Boomerang Kids Who DROP OUT of College: What’s Next?

 Telephone  conversation:

Kid:          “Mom, Dad! I’m coming home!”

Parents:     “What, for Spring or Winter Recess?”

Kid:        “I’m dropping out. I’ve quit school!”


As parents, this is YOUR child talking to you, and you’re in a state of shock and in absolute disbelief. How could he or she? After all the money we had saved, already spent and still owe to send this ungrateful so & so to college…the ultimate insult! You may or may not speak these words out loud, but your parents definitely are entertaining these thoughts. They want to really let you have it, but good, but they also are compelled to be compassionate, supportive, and generous….for a little while at least.

Or is it?

It seems as though, just when you think that your children are off to college to prepare for a career and a life of independence, they get it in their minds to come back home BEFORE graduating with a degree. Children, young and emerging adults drop out of college for a variety of reasons, and each one probably different from the next. Without a college degree in this job market, what do they do now? Will they return? Should they return? Get a job? Is their future ruined? What about their dreams, career goals…the money and student loans? What do you do, if you are the Boomerang child who has returned to the nest? What are your options?

Read more by following the link below:

Options for College-Dropout Boomerang Kids – Next Avenue


The New York Times’ Race/Related series published an interestingly thought-provoking article this week to focus and highlight a select group of college-bound high school students whose backgrounds and aspirations are as diverse as each individual.  Each featured student demonstrates the power of both resilience and determination in influencing life trajectory and all presented through spoken word and poetry.  Perspectives shared by these young people were featured excerpts from a project, Handwritten, and performed at the Bronx Library Center in April.

Read their stories by following the link below. We all have a unique story that, upon sharing, may unlock doors for someone by hearing yours. Life is but a series of doors and stories provide keys to unlock many of them.

Continue reading

25 Years of Changes: The “Greening” of the Teaching Force

National Center for Education Statistics released a comprehensive report detailing changes in several key characteristics of the teaching force between the 1987-88 and 2011-12 school years, including the number of teachers, the level of teaching experience, and the racial/ethnic diversity of the teaching force. The report focuses on how these demographic changes varied across different types of teachers and schools.

This report builds on and expands an earlier study by Ingersoll, Merrill, and Stuckey (2014) that analyzed SASS data to explore what demographic trends and changes have, or have not, occurred in the elementary and secondary teaching force since the late 1980s. This earlier study found considerable changes in the teacher force. Among the key findings were that the teaching force has become

larger—The teaching force dramatically increased in size, growing at over twice the rate of student enrollment.

less experienced—With increases in hiring there has also been a = large increase in the number of teachers who are beginners. In 1987–88, the most common teacher had 15 years of teaching experience. By 2007–08, the modal teacher was in his or her first year of teaching.

more diverse—The teaching force has rapidly become more racially/ethnically diverse. Growth in the number of minority teachers has outpaced growth in minority students and has been more than twice the growth rate of White teachers.


The objective of the Ingersoll, Merrill, and Stuckey study was to provide a broad overview of national changes in the teaching force and to explore some of the possible reasons for, and implications of, the changes discovered. It did not disaggregate the data, nor did it investigate how the changes differ by type of teacher and by type of school.

This recent study does explore the changes more closely. The basic findings remain undisputed, but a more clear picture is offered this time and, personally, the implications are clear as well.

Among the findings about changes in the teacher workforce over this 25 year period:

  • The teacher work force grew by 46 percent between 1987-88 and 2011-12. Above average growth was seen among teachers of English as a Second Language, English language arts, math, foreign language, science, and special education. Below-average growth was seen in general elementary education, vocational-technical education, and art/music.


  • The growth in the teaching force varied across different types of schools. The teaching force in high-poverty public schools grew by nearly 325 percent while the number of teachers in low-poverty schools declined by almost 20 percent. The number of teachers in private schools grew at a higher rate than in public schools. However, private school teachers still account for only about 12 percent of the teacher work force; and


  • The teacher force became more diverse. While minority teachers remain underrepresented in the teaching force, both the number and proportion of minority teachers increased. Between 1987–88 and 2011–12, the number of minority teachers grew by 104 percent, compared to 38 percent growth in the number of White teachers. The percentage of teachers who belonged to all minority groups increased from 12.4 percent in 1987-88 to 17.3 percent in  2011-12.

This report utilizes data from the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), a large-scale sample survey of elementary and secondary teachers and schools in the United States.

What we are to takeaway from this report is that about which has been whispered  for years, but there was no independent data backed evidence collected to bring the facts to the mainstream of education, educators, policymakers, administrators, and citizens. As the teacher workforce has grown tremendously, so has the numbers of ‘minority’ pedagogues entering service. However, that growth has not been randomly or equally/evenly distributed across school settings. Sure, there are more black teachers than ever, but there is still a great cultural mismatch between students and staff. New recruitment efforts to increase the workforce simply steered novice teachers  into high-need schools, lower performing, high poverty, and fewer resources.

While the numbers of private school teachers rose exponentially, the numbers of students enrolled in these schools decreased. But this is where the most experienced teachers have gone, or they’ve moved to low poverty schools. In other words, in areas of greatest needs, new teachers are thrown in, and ‘master’ teachers leave to find greener pastures. Even though teachers are more diverse, there is a huge gap -83% white, 17%’minority’. Diversity among students overshadow teachers 2 to 1.

Is there really an achievement gap or is it more about a teacher, cultural and/or policy, practices and program access  gap?


Why Early Childhood Teachers’ Compensation is Appalling


The 2015 Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC) report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation, calls for a Bachelor’s degree, with specialized knowledge and competencies, for all lead teachers working with children birth through age eight.

The IOM determined that the science of child development and early learning indicates that the work of all lead educators for young children of all ages requires the same high level of sophisticated knowledge and competencies. When early childhood educators are held to lower educational expectations and preparation than elementary school teachers, there is a perception that educating children before kindergarten requires less expertise than educating early elementary students. This helps justify the disparity in both the educational requirements and salaries for early learning teachers.

Low salaries fail to incentivize teachers to earn Bachelor’s degrees. Educators without Bachelor’s degrees have difficulty gaining higher compensation. An early childhood workforce without the necessary competencies compromises the quality of learning experiences for young children and their subsequent outcomes.

floor read

“A teacher’s salary level reflects how the work is valued by society. To maximize the potential of our young children and the educators and programs that serve them, we must do more to support and lift up preschool teachers,” said the Education Department’s deputy assistant secretary for Policy and Early Learning. As a nation, we must do better to honor early childhood educators as professionals. This is the most critical period for children in learning  new skills, literacy/numeracy as well as socio-emotional development. Whether at home or structured academic program settings, early learning IS the definitive remedy for achievement gaps and disparities in education. Respect, value and acknowledge early educators who lay the foundation for future achievement and school success.

State-By-State Data

In most states, median preschool teacher earnings across the various early childhood settings (e.g., public and private schools, child care centers, and charitable organizations) are significantly lower in comparison to the median earnings of special education teachers, kindergarten teachers and other elementary school teachers.

Annual Median Salary of Early Learning and Elementary School Teachers, 2015

State Child Care Workers Annual Median Wage Head Start Teachers Preschool Teachers Preschool Special Education Teachers Kindergarten Teachers Elementary School Teachers
National Median: $20,320 $28,995 $28,570 $53,990 $51,640 $54,890
Alabama $18,210 $23,090 $26,570 $34,770 $47,820 $50,390
Alaska $24,550 $29,881 $36,410 $70,580 $66,820 $71,490
Arizona $20,070 $32,027 $23,560 $44,750 $40,230 $39,300
Arkansas $18,290 $27,066 $28,170 $31,410 $45,390 $44,570
California $24,150 $34,156 $31,720 $70,670 $63,940 $72,910
Colorado $23,870 $31,255 $27,260 $52,390 $46,190 $48,130
Connecticut $22,410 $34,176 $31,620 $70,190 $71,050 $75,930
Delaware $20,690 $29,276 $25,450 NA $58,540 $58,860
District of Columbia $23,010 $68,100 $39,940 NA $52,010 $67,090
Florida $19,820 $28,073 $24,240 $46,860 $45,660 $46,060
Georgia $19,050 $27,000 $28,190 $48,300 $53,840 $53,790
Hawaii $18,860 $34,316 $33,690 NA $44,350 $56,020
Idaho $18,280 $22,000 $21,930 $38,280 $44,070 $44,940
Illinois $21,830 $32,691 $28,670 $78,530 $48,710 $55,320
Indiana $19,480 $23,231 $24,530 $48,570 $44,970 $48,710
Iowa $18,480 $29,861 $24,040 $58,120 $50,030 $51,150
Kansas $18,900 $31,680 $24,570 $44,680 $44,880 $45,110
Kentucky $18,910 $26,316 $37,640 $46,550 $52,370 $51,850
Louisiana $18,340 $26,739 $39,970 $48,230 $47,340 $47,460
Maine $21,580 $24,818 $29,620 $32,480 $49,960 $51,170
Maryland $22,120 $34,074 $27,980 $64,850 $55,900 $61,620
Massachusetts $24,980 $28,078 $31,580 $55,860 $67,170 $71,240
Michigan $19,620 $27,613 $27,740 $51,320 $52,460 $63,530
Minnesota $22,470 $28,192 $32,130 $56,750 $53,110 $57,560
Mississippi $18,140 $21,842 $24,970 $35,600 $39,800 $40,810
Missouri $18,840 $23,870 $25,070 $47,360 $45,070 $48,030
Montana $19,100 $19,537 $25,900 NA $44,230 $48,550
Nebraska $19,620 $35,545 $31,840 $51,650 $47,910 $50,600
Nevada $21,120 $28,434 $24,640 $51,950 $48,700 $53,010
New Hampshire $21,780 $21,720 $27,510 $48,930 $51,280 $55,690
New Jersey $22,070 $35,468 $35,160 $62,700 $61,350 $63,960
New Mexico $18,920 $28,588 $26,670 $61,420 $52,870 $56,750
New York $25,450 $39,050 $31,100 $57,380 $60,120 $68,540
North Carolina $19,650 $26,139 $25,970 $49,520 $39,930 $42,170
North Dakota $19,200 $28,673 $35,410 NA $44,360 $46,180
Ohio $19,860 $24,255 $23,690 $52,240 $52,470 $59,620
Oklahoma $18,520 $28,371 $32,030 $33,200 $38,750 $39,270
Oregon $22,240 $27,065 $27,680 $67,850 $56,900 $57,820
Pennsylvania $19,590 $26,908 $25,970 NA $51,050 $59,780
Puerto Rico $17,650 $22,650 $22,010 NA $18,420 $36,290
Rhode Island $19,720 $27,739 $32,900 $72,030 $69,870 $71,220
South Carolina $18,370 $23,080 $24,620 $47,650 $51,150 $48,660
South Dakota $19,340 $24,814 $28,710 $39,130 $38,560 $40,690
Tennessee $18,560 $28,363 $23,840 $42,930 $47,950 $47,980
Texas $18,970 $30,160 $30,990 $55,180 $50,910 $52,410
Utah $19,700 $20,959 $23,030 $64,090 $43,320 $51,890
Vermont $23,400 $26,153 $29,390 $52,560 $53,080 $53,360
Virginia $19,510 $30,481 $32,490 $62,290 $57,100 $59,190
Washington $23,520 $30,241 $27,810 $60,170 $55,020 $62,110
West Virginia $18,890 $31,987 $30,640 NA $47,880 $45,740
Wisconsin $20,410 $29,714 $23,890 $38,250 $48,700 $54,120
Wyoming $20,850 $27,181 $26,130 $47,900 $56,190 $57,550

Source: All data except for Head Start data are from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015. Head Start data are from Head Start PIR Data (2015) and U.S. Census Bureau ACS 1 Year Estimates.



via Fact Sheet: Troubling Pay Gap for Early Childhood Teachers | U.S. Department of Education