I listened to a pol supporting the funding of tests for new born babies. Maryland has some of the worst outcomes for infant mortality because it does not provide health care for the poor and working class. The Federal funds for Medicaid end up subsidizing corporate profits. I testified that Baltimore loses a billion dollars a year in Medicare and Medicaid fraud and invited the Maryland Assembly committee members to join my organization in citizen audits for fraud bringing back and stopping that fraud which then could fully fund all Medicaid and Medicare programs for all citizens qualifying. These funds would be flush with money for seniors and low-income by simply stopping the fraud. The Maryland Assembly pretends to pass progressive legislation like this pol's policy of testing new born infants but with no oversight and accountability the money rarely goes to implement these policies----they simply sit on the books.
I listened to a budget meeting on Medicare and health care for the aging and disabled. Hogan is giving 2% cuts all around so programs that were gutted Federally for seniors, the poor, and disabled are now being cut again. Again, this is taxpayer money citizens have paid during their lives to assure they would have the coverage needed to support them----the Constitution guarantees Federal funds designated for these demographics so every time they cut funding they know they are not meeting Federal requirements.....they are simply starving these programs to death. There was testimony by a man in social services that explained that a tax credit for seniors that could save money is often not taken because seniors do not know about it and the state does not have the staff to provide the support in making sure these seniors and the poor get these tax credits. I read in Baltimore, hundreds of millions of dollars are not taken in low-income tax relief because people do not know about it. We had a strong public sector that offered this support that is now gone. Where does all that money not claimed by seniors and the poor go? It goes to corporate subsidy.
Then at the same budget meeting where these public agencies were being told they were losing money------the Catholic and Jewish religious organizations testified to receive a share of public money for their non-profit work. I listened as the Jewish organization presented its plan for those on Medicaid/Medicare not able to access care anymore -------having seniors work as caretakers in order to receive caretaking. The Catholic organizations are doing the same. I approached these groups after they spoke and invited them to join my organization in citizen audits to bring back a billion dollars in fraud each year of money from these agencies losing funding. I explained stopping and recovering that fraud would make public agency funds flush with money and everyone would be cared for -----help the people recover the money they paid into the system to get the care you now want them to work for. A wink and a nod said that these agencies would get the funding for programs putting seniors to work for their care and the groups were not interested in helping to recover the fraud. Who are the biggest donors to Catholic and Jewish charities?
THE PEOPLE AND CORPORATIONS COMMITTING THE FRAUD.
Below you see where this is going. If we end Social Security and Medicare as they are doing now-----dismantling all the jobs tied to public health from senior centers to nursing homes----from social workers to hospital staff----
ALL THOSE JOBS DISAPPEARING WITH ALL OF THE READY ACCESSIBILITY OF THESE PLACES FOR SENIORS ALL PAID FOR FROM FEDERAL FUNDING FOR SENIORS
now being reduced to immigrant workers living as caretakers and seniors not having the programs supporting them now must do the same.....become caretakers or take people into their homes.
In Israel, seniors and foreign caretakers develop symbiotic relationships
Posted on May 28, 2014 by Jeffrey Barken / JNS.org . By Jeffrey F. Barken/JNS.org
"Today the foreign caregiver that lives with the patient—this is the most common way to grow old in Israel," says Yaron Bengera, vice president of Yad Beyad, a Tel Aviv-based agency that recruits foreign workers.
Janet Tauro and Varda Kahanovich made a deal upon which their lives depend. Tauro, a foreign worker from Mumbai, provides Kahanovich, a 90-year-old Israeli woman living on Kibbutz Maagan Michael, warm and devoted care. In return, Kahanovich hopes to live a long and happy life, well beyond her current age, with Tauro as caregiver.
Morbid as it may be to contemplate an old woman’s passing, for Tauro and the 60,000 other foreign workers currently employed as caregivers in Israeli households, the stakes are high. Work visas are patient dependent and are granted for four years and three months, with no extensions or opportunities for reassignment in the event of the elder person’s death. Following the patient’s death, a caretaker must return to his or her country of origin, terminating a source of income that has provided countless opportunities for their families. The lots of the elderly and the caretaker are intertwined.
The situation of Tauro and Kahanovich is a familiar one in the Jewish state.
“Today the foreign caregiver that lives with the patient—this is the most common way to grow old in Israel,” Yaron Bengera, vice president of Yad Beyad, a Tel Aviv-based agency that recruits foreign workers, tells JNS.org. “In the past, patients would be taken care of by their family, but this is changing fast. With more capitalism and more demanding lives, it gets harder.”
There is a consensus among Israelis that caring for the elderly is demanding work. Many senior citizens require constant supervision and assistance. Despite their best efforts, working adults—balancing careers and young families—buckle under the pressures of modern life in Israel and are unable to provide adequate care for their aging parents without hiring help.
Yad Beyad helps Israeli families find the right caregiver to suit their specific needs. The agency also supports foreign workers, providing information about their rights and cultural resources, and counseling them to ensure their success as caretakers. In the case of Tauro and Kahanovich, a perfect match was made.
“I was astonished to see such a beautiful girl. She is my friend,” Edna Oren tells JNS.org, recounting the day that Tauro first arrived at Maagan Michael to take care of her twin sister. In this case the culture shock was minimal, since Tauro had previous experience working in another Israeli home and she had even learned Hebrew.
“We are so lucky,” Oren says. “There are not many people like Janet,” Oren says. “She has two brains, not one, and she has four hands. She even learned to sing Hatikvah (the Israeli national anthem).”
Tauro says she works as a caretaker but also works “from my heart.” In her first job as a caretaker, she looked up Israeli songs on YouTube, singing and dancing with the woman she served. She even learned her patient’s style of cooking.
“My motive is to make her (Kahanovich) feel like she is living in her own house and can make her own decisions,” says Tauro.
The system is not without faults. Many foreign workers suffer emotional distress, having been separated from their children and families abroad. Likewise, difficult work environments have, on occasion, resulted in abuse.
“You’re always dependent on your employer for your quality of life,” Nora Lender, Kibbutz Maagan Michael’s administration manager for the elderly welfare, tells JNS.org. Both Lender and Bengera confirm having personally witnessed cases where employers physically and mentally abused foreign workers. Hidden cameras have caught caretakers hitting elderly patients and revealed neglect.
“Like anything in life, you take a chance,” Lender says.
Israel may not be perfectly adapted to support a foreign work force, but a significant effort has been made to inform workers of their rights, regulate payment, and provide a genuine welcome. By law, workers are entitled to a base salary of 4,300 NIS ($1,235) per month, out of which employers can make deductions accounting for the live-in caretaker’s room and board. Contracts also stipulate that caretakers receive nine paid holidays based on their own country’s calendar, and 150-percent pay on weekends.
It is not a competitive salary from a Western perspective, yet it “can be life-changing for families in the third world,” Bengera explains.
“If you had a country that you could work in and then you could buy your own house, put your kids through school, you would take this opportunity,” he says.
According to Kavlaoved.org, a website and hotline providing an overview of foreign workers’ experiences in Israel, nearly 80 percent of foreign caregivers in Israel are female.
“We prefer to bring female caretakers with families to Israel because they need the income and are better motivated,” Bengera says.
Bengera is conscious that the presence of this workforce is affecting the culture of Israel, as well as that of the foreign workers’ native countries.
“In the worker’s homeland the fathers become the mothers,” he says. “Sometimes mothers don’t go back to their husbands. The women feel free here. We are not sure that this is for the better.”
Patriarchal and traditionally closed societies are being pried open by what Bengera calls the “global competition for a workforce.” Israel is providing a path of escape to some individuals and a sound mechanism for social mobility.
Critics may call the system exploitative, calling the isolation that foreign workers endure borderline inhumane.
“If a first-degree relative is working in Israel it is almost impossible for [his or her kin] to visit,” Bengera notes.
But workers like Tauro tell a different story. Asked how she copes with being so far away from her two children, she says, “It’s not the hardest part of my job, it’s the hardest part of my life.”
Life’s circumstances led Tauro to the conclusion that seeking work abroad was the best way to provide for her children, and she is committed to the course she chose, no matter the hardship.
“Everything I earn is for my kids’ education, I believe in education,” Tauro says, adding that her work will be complete only when her children can stand up on their own and say, “Mom, we’re done with the help. Now we want to help you, it’s our turn.”
Being dependent on Kahanovich’s health for continued employment, there is always the fear that Tauro’s contract will end abruptly, leaving her unable to continue working in Israel and creating a family financial crisis. Bengera, however, affirms that the experience of foreign workers in Israel is valuable to other Western employers, specifically in the United States, Canada, and England. Many workers use Israel as a steppingstone for better positions in other countries.
Critics lament that for talented workers like Tauro, there is no path to Israeli citizenship and no exceptions to the patient-dependent contracts of four years and three months. Israel is throwing away valuable expertise whenever veteran workers are deported, they say.
Bengera suggests that the contracts exist partially as a practical protection against worker burnout, but believes there should not be a limit on the number of years a worker can stay in Israel.
“I think the [Israeli] government should recognize that these workers are a part of the fabric and culture and I think it should be possible for families to visit,” he says.
It will do good for the workers and the tourists to see their children in Israel, and for the children to understand their parents’ work.”
Tauro echoes those sentiments when she explains her sympathy and involvement with the Jewish people whom she has met and served in Israel.
“After being in Israel this long, I am a part of the pain and the joy,” she says regarding her experience caring for Holocaust survivors and observing Israeli memorial days for fallen soldiers. “I salute the country.”
The Israeli human trafficing corporation Yad Beyad is the same as the Johns Hopkins human trafficing business. As the article above points out these immigrants are almost never happy---they do it because they have no way of earning money at home. The article highlights a woman from Mumbai-----India has huge wealth inequity throughout its partnership with the US in building global industry and it still has human exports as its major industry. The article above shows the dynamic of the '21st century economy' where the job opportunities even in the Western world are living as ex-pats in poverty jobs.
Now, think about how all of this affects US workers. US global corporations are not going to allow unemployment for domestic workers to end----they are forcing Americans to seek employment overseas as Americans become this roving immigrant-class.
THAT IS WHAT THE GOAL OF BUSH NEO-CONS AND CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS ARE-----EXPORTING AMERICAN POOR AND WORKING CLASS OVERSEAS.
THIS IS CALLED THE MODERN-DAY SLAVE TRAFFICING.
'But they get to live in a comfortable home' is the excuse for not paying a domestic citizen decent wages in well-run public facilities to care for citizens who pay taxes for this care.
Below you see where this is going-----as US religious organizations are preparing to put Americans to work to receive their health care and support-----US neo-liberals and neo-cons are preparing to send Americans overseas to become part of the ex-pat diaspora. Keep in mind poverty for youth in Europe is soaring as it is in the US and they want to send citizens abroad while bringing foreign workers to the US creating societies that are largely non-citizen without rights----remember the Bahrain model created by Wall Street.
This doesn't have to happen folks----we are at a point where we can return to a first world nation by simply getting engaged in politics and getting rid of global corporate pols. These policies being installed in Maryland Assembly as in Baltimore City Hall all work towards this global economy and global immigrant trafficing.
The article below is long but please scan through!
'Reason #4 – It’s time for everyone to grow up and become global citizens'
Why Young Americans Should Work Overseas
May 1, 2013 Mark Manson
I should start off by saying the reasons laid out in this article on why young Americans should work overseas are practical and not ideological. This is not a liberal argument or a conservative argument — it’s a life argument. For two centuries, if you were young, ambitious, and college-educated, North America offered you the best opportunities. But the tides are changing and that’s no longer the case.
The odd thing is that no one in the United States seems to realize this yet. People haven’t caught on. And what does that mean? Opportunity. Tons of it.
One of my best friends recently told me that the prestigious multinational corporation he worked for was itching to permanently send him to India. They wanted him to manage their expansion into that market. And obviously, India is a huge emerging market. They gave him the Godfather offer to go — enough money to live in a mansion, with personal chefs, private drivers, everything. The irony, of course, was that my friend is a first generation Indian-American. His parents gave up everything decades ago and fought their way to the US to give their kids opportunities they would never have had back in India. They succeeded. What they didn’t expect was that the opportunity for their son they gave up everything for — it was back in India.
And such is the irony for this generation of Americans. Our grandparents immigrated to the US for opportunity. And now, in many cases, with our US education, the greater opportunity is elsewhere.
If you are college educated and under 30, there’s a significant chance that you would be better off working in a country outside of the United States and I’m here to tell you why.
Reason #1 – Your market value is higher elsewhere
So the primary argument of this whole piece boils down to this: We’ve all heard the horror stories about how college grads can’t find work or are stuck working a job they’re insanely over-qualified for. In the US, there are simply no longer enough quality jobs for everyone with a university education. We have an education surplus. It’s reached the point where many are openly questioning whether going to university is even worth it, while others call it an outright scam.
Meanwhile, you have massive emerging economies in Asia and South America that are desperate for college grads and especially for western-educated college grads.
It’s simple supply and demand. There aren’t enough jobs in the US and Europe anymore for young people. There aren’t enough highly educated people in emerging countries. Put two and two together, and your market value is much higher elsewhere.
In fact, western-educated employees are valued so highly in many parts of the world, that companies will deck you out, covering everything from your expenses, housing, transportation, as well as benefits, just to get you to come over.
Reason #2 – The quality-of-life/cost-of-living ratio is now much higher elsewhere
A friend of mine recently told me that he spoke to a luxury hotel owner in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The hotel owner was desperate to hire managers with western education. He claimed that Malaysia’s education system, while good, taught obedience and that Malays did not problem solve or think for themselves. Therefore, they made poor managers. He was willing to hire anyone — yes, anyone — with a western university degree and immediately put them in a management position, a position that would take at least five to 10 years in the industry to reach back in the US. Perks included paid housing (penthouse suite within the hotel in downtown KL), paid transportation, and all the benefits.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Hah, yeah, but who would want to live in a shithole like Koala Oompa Loompa?” I know. I thought the same thing… until I went there. I expected dusty markets with loud motorbikes, no electricity and spiders the size of my face.
But, as with most Asian cities, I got something totally unexpected: Kuala Lumpur is amazing. In fact, it’s probably a nicer city than the one you live in right now. Don’t believe me? Let’s just put it this way. I went to a mall in Kuala Lumpur and there was a ferris wheel and a roller coaster inside the mall. Yeah…
Kuala Lumpur’s indoor roller coaster is better than you.The fact of the matter is that the developing world (minus much of Africa) has, in many ways, caught up to the developed world and caught up fast. It’s happened under our noses and we haven’t even realized it. When I started traveling the world in 2009, almost every place I went to blew my expectations away. I expected to show up to a dirt heap and get my kidneys carved out, and what I got was an amazing quality of life for my money.
Similarly, when my girlfriend, who is Brazilian, began traveling around the world a few years ago, she had the exact opposite reaction: every place she went was not nearly as nice as she expected. Why? She grew up in Brazil and assumed that the US and Europe were technological and social paradises, light years ahead of her native country. She was wrong. Over and over again — wrong, wrong, wrong.
Economists measure quality of life with different metrics. They also measure cost of living. By these metrics, usually the same countries come out on top. What nobody has measured (to my knowledge) is a quality of life PER cost of living metric. Why nobody asked me about this, I have no idea.
But it’s an easy concept to grasp. Here’s an example: $3000 per month in New York City gets you a shitty, roach-infested studio apartment in a bad part of Brooklyn or Queens and a lot of fatty take-out meals. Chances are you are working 50- or 60-hour weeks and the weather sucks six months out of the year. In Bangkok, $3000 per month gets you the nicest penthouse apartment in the city, your own driver, access to some of the best restaurants and nightlife in Asia, and you’re probably working 30- or 35-hour weeks. The high-life there is probably 90% of the high-life in NYC, but you’re now living it on the same income that got you a shitty studio apartment back in Queens.
Reason #3 – The Jobs Aren’t Coming Back
I hate to be the one that breaks this to you, but the jobs aren’t coming back. Sure, unemployment rates have dropped to below 8%, but as Republicans correctly point out, this is because people are giving up on working altogether and the real number of jobs is falling. The US government keeps reporting job growth every month, but what they fail to mention is that the job growth is slower than the overall population growth.
There is a structural change in the economy. Technological improvements mean our economy can produce more value while employing fewer workers. Economists refer to this as the de-coupling of labor and growth. Technological automation and globalization has created an economy that can grow while employing fewer people. This technology and outsourcing has also developed an economy that disproportionally rewards entrepreneurs, investors and corporations. Hence the whole “We are the 99%” hubbub a year or two ago.
And with the accelerating rate of technological advancement, the problem is only going to get worse, not better. Democrats and Republicans will continue to blame the sluggish economy and shitty job numbers on each other. But know this: that if it’s anybody’s fault, it’s Silicon Valley’s. And the same technology that has enriched our lives and allows me to write this and you to read it, is ultimately the culprit.
Shit’s changing, folks. And it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better. We’re seeing a perfect storm of sorts: the decoupling of economic growth to household income and labor productivity with a simultaneous aging population. I don’t care who is president, things are going to be a mess for a while to come.
Reason #4 – It’s time for everyone to grow up and become global citizens
Christopher Hitchens, about traveling the world, once wrote:
What I have discovered is something very ordinary and unexciting, which is that humans are the same everywhere and that the degree of variation between members of our species is very slight.
This is of course an encouraging finding; it helps arm you against news programs back home that show seething or abject masses of either fanatical or torpid people.
In another way it is a depressing finding; the sorts of things that make people quarrel and make them stupid are the same everywhere.
There’s a lot of alarmism in the media these days. Iran is going to start World War III. War between China and the US is inevitable. A bunch of rag-tag tribesmen in Pakistan are going to wrought nuclear annihilation on all of us. Drug runners in Mexico are going to chop off your limbs. Bizarrely named African rebels are going to drink your blood.
It’s time to get over the hype, move beyond the overblown cultural differences within the human species, and to get over, as Hitchens quotes Freud as saying, “the narcissism of the small difference.”
Living abroad has been one of the biggest personal growth experiences of my life. It’s given me the most unique and memorable experiences of my life. It’s made me smarter, wiser, more tolerant, and more empathetic. And I’m by no means unique in this regard. Just about any world traveler will tell you the same thing.
But the biggest asset has been eliminating my narcissism of that small difference. A lot of people throw around the cliché “broadening your horizons.” But I see it simply as engaging humanity. Recognizing that our perceptions of the dreaded “other” are dominated by the extremes. And that despite cultural differences, people are all trying to get the same needs met.
As a young adult, your biggest assets are time and ambition. If you fail today, you have the advantage of being able to start fresh tomorrow. The difference between a broke, jobless 22-year-old and a broke, jobless, 26-year-old is basically nothing. So use those four years to do something crazy, to shoot for the moon.
Leverage these years. Because one day you won’t be able to. The world is changing in ways people haven’t caught on to yet. And you can position yourself to be there to capitalize on this new borderless, instant-information economy.
Or you can position yourself as part of a by-gone era, serving up lattes at Starbucks, paying off that English Lit degree you never used, wondering where you went wrong, and why Obama (or whoever is in the White House) hasn’t fixed everything yet.
It’s your job to fix your life. So get moving.
The Maryland Assembly is seeing lots of individual higher education and K-12 funding that targets a small group of students. This replaces the equal opportunity War on Poverty Federal funding for all low-income students and is unconstitutional. I've spoken about the charter school KIPP in Baltimore tied with scholarships to University of Maryland College Park and now they want to give all Baltimore City students free tuition at Baltimore City Community College. BCCC is a job-training facility where student work for free and are not guaranteed a job. It's a win-win for businesses tied to BCCC. I listened to businessmen at the Maryland Assembly wanting to get some of Baltimore's free labor. Whether BCCC, the mayor using city funds to subsidize summer jobs for low-income students that then do not get hired----the VISTA programs are heavy in Baltimore with college grads working on the cheap-----and even the veterans are being thrown into this 'volunteering' as work along with the disabled. The key word for Baltimore is WORKING FOR FREE.
I talked with a young lady from Baltimore working with one of many Baltimore region Healthy Community programs about what her organization does.
IT'S A JOHNS HOPKINS ORGANIZATION THAT GETS PEOPLE TO VOLUNTEER TO CLEAN UP NEIGHBORHOODS she says.
There was even a bill that Maryland Public Justice worked to create that targets a small number of homeless students for scholarships to university. Remember, financial aid for low-income families was readily available for anyone qualifying for any college.
THERE IS PLENTY OF FUNDING FOR ANYONE WANTING TO GO ANYWHERE----THEY ARE SIMPLY ALLOWING IT ALL TO BE STOLEN.
So, I asked this Maryland Public Justice person if she wanted to join my organization in doing citizen audits for fraud telling her that a billion dollars has been lost in Baltimore this past decade in for-profit education industry fraud targeting low-income people-----recovering that would make financial aid and scholarship funding flush with money for everyone----and besides----THAT IS THE JOB OF MARYLAND PUBLIC JUSTICE. She ran away saying she didn't have the time.
I said the same to a full committee speaking of education funding for low-income students. They were trying the PAY -FORWARD policy that pretends to address the dismantling of Federal financial aid programs guaranteed in the Constitution by War on Poverty programs.
RECOVER A BILLION DOLLARS IN FOR-PROFIT EDUCATION FRAUD AND YOU HAVE A FULLY FUNDED TRUST FOR LOW-INCOME STUDENT FINANCIAL AID FROM EXISTING REVENUE----EASY PEASY.
Just where are these selective few students going who attend university on scholarship? Well, let's look at the foreign language push. Georgia is the gateway for foreign global corporations coming to the US and they are number 1 in K-12 foreign language----all with a goal of sending Americans overseas to work as immigrants are brought to the US to work. Sadly, most of this legislation in the Maryland Assembly is sponsored by pols from Prince Georges and Baltimore City targeting low-income schools. Learning a language is good-----making the only choice for employment going overseas is bad.
KIPP NYC College PrepAcademics Students complete four years of math, science, English, and social studies, and at least three years of a foreign language.
Gwinnett schools launching foreign language immersion programs
Aug 1, 2014, 1:25pm EDT Greg Barfield
Staff Writer- Atlanta Business Chronicle
A workforce development program run by the Georgia Department of Education is reaching down into the elementary schools to train the workers of tomorrow.
Starting next week, three elementary schools in Gwinnett County will be offering dual foreign language immersion programs. Kindergarten pupils at Annistown Elementary School in Snellville and Bethesda Elementary in Lawrenceville will receive instruction for half the day in Spanish, while their counterparts at Trip Elementary School in Grayson will be learning French on the same 50/50 teaching model.
Foreign Language Education and the Education-Reform Movement: Opportunity or Threat?
THE voices of education reform are once again calling for major changes in the United States educational system. For more than a decade, prominent leaders in education, government, and business, as well as parents and educators, have known that the educational system needs substantive change. Beginning with the publication in 1983 of the report A Nation at Risk commissioned by the then Secretary of Education Terrel Bell, and continuing today with countless governmental committees and local and statewide reform efforts, educators have been reeling from the numerous changes that appear to be under way. The context for this education-reform effort is a nation where children are growing up in increasing poverty and violence and schools are burdened with complex societal issues. The country is facing substantial changes in the economy and in the type of jobs available. Many ideas and plans have been put forth to make the educational system more responsive to the perceived changes in society, to the future needs of our nation, and to our nation's changing relation to the world.
There are many parallels between the present education-reform movement and reform efforts in American industry over the last fifteen years. Because the present movement has been spurred by the perceived lack of American competitiveness abroad as well as by comparisons, of the American workforce with Western European and Japanese workforces, the impetus and some of the models for change have come from a theory that has been developed and applied in the business community. In fact, when one carefully examines the components of education reform, the similarity to the shift in business from the so-called factory model to the learning-organization model becomes apparent.
The vast bureaucratic systems of education are often compared to the factories of the past. In the factory model of business, the vision for the company, if one existed, usually belonged solely to the head of the company. A small group of people made all the decisions, and the workers implemented them without any opportunity for dialogue and discussion. The bureaucracy contained many managers and layers of administration. Workers tended to have specialized jobs and no broad understanding of how the entire product was developed.
Today, some segments of business and industry have been transformed by theories of organizational management promulgated in the United States at the end of World War II and adopted by Japan and other postindustrial nations. Commonly called Total Quality Management, these theories have transformed the factory model into a learning-organizational model. Several elements of these new models can be observed in many of the most successful companies in the nation. First, it is generally accepted by leaders in the business community that change comes about when they create a vision of what the industry or the system should be. Second, the vision is developed and linked to policies. Third, those policies, after being debated and modified, are implemented by an informed and prepared group of stakeholders. Fourth, as a result of the policies and practices implemented, a product is developed. The product is then tested and evaluated through a process that includes development, production, marketing, and sales (McKernan).
In contemporary business philosophy, boundaries between managers and workers are blurred. The system is open, and communication flows in a circular pattern or from the bottom up instead of always from the top down. Decision making occurs at a level close to product development. Visions, goals, and objectives are conceived with comments and suggestions from the workforce. In fact, visions are often created by the workforce. The product is monitored carefully, assessed, and modified to meet everchanging economic demands.
Education Reform If one examines the national agenda for education reform and the concomitant change agendas in states and local school districts, one sees that the process for change is very similar to the process in business and industry. The call to arms for educational improvement has come from politicians, business leaders, the Education Commission of the States, the chief state school officers, legislators, school board members, administrators, teachers, and parents. Everyone seems to want to forge a new vision for the American educational system. Educators believe standards that can be implemented in schools will be derived from this new vision, whether it be national, statewide, or local in scope. Supposedly parents and teachers, working together, can implement the necessary changes at the local level. At the same time, educators theorize that when local, state, and national standards are in place, the schools, operating independently from the vast bureaucracies of the past, will be able to meet their goals in a number of innovative ways.
Innovation is another element of the education-reform effort. In the United States, innovation is seen as the key to economic success now and in the next century. Some businesses expend tremendous resources in the search for innovation. Business leaders often look to successful international competitors for innovative management theories and practices. Business leaders have also called for the educational system in the United States to build teamwork and critical thinking practices into the delivery of the curriculum to prepare students to join the workforce of the future. Educators postulate that if teachers, administrators, and parents work together to build innovative schools, these schools will foster teamwork and creativity.
Supposedly, once schools have empowered teachers and parents to make decisions about the curricula, a series of assessments will provide checks and balances. Perhaps just as products are judged in the arena of international competition, so too will students and schools be judged by state, national, and international assessments and comparisons.
Although many voices are calling for reform in education, they do not all make the harmonious music! In fact, many of the reform efforts seem contradictory. For example, the calls for innovative “break-the-mold schools” are being made at the same time that national standards and assessments are being promulgated. In addition, the present efforts at reform are affected by political and educational realities. Schools and school systems are complex institutions involved in complex societal transformations. The educational system certainly cannot change quickly or without the resources to support teachers and administrators and to relieve them of the weight of the societal change occurring in nearly every school in the nation. Change takes time. It cannot take place without enormous suspicion and resistance from teachers and administrators toward change agents, such as school-board members, school principals, and superintendents, who enter and leave the system every two to four years. Also, teachers become demoralized when they make tremendous efforts to be creative and successful with students only to see their innovative practices, programs, and schools eliminated in budget cuts by new administrators or school-board members.
When Europeans or Canadians examine the educational-change process supposedly going on at every level of society in the United States, they are amazed that Americans have chosen this method. In countries with national educational policies and national curricula, both the establishment of vision and assessment are done by a central authority. Educators in other nations find it almost inconceivable that a nation would attempt to have this change process go on in every institution at every level, but this is precisely what is happening in the United States. So strong is the concept of local autonomy that the federal effort at establishing a vision to be implemented in schools nationwide has been severely attacked by local and state legislators, policy makers, and parents. The current national efforts will result in strictly voluntary educational standards that may or may not affect local school districts. Although this result seems inconceivable to those outside our country, for those who work in United States education it may actually be a healthy and enduring way to ensure true reform.
Foreign Language Education and Reform In 1983, language educators were as shocked as other educators to see the dismal and depressing findings of the National Commission on Excellence appointed by Bell. Although language teachers had known for years that the language capabilities of American youth lagged far behind those of their counterparts in almost every other nation, they were stunned to find out that our youth lacked essential knowledge in many other disciplines as well. As a result of A Nation At Risk , some of the first steps of education reform included foreign language initiatives (Bell and Crosby 592). States and local districts were prompted to examine their curricula, practices, and assessments. Foreign language requirements were enacted at some local and state levels, and programs were widely expanded in some states. Inspired by A Nation at Risk and by the calls for more and better foreign language education from political champions such as Senators Paul Simon, Christopher Dodd, and David Boren and former Representative Leon Panetta, some beneficial legislation was enacted. The report drew attention to the need for citizens of the United States to be cognizant of their neighbors abroad as well as to be able to converse with them. Many of the promising initial reform efforts are still under way, but some have not been implemented because of a lack of resources.
A second wave of education reform came as a result of initiatives begun under President Bush. In 1989, the National Governor's Association met with President Bush in Charlottesville, Virginia, to begin to establish a new vision for American schools. The meeting resulted in national educational goals that eventually formed the basis of the recently enacted Goals 2000: Educate America Act, President Clinton's education initiative.
Learning a foreign language is always a good thing-----it is the goal of this language push that is bad. It's goal is tied to outsourcing American citizens overseas in jobs that will create the same status for Americans as exist today for immigrants in the US-----we will be ex-pats living overseas just for a job. As the article at the top on Israeli immigrant labor-------the Yad Beyad and Johns Hopkins make sure their human capital is trained in languages of the countries they are sent to work.
REMEMBER----THE US DOES NOT HAVE TO GO THIS GLOBAL ROUTE----JUST SAY NO BY GETTING RID OF THESE GLOBAL CORPORATE POLS. ALL MARYLAND POLS ARE GLOBAL POLS.
Maryland is keen on foreign languages as they are ground zero for 21st Century sending Americans abroad to work policy. This is the goal of these education reforms that have foreign languages in early elementary.
Not once does Arne shout that all of this has to do with sending Americans globally to live----it becomes our patriotic duty to support US global corporations and global markets with Clinton neo-liberalism and Bush neo-conservatism.
It is NOT OUR DUTY TO END THE SOVEREIGNTY OF AMERICA BY HANDING OUR NATION OVER TO GLOBAL CORPORATE TRIBUNALS.
Learning foreign language to create more tolerance for people coming to America is a good thing-----having it as policy simply to prepare to send Americans overseas for jobs as they keep the American economy stagnant DELIBERATELY is wrong.
Education and the Language Gap: Secretary Arne Duncan's Remarks at the Foreign Language Summit
December 8, 2010 Contact: (202) 401-1576, firstname.lastname@example.org
As President Obama said on Monday: "Our generation's Sputnik moment is now." The Soviet satellite was a wake-up call that launched a wave of innovation and reform in American schools, particularly in math, science and language instruction. Today's call to action is an economic one. We need to build a strong foundation for growth and prosperity.
We have to educate our way to a better economy, just as our competitors are doing.
This week, we found out that the brutal truth that we're being out-educated. On the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment, the United States scored as average in reading and science – and below average in math.
We're behind global leaders such as Finland, South Korea, and Canada. The most surprising news is that Shanghai outscored every other nation. We see this as a challenge to get better.
And one place we obviously need to get better is in teaching languages. The United States is a long way from being the multi-lingual society that so many of our economic competitors are.
My message to you today is that K-12 schools and higher education institutions must be part of the solution to our national language gap.
The President and I want every child to have a world-class education – and today more than ever a world-class education requires students to be able to speak and read languages in addition to English.
The Department of Education plays an important role in supporting second language instruction starting in the earliest grades and to ensure that students are engaged in language all the way through high school.
We have an important responsibility to provide opportunities for those who want to master other languages and prepare them to support America's economic and strategic interests as diplomats, foreign policy analysts, and leaders in the military.
This is a high-stakes issue. For too long, Americans have relied on other countries to speak our language. But we won't be able to do that in the increasingly complex and interconnected world.
To prosper economically and to improve relations with other countries, Americans need to read, speak and understand other languages.
It's absolutely essential for the citizens of the United States to become fluent in other languages—and schools, colleges and universities must include producing bilingual students as a central part of their mission.
Nelson Mandela has said, "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart."
No one understands that better than CIA Director Leon Panetta. As a public servant in Congress, at the White House, and now at the CIA, Leon has been a consistent voice urging Americans to become fluent in other languages.
At the CIA, he has reinvigorated the agency's commitment to ensuring their employees know and use their language skills to ensure our national security.
He has set a five-year goal to double the number of CIA analysts who have a proficiency in a language other than English.
He is working to transform the agency's language training. He has created a powerful incentive for existing CIA employees to maintain their proficiency in languages other than English.
Leon, thank you for all of your leadership, and thank you for convening this meeting today.
When I look at the challenges you face as the CIA director, it's obvious that schools need to do a better job supporting you and other leaders on our national security team.
This commitment goes beyond the European languages traditionally taught in high schools and colleges.
It extends to languages that are essential for our economic and strategic interests – languages such as Arabic and Mandarin Chinese, Urdu and Farsi, Pashto and Dari.
As Mr. Panetta has been pointing out for years, the United States may be the only nation in the world where it is possible to complete high school and college without any foreign language study – let alone with the mastery of another language.
Just 18 percent of Americans report speaking a language other than English. That's far short of Europe, where 53 percent of citizens speak more than one language.
And some researchers predict that China will soon have the world's largest English-speaking population.
Our education system is one of the reasons Americans aren't learning other languages.
Foreign language instruction in the United States is spotty--and unfortunately on the decline.
In 2008, one-quarter of elementary schools offered some form of language instruction – down from one-third 11 years earlier.
Just 10 states require foreign language study for high school graduation--and low-income and minority students in particular lag behind their peers in other countries in their knowledge of languages, as well as geography and other cultures.
Low-income students and those who live in rural areas are a lot less likely to attend a school with language instruction. We have to level the playing field for them and offer better opportunities.
I think everyone can point to bright spots in our K-12 system. During my tenure as superintendent in Chicago, the district made a significant investment in Chinese language instruction.
Over the past decade, the Chicago Public Schools has expanded its Chinese language program to include 43 schools and serve 12,000 students. Many of the children involved are Hispanic. They will grow up trilingual with a new world of opportunity ahead of them.
I am proud to say that Chicago has the largest enrollment in Chinese language courses of any district in the country. But I'm the first to admit that I wish the bar was much higher than that.
Today, even if public schools wished to provide second language instruction, the dearth of qualified instructors often prevents school leaders from hiring teachers.
In the 2007-08 school year, three-fourths of the states reported shortages in second language teachers. I believe that where we have areas of critical need, we should pay those teachers – be they foreign language, math or science teachers – more money. Not everyone agrees with me, but I want to stop just talking about the problem and do something about it.
Teacher preparation programs at postsecondary institutions are simply not meeting the demand for new instructors.
In 2007-08, only 136 bachelor's degrees, 188 master's degrees, and 14 doctorates were awarded in foreign language teacher education in the United States.
And in 2002, colleges in the United States awarded just six bachelor degrees in Arabic language and literature. Six years later, that number increased to 57. It's an increase, to be sure, but clearly we're still far short of what's needed.
Right now, too many colleges and universities are starting to scale back language programs or eliminate them altogether.
And even those where the language programs remain intact, the priority is often put in the wrong place.
Ninety-five percent of college students enrolled in a language course to study a European language, but fewer than 1 percent of graduate students are studying a language that the Department of Defense considers critical for national security.
It's clear to all of us that schools, colleges and universities need to invest more and invest smarter in language instruction.
But how do we get from where we are to where we need to be?
The North Star of everything we're doing at the Department of Education is President Obama's goal that, by the end of the decade, the United States will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.
Working with Congress, the Obama administration has made a great start in expanding college access this year with the reform of the federal student loan program, which freed up $40 billion for Pell Grant scholarships for low-income undergraduates.
That is the biggest increase in student aid since the G.I. bill. And it came at a critical time. We have seen a 38 percent increase in the number of Pell Grants awarded over the past two years. We did that simply by stopping subsidies to banks and instead investing in our nation's college students.
K-12 schools have a critical role to play as well by ensuring that high school graduates are truly prepared to succeed in college.
Over the past two years, state and local leaders have responded by raising the bar for students.
Forty states and the District of Columbia have voluntarily adopted a set of common standards that truly measure whether a student is ready for success in college or a career when the graduate from high school.
This is a game-changer. Historically, states have dumbed down standards to make politicians look good. THIS IS TRUE!
These standards focus on reading and mathematics because they include the foundational skills and knowledge that students need to excel in other parts of the curriculum.
But today's students also need a well-rounded curriculum that provides the opportunity to learn a second language, as well as history, civics, and the arts.
These subjects are essential ingredients to a world-class education. Education leaders need to be perpetually vigilant that their schools do not narrow the curriculum and offer students the language instruction that will prepare them for success.
One of my top priorities for next year is to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. I want to underscore that our proposal goes much further than the existing law in supporting a well-rounded curriculum.
It will allow states to incorporate assessments of subjects beyond English language arts and math in accountability systems.
The blueprint to reform ESEA would create a competitive pool of $265 million to strengthen the teaching of languages, the arts, civics and government, and other subjects. This pool represents a $43 million increase in total funds available for this work – a significant new investment.
Existing programs for all of these subjects have worthy goals. But they have resulted in fragmented funding at the federal, state, and local level.
Under the ESEA proposal, high-need districts, and states and nonprofits in partnership with high-need districts, would be eligible to apply for the grants.
At the same time, we would increase access and funding for college-level, dual credit, and other accelerated courses in high-need schools to support not only a well-rounded, but a rigorous curriculum. Exposure to college-level classes is an extraordinary opportunity for high school students. We want to invest $100 million in this effort.
I recognize that the plan to include funding for foreign language education into a competitive program with other subjects may make some of you in this room nervous, even if it means you can potentially compete for significantly more funding than in the past.
But I urge language educators to participate in this process and demonstrate the impact of their programs on student outcomes. Multiple, small pots of funding perpetuate the status quo, but they don't lead to the transformative change we need.
One promising development in the research about language instruction is that programs that are proven to be successful continue to grow and thrive.
With a strong research base that's emerging around such programs, our investment in these and other language projects could potentially easily exceed the amount currently appropriated for programs.
I hope you will accept this proposal as a challenge to show the outcomes of second language programs and an opportunity to assemble grant applicants that will demonstrate the necessity to expand and improve foreign language instruction in schools.
But our investment must go beyond K-12 and continue in higher education.
Since the Sputnik launch in 1957, the federal government has focused the development of second language instruction through resource centers and fellowships to support the study of languages.
Over time, these programs have shifted as economic and strategic interests have changed, and today they are supporting thousands of students as they earn degrees and have experiences in foreign languages that will prepare them for careers in public service and the private sector.
Through Title VI of the Higher Education Act, the Department of Education supports colleges and universities that are teaching strategic languages.
The funding goes to just 3 percent of the nation's higher education institutions that offer language instruction.
But those institutions account for half of all undergraduate enrollment and more than three-quarters of graduate enrollment in rare languages.
In addition, the National Resource Centers under Title VI support teaching and fellowships for the study of 110 languages every year. The 48 colleges and universities with National Resource Centers award an average of 2,000 PhDs and 6,000 graduate or master's degrees in languages every year.
These graduates represent a high proportion of the employees in our national security agencies and our military. The U.S. Army, for example, sends its officers seeking master's degrees in languages to institutions supported by the resource centers.
In particular, these resource centers have been strengthening ties with partner institutions with substantial Muslim populations around the world.
The department will support and help build on innovative education efforts like the University of Hawaii's Muslim Societies in Asia and the Pacific program.
And four-year grants have supported advanced intensive language study in Indonesian, through Ohio University; Turkish through Princeton University; Arabic in Egypt and Syria through the University of Texas at Austin; and Kiswahili in Tanzania through Michigan State University.
The resource centers also do significant outreach to K-12 educators by posting curriculum materials and offering workshops for teachers.
The Department also funds faculty, doctoral students and educators at the K-12 level in their study of other languages and cultures through the Fulbright Hays program.
The program supports doctoral students conducting research and teachers as they develop curriculum and instructional resources.
The program also gives doctoral students, faculty and future teachers the opportunity to travel abroad and use their language skills in critical languages such as Arabic, Mandarin, and Vietnamese – to name just a few.
While these programs are making significant contributions to the expansion of language instruction in K-12 schools and colleges, it's clear that they aren't doing enough.
The path to expanding and improving language instruction faces many significant challenges.
Perhaps the biggest are the budget constraints in K-12 schools and higher education. At every level of education, schools are facing a New Normal in which they will need to be more productive and efficient.
There are productive ways and unproductive ways for schools to meet the very real challenge of doing more with less.
The right way is to cut waste and to identify ways to accelerate student achievement without raising costs.
The wrong way is to cut programs like foreign languages that are essential to providing our students with the well-rounded education that they need to excel in the interconnected, knowledge-based economy.
Our country needs to create a future in which all Americans understand that by speaking more than one language, they are enabling our country to compete successfully and work collaboratively with partners across the globe.
So this is our challenge: To expand and improve language instruction at a time when financial resources are tight and the international economic competition is greater than ever.
We need to embrace this challenge with all of our collective will and courage – the stakes are too high for the future of our children and our country to ignore it.
Let's embrace the fourth 'R' – reality – that Director Panetta spoke so passionately about today.