In Maryland, forecast calls for more hires (Gazette): “About 22 percent of companies in Maryland plan to hire more employees in the first quarter this year, up from 17 percent in 2012′s first quarter, according to a recent survey by employment services company Manpower Group.” Nationwide, that number is five percentage points lower and the best prospects, reportedly, are in professional and business services. One reason? Many “employers that have been piling up profitable quarters say factors such as the fiscal cliff and a lack of qualified employees put a damper on their hiring plans last year.”
Chancellor Kaya Henderson names 15 DC schools on closure list (Washington Post): “More than one in 10 DC public schools will close as part of a plan Chancellor Kaya Henderson put forth Thursday, a retrenchment amid budget pressures, low enrollment and growing competition from public charter schools [...] Closing half-empty schools will allow her to use resources more efficiently, she said, redirecting dollars from administration and maintenance to teaching and learning.” Community feedback persuaded the Chancellor to keep open five schools originally slated for closure. You can read the detailed Consolidation and Reorganization Plan on the DCPS website.
Graduation Rate Hits Record High For High School Students: Government Report (Huffington Post): “More US high school students than ever are graduating on time, according to new information released by the research arm of the US Education Department. The percentage of students who graduated from high school within four years of starting ninth grade in the 2006-2007 school year hit a record high.” In that year, 4 million students began high school and, four years later, just over 78% have graduated — a 2% increase overall. But while more students are completing high school, “fewer than half of those in the class of 2012 were “college ready” as determined by the College Board last fall.”
Division of Labor: The Gap Between Skills and Jobs (DCentric): “While much of the country struggles with job creation, DC is in the unique position of having more jobs than residents [...] Many of the available jobs in the District, the ones that attract people from around the country, require advanced degrees. This mismatch, or skills gap, means many of those born and raised within the District are increasingly being left out of its economic success.” According to the DC Department of Employment Services, professional, technical, or scientific or federal government positions make up nearly half of the area’s jobs; and 65% of November online job postings stipulated that applicants needed a minimum of a bachelors degree. Continue reading →
Good morning, Washington, and welcome to December. I just tuned into Morning Edition on WAMU and caught this story:
JUNE KRESS: As the previously incarcerated in our city know all too well, finding a job is essential to getting their lives back on track. But they face many obstacles. My organization, the Council for Court Excellence, recently conducted a survey of 550 District residents who had served time in prison or jail and found that 46 percent were unemployed. Continue reading →
Nation’s report card: Kids showing a bit of improvement in math, but many still not proficient (Washington Post Local): “The nation’s report card on math and reading shows fourth- and eighth-graders scoring their best ever in math and eighth graders making some progress in reading. But the results released Tuesday are a stark reminder of just how far the nation’s school kids are from achieving the No Child Left Behind law’s goal [...] Just a little more than one-third of the students were proficient or higher in reading. In math, 40 percent of the fourth-graders and 35 percent of the eighth-graders had reached that level.” According to the article, Maryland students in both grades showed reading improvement; according to WAMU, “Virginia’s scores in reading and mathematics remain higher than nationwide averages.”
Recent data demonstrate that obtaining a GED has employment and income benefits for all recipients. Nationally, high school dropouts who obtain a GED on average increase their earnings by $115 per week or $3,500 per year.