AARP warns: beware of scams this time of year

Beware Fall Scams

For scammers, autumn months are filled with opportunities

There’s reason to be frightened this month — and not just on Halloween. October brings unique opportunity for fraudsters, with threats targeting people who are in retirement or approaching it.

The scams may include: Medicare, Cold-Weather Capers, Investment Fraud and Charity Cons — follow the link for details!

Continue reading AARP warns: beware of scams this time of year

Reposting VAMboozled:Houston’s “Split” Decision to Give Superintendent Grier $98,600 in Bonuses, Pre-Resignation

Houston’s “Split” Decision to Give Superintendent Grier $98,600 in Bonuses, Pre-Resignation

Posted: 19 Nov 2015 10:58 AM PST

States of attention on this blog, and often of (dis)honorable mention as per their state-level policies bent on value-added models (VAMs), include Florida, New York, Tennessee, and New Mexico. As for a quick update about the latter state of New Mexico, we are still waiting to hear the final decision from the judge who recently heard the state-level lawsuit still pending on this matter in New Mexico (see prior posts about this case here, here, here,here, and here).

Another locale of great interest, though, is the Houston Independent School District. This is the seventh largest urban school district in the nation, and the district that has tied more high-stakes consequences to their value-added output than any other district/state in the nation. These “initiatives” were “led” by soon-to-resign/retire Superintendent Terry Greir who, during his time in Houston (2009-2015), implemented some of the harshest consequences ever attached to teacher-level value-added output, as per the district’s use of the Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS) (see other posts about the EVAAS here, here, and here; see other posts about Houston here, here, and here).


Continue reading Reposting VAMboozled:Houston’s “Split” Decision to Give Superintendent Grier $98,600 in Bonuses, Pre-Resignation

Jobs report: Look to healthcare, skilled trades, apprentices, skip-college

Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Bi-Annual Report



Occupations and industries related to healthcare are projected to add the most new jobs between 2012 and 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. Total employment is projected to increase 10.8 percent, or 15.6 million, during the decade.

Labor force and the aggregate economy

–The labor force is projected to grow 0.5 percent per year from

2012 to 2022, compared with an annual growth rate of 0.7 percent

during the 2002-12 decade. Due to the aging baby-boom generation,

workers ages 55 and older are expected to make up over one-quarter

of the labor force in 2022. (See table 1.)

–Projected declines in the labor force participation rates for

both men and women are expected to slow labor force growth. The

overall labor force participation rate is projected to decline from

63.7 percent in 2012 to 61.6 percent in 2022, continuing the trend

from the past decade. (See table 2.)

–Slower labor force growth is expected to limit potential economic

growth. Gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to increase by 2.6

percent annually from 2012 to 2022, slower than the 3 percent or

higher rate often posted from the mid-1990s through mid-2000s.

Industry employment

–The health care and social assistance sector is projected to grow at

an annual rate of 2.6 percent, adding 5.0 million jobs between 2012

and 2022. This accounts for nearly one-third of the total projected

increase in jobs. The growth reflects, in part, the demand for

healthcare workers to address the needs of an aging population. (See

table 3.)

–Employment in the construction sector is projected to grow 2.6 percent

annually. This equates to 1.6 million new jobs over the 2012-22

decade, the most among goods-producing sectors and third most

among all major industry sectors. (See table 3.) Despite expected

fast growth, construction sector employment in 2022 is  projected

to be below the peak level (7.7 million; 2006).

Occupation employment

Projected industry employment is distributed among occupations based

on how industries are expected to use those occupations.

–Of the 30 occupations projected to have the largest percentage

increase between 2012 and 2022, 14 are related to healthcare and 5

are related to construction. (See table 4.)

–The 30 occupations with the largest projected increase in employ-

ment from 2012 to 2022 will account for 7.4 million new jobs, almost

half of the total projected employment growth. (See table 5.)

–Four major occupational groups are projected to grow more than 20

percent–nearly double the overall growth–from 2012 to 2022: health-

care support occupations (28.1 percent), healthcare practitioners and

technical occupations (21.5 percent), construction and extraction

occupations (21.4 percent), and personal care and service occupations

(20.9 percent). (See table 6.)

–Every major occupational group except farming, fishing, and

forestry occupations is projected to gain jobs between 2012 and 2022.

(See table 6.)

Education and training

–Two-thirds of the 30 occupations with the largest projected

employment increase from 2012 to 2022 typically do not require

postsecondary education for entry. (See table 5.)

–Occupations that do not typically require postsecondary education

are projected to add 8.8 million jobs between 2012 and 2022,

accounting for more than half of all new jobs. These occupations

employed nearly two-thirds of workers in 2012. (See table 7.)

–Occupations that typically require an apprenticeship are projected

to grow 22.2 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than any other on-the-

job training assignment. (See table 7.)

Replacement needs

Employment growth is not the only source of job openings. BLS also

projects job openings resulting from the need to replace workers who

retire or otherwise permanently leave an occupation. Job openings due

to replacement needs are expected in every occupation, even in those

projected to decline in employment.

–Over the 2012-22 decade, 50.6 million total job openings are

expected. While growth will lead to many openings, more than two-

thirds–67.2 percent–are projected to come from replacement needs.

–In more than 4 out of 5 occupations, openings from replacement

needs are projected to exceed openings from growth.

–Nearly two-thirds of all job openings are expected to be in

occupations that typically do not require postsecondary education for

entry. (See table 7.)

–Twenty-two of the 30 occupations with the largest number of

projected job openings are classified as not typically requiring

postsecondary education. (See table 8.)


More information

The BLS projections are used by high school students and their teachers

and parents, college students, career changers, and career development

and guidance specialists. The projections are the foundation of the

BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, one of the nation’s most widely used

career information resources. The projections are also used by state

workforce agencies to prepare state and area projections that, together

with the national projections, are widely used by policymakers and

education and training officials to make decisions about education and

training policy, funding, and program offerings. In addition, other

federal agencies, researchers, and academics use the projections to

understand trends in the economy and labor market. New projections are

released every 2 years.

Continue reading Jobs report: Look to healthcare, skilled trades, apprentices, skip-college

Huge increase in the number of students enrolling in skilled trades right out of high school

STATE OF OPPORTUNITY. Can Kids in Michigan Get Ahead?

OCT 21, 2015

Students across Michigan are in their senior year of high school, gearing up for graduation and trying to make plans for what to do next. The popular narrative is that you get your high school diploma, go to college, and then embark on a career in a field related to your degree.

But it doesn’t always work that way. Life after high school now is more complicated than that for a lot of young people in Michigan.

What’s the best way for these students to build a future for themselves?

In this hour-long State of Opportunity special, Michigan Radio’s Jennifer White talks to students from all over the state – Grand Rapids, Ypsilanti, Detroit, Flint, and the Upper Peninsula – who each took a different path after leaving high school.  Continue reading Huge increase in the number of students enrolling in skilled trades right out of high school

Why have so many people failed to learn the most basic of US civics or American history lessons?

Earlier today, the mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, Mr. David A. Bowers, in the attached letter, joined several state governors in ordering that Syrian refugees not receive any government assistance, or be relocated to their jurisdiction. Apart from the lack of legal authority to do so (under the Refugee Act of 1980, only the President has authority to accept or deny refugees), his resort to fear-based tactics, and his galling lack of compassion for people fleeing these same terrorists, Mayor Bowers made the following startling statement:

“I’m reminded that Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the threat of harm to America from Isis now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.”

Mayor Bowers, there are a few key points of history you seem to have missed:

1) The internment (not a “sequester”) was not of Japanese “foreign nationals,” but of Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens. I was one of them, and my family and I spent 4 years in prison camps because we happened to look like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor. It is my life’s mission to never let such a thing happen again in America.

2) There never was any proven incident of espionage or sabotage from the suspected “enemies” then, just as there has been no act of terrorism from any of the 1,854 Syrian refugees the U.S. already has accepted. We were judged based on who we looked like, and that is about as un-American as it gets.

3) If you are attempting to compare the actual threat of harm from the 120,000 of us who were interned then to the Syrian situation now, the simple answer is this: There was no threat. We loved America. We were decent, honest, hard-working folks. Tens of thousands of lives were ruined, over nothing.

Mayor Bowers, one of the reasons I am telling our story on Broadway eight times a week in Allegiance is because of people like you. You who hold a position of authority and power, but you demonstrably have failed to learn the most basic of American civics or history lessons. So Mayor Bowers, I am officially inviting you to come see our show, as my personal guest. Perhaps you, too, will come away with more compassion and understanding.

— George Takei

Learn more about our show here: