‘We Have to Have a Massive Revolution in Public Education in the United States’

Over the last four decades, the percentage of Americans who are solidly in the middle class has shrunk, from 61 to 50 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. Some of those who have left the middle class are doing better, and others are doing worse. As the Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson put it, “The extremes grow at the expense of the center.”

The Harvard professor and filmmaker Henry Louis Gates Jr. says that the problem stems from the American education system having failed to adapt to the 21st century’s highly globalized, highly technological economy. For those who get top-tier training, there’s opportunity for prosperity. But for those who go to poor schools and don’t graduate from college, the traditional pathways to the middle class—in particular manufacturing jobs and small-business ownership—are usually unavailable. Instead, service work has grown in its share of overall employment, and service work tends to provide very poor wages and few opportunities for growth. Though these dynamics are affecting both black and white Americans, Gates said, black Americans in particular tend to attend under-funded schools and struggle to build middle-class economic security.

To better equip people of any race, “We have to have a massive revolution in public education in the United States,” Gates said on Monday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic.

Gates discussed two of the ways the U.S. could get there. His first: Move dollars, not people. “Bus the dollars from the rich school districts to the poor districts,” he said. “We need to allocate the same amount of money per student per school.” Gates’s comments are a response to research that has shown that the majority of states have “flat or regressive funding schemes” for their schools. Aggravating this is the ability …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Business

Were Seattle’s Minimum-Wage Hikes Too Extreme or Just Right?

Seattle’s decision to hike its minimum wage up to $13 an hour—on its way to $15—ended up costing its low-wage workers time on the job, hundreds of dollars of annual income, and a shot at a better livelihood.

That is a reasonable conclusion one could draw from a blockbuster, if not yet peer-reviewed, new study on the city’s famed minimum-wage increases. The research, performed by a group of academics from the University of Washington, looks at detailed data on the earnings and hours of workers affected by the hike of the wage floor from $9.47 an hour to $11 in 2015, and $11 an hour to $13 an hour in 2016. It concludes that, for low-wage workers, that second wage increase reduced hours worked by nearly 10 percent and earnings by an average of $125 a month. The findings, if preliminary, call into question years of economic research and the decisions of dozens of states and cities to bump their wage floors up.

Granted, there are reasons to think that the study’s results might differ from the reality on the ground. The paper excluded a number of larger Seattle businesses from its analysis, for one, and could not cleanly disaggregate whether the changes in the structure of the labor market were due to the booming local economy or to the minimum-wage hike. Still, it underscores an uncomfortable truth for liberals pushing for wage hikes across the country: There is some minimum wage at which the costs outweigh the benefits, and Seattle might have found it.

The University of Washington researchers looked at a more detailed pool of data than some minimum-wage researchers before them, combing through numbers collected for the local unemployment-insurance program. When compared to data from other parts of Washington state, which represented a similar economy with no minimum-wage hikes, …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Business

Price photographer arrested in sex abuse investigation

PRICE — A Price man who runs a photography studio has been arrested for investigation of forcible sex abuse and stalking.

Levan W. Hall, 62, was arrested last week and booked into the Carbon County Jail. He was also arrested for investigation of lewdness and electronic communication harassment, the Price Police Department announced Monday.

Hall, who runs Levan Hall’s Creations, also had a stalking injunction filed against him on Friday in 7th District Court by a woman who police say is also the victim in the sex abuse investigation.

The woman claimed Hall had been stalking her for several months, according to a prepared statement from police.

“It was learned that after a legitimate business contact with the alleged suspect’s photography business, inappropriate criminal behavior began occurring,” police stated.

Investigators served a search warrant on Hall’s house last week and “numerous electronic, audiovisual-type equipment, and other items were seized for analysis,” according to the statement.

Police declined to release any other information Monday about the alleged crimes, nor would they say whether they suspect there are additional victims. No criminal charges have been filed against Hall, but police said the Carbon County Attorney’s Office would review the evidence in the case.

According to Hall’s Facebook page, he offered free photo sessions. “If you are picked you will receive a modeling session where I will shoot between 300 and 500 photos and edit 20 of them for you. Special consideration for dancers, theater, pageant contestants and cheerleaders.”

In another video posted on his page, Hall states he is “looking for models,” offering free shoots for high school seniors.

According to his LinkedIn page, Hall was a school teacher for 31 years in the Carbon School District until 2013.

…read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News