Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development
The Problem: Currently, 59 million primary school-aged children globally do not attend school while 250 million do not have access to quality education. Gender discrimination in school contributes to the illiteracy of over 500 million women in adulthood as well. These issues, along with frequent global conflict and attacks upon schools, undermine the benefits of education.
The Solution: The Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development Act or READ Act is a bipartisan initiative that will further advance quality basic education for all, while protecting U.S. national security interests by:
• Leveraging United States capabilities through technical assistance, training and research.
• Designating a Senior Coordinator of United States International Basic Education Assistance to promote basic education within USAID to organize the national and international response.
• Improving the quality of education by supporting educational goals in developing countries, replicating successful education interventions and measuring learning outcomes in students especially for girls and young women.
• Amending previous goals of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 in order to develop a coordinated, sustainable and aid-effective plan to promote universal basic education, with assistance priority to underserved, marginalized and conflict-afflicted populations.
The implementation of this bill would also promote and contribute to an overall increase in economic growth for underdeveloped countries, improve democratic institutions of government, encourage empowerment for women and young girls and likely decrease extremism in politically vulnerable underdeveloped countries. The bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on January 24, 2017. About The Borgen Project The Borgen Project believes that the leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.
I will never again work for a proprietary (for-profit) university or college.
This is just one reason
What follows is just a snippet of a US Senate Report that describes the life of an “Admissions Representative” at NAU. It’s from 2012, but I doubt much has changed.
“One of NAU’s recruiting handbooks produced to the committee instructed recruiters check for leads “at a minimum every 15 minutes [emphasis in original].” Once a recruiter took responsibility for a lead, he or she had to call the lead three times the day the lead was discovered, another time the next day, and another time the same week until the lead answered or called back. Recruiters were instructed to send an introductory email on the first day, probe for information via email on the second day, and establish office hours via email sometime during the first week.
A training manual for new admissions representatives stated that representatives were “expected to devote a minimum of four hours per day to telephone contact work (setting appointments, follow-up, etc.).”
Once NAU recruiters made a phone call, they were instructed to “create a sense of urgency and initiate the follow-up.”
Recruiters can create a sense of urgency if they ask questions such as, “Tell me what your life would be like if you let another 5 years go by without getting your degree.”
Recruiters were also instructed to “counter at least 5 objections.” If cost was the objection, recruiters should respond with, “We are talking about an investment in your future, not a cost.”
Recruiters were also instructed not to give out complete program costs and instead give only a credit hour rate. If lack of interest was the objection, recruiters should respond with, “What is it your not interested in [sic]? Is it increasing your income, financial investments, increasing your knowledge, etc.? Let’s spend some time having you visit the school and determine where your interests may lie.”
Recruiters were instructed that when countering these objections and providing information about NAU they should “give buyers enough information, and no more, about your solution and how it will benefit them, to convince them that they are justified in buying.” The training manual stated:
We must remember that if giving out the information over the phone worked, we would all just do that! Here is what we also need to be reminded of: “Information does not sell, people do AND people do not buy features, they buy benefits.” So, the first step to telephone success is to convince ourselves our prospects are calling for help and guidance NOT information. So, let’s respond to their “cry for help” by enticing them to come in and see the benefits of an education! [emphasis in original].
The training manual continued, “The best information piece is one that gives NO detailed information and answers NO questions” [emphasis in original]. Instead, the goal of a phone conversation is to “set up a face-to-face interview.”
Recruiters were pushed hard to have a positive first phone call with a prospective student because “it usually costs a university approximately $150 to generate each lead.” “If we let the receptionist take a message and tell the prospect someone will get back to them, the likelihood of them going on and calling another school increases greatly.”
The training manual for new admissions representatives noted, “It is important to remember that every business must include good customer service!”
The university suggested finding additional leads at places such as “Hair Salons,” “Ethnic Celebrations or Centers,” and “Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, etc.—any stores that may have people that need to get an education.”
The business focus in for-profit colleges’ recruiting practices may lead to pressure on recruiters to admit students who should not be attending the school. For example, the Associate Director of NAU’s Wichita campus noted that she would be watching several students carefully before issuing refunds because she was concerned they enrolled “to get money & what usually happens is once they receive their FA refund they stop attending classes.”
That pressure may also have led recruiters to lie about the school’s degree offerings. In one instance, a recruiter told a prospective student the school had an excellent medical assisting program and got the student to enroll. After being confused about getting placed in accounting, the student discovered the campus did not yet have approval for the medical assisting program and that the student was instead placed in the school’s healthcare management program. In a letter to the school, the student wrote that the admissions representative “lied to me in order to get my business” and that many students had the same thing happen. In its response to the student complaint, NAU said the student was informed the campus did not yet have a medical assisting program before enrolling and “could have declined” the academic dean’s suggestion to take accounting. NAU did not refund the student’s money.”
After a few months, I couldn’t live with the guilt that comes with being a part of that kind of scheme. For profits prey on single parents, low income families, the military, adult learners.
I do give NAU credit for one thing. They set me on the path I try to follow today. I am determined to enhance the educational experience of nontraditional studens and create programs and services that provide an enhanced school experience. No student should work and sacrifice that only results in high debt and a near-worthless degree.
National American University, National American University Online Admissions Coordinator Manual (NAU0014290, at NAU0014450).
National American University, 2008, New Admissions Representative Training Manual (NAU0014515, at NAU0014520)
1. ADD writers hyperfocus for hours on things WE find interesting.
2. Naturally very high levels of curiosity. No ADDer had to take a course on how to be creative. We have to limit ours to actually complete things.
3. Extreme creativity (intellectual, emotional, artistic, kinesthetic, or mechanical or a combination thereof).
4. Great hunters of information. Whether on the Internet, in a library, or calling up individuals and organizations to find out information others can’t find. See Thom Hartmann’s ADHD Hunter Farmer Theory.
5. Frequently scanning our environment for changes. As long as it’s not paperwork, the Kryptonite of ADD Adults. Especially taxes, even if the government owes us money. We’re able to notice things others do not, including patterns, because we don’t filter sensory input that well. Can also be a disadvantage too, ie easily lead to overload and overwhelm if we don’t learn to manage our ADHD properly. Here are 10 ways to do so.
6. Willingness to challenge the status quo and conventional wisdom. Sometimes very easily and often:) Many of us ADDErs are not afraid to go in a different direction than the herd.
7. Fast processing minds IF we find the topic interesting. Downside, sometimes listening to slow talkers can be painful, since we often already know where they’re going before they finish, and we want them to get to the point.
8. High energy levels. Sometimes you need to stay up late to get things done. Or put in more extra work to meet that deadline.
9. Ability to multitask with ease. Have 2 or 3 browser open with multiple tabs? And a dozen other applications open? You might have ADHD.
10. Deadlines help us focus and power through to complete things. Some of us ADDErs wait until the last minutes before a deadline and use that stress and occassional panic to crank up our adrenaline levels to get things completed. Adrenaline helps us focus. Ideally don’t do this as your only strategy or you’ll brown out or burnout.
11. Telling us it can’t be done, or we’ll never be able to do it, actually can be a strong motivator for us.
“The tactic of banning books is, to quote Disney’s version of Beauty and the Beast, a tale as old as time. Yet it is rarely an effective method for halting the spread of information. The word censura (“censorship”) comes from the Latin verb censeo, which means to assess. Although publication took a different form prior to the printing press’s introduction to the West in 1450, there was still a great deal of textual censorship and numerous instances of book burning in the premodern Mediterranean.”
Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read any book that we want, despite the fact that written works continue to be censored and removed from libraries even today.The American Library Association (ALA), reported 311 books in 2014, and keeps a running top 10 list of books banned yearly; however, many censored books — as many as 80% — are never even reported to the ALA.