  Absolutely outrageous.

      •  I am in health care currently and will hopefully (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, HCKAD, Abelia, Mostel26

        be a nurse by the end of the summer, so I am full agreement about how those who do the basic work of society are increasingly viewed with derision.  We are expected to be fully trained, competent, dependable and utterly taken for granted.  Apparently choosing to police the streets, save people from fires, teach the next generation and care of the sick means that police officers, fire fighters, teachers and nurses should accept being viewed as the servants of society in the sense that maids and butlers were the servants of the rich.

        I worked customer service before going into health care, and I can say that after six years of experience in that it seems as if a good deal of the public has entitlement issues.  Everyone wants to be the one in control, the powerful man or woman.  There's a basic lack of respect for people who do the shit work of society.  It's a general devaluing of labor coupled with a particular, common arrogance.

        Democracy is often an indictment of the voting populace.

        by electricgrendel on Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 09:59:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Perception and Evaluation (0+ / 0-)
    Abbott: Didn't you go to school, stupid?

    Costello: Yeah and I came out the same way.

    See, the sad thing about a guy like you is, in 50 years you're gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you're going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don't do that, and two, you dropped 150 grand on a fuckin' education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!

    from the movie Good Will Hunting

    Just saying.

    But it's unfortunate that employers have no real way of assessing a candidate outside of a degree which may reflect nothing about the person. Then there is the ranking of colleges. A Harvard grad must be better than a St. John's University grad -- it costs more! Now we are in the era when another layer is added to the mix -- whether a person can afford to go at all. Class warfare within other systems of class warfare.

    I never graduated from college because it just wasn't for me. My idea of college was not what I found to be the case at all. I thought we'd all be wearing togas walking around a garden with our teacher having lofty conversations and learning in the process. What I found just felt like a giant high school and I despised high school. I knew I could do the work because I got good grades even exceptional grades but I hated every minute of it and in the end just left.

    I've spent a lifetime learning (I'm now 48) by reading, reading and reading some more not to mention all the experience I've gained working in the medium of radio. It's a shame that my lack of a degree sends someone a message that puts me in a lower class but it's the system that's faulty not me.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 05:00:24 AM PDT

  •  Also this week in labor: Obama signs... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the Federal Aviation Administration Bill, in which leading Democrats again backslide in their commitment to labor.

    See Jill Stein For President site for a good roundup:

    http://www.jillstein.org/...

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