Your Child Needs Extra SAT Tuition?

The answer depends in part on the type of special needs your child has. Learning disabilities range in severity levels and, thus accommodations based on individual student needs.

Your first step is to work with your Case Manager or Special Education/Exceptional Education Department at your high school. College Board, who oversees administration of the SAT and all accommodations, is going to ask for a formal request with documentation from your school.

Begin this process early because at peak times it can take 6-10 weeks to process a request.

The first thing the College Board looks at is: Does this child receive some type of modification to their regular testing at school? Students who do not have any accommodations or modifications at school should not expect to receive any on the SAT. But just because your child has testing adjustments at school does not mean he will qualify for modified testing on the SAT.

College Board’s next question is: What accommodations can or should he have? Again, this really depends. The most common modifications I saw as a school counselor was extended time.

Some people think: Oh, wow. That’s going to be great and he could really use some extra time. Maybe I should try to get my child qualified for extra time. Keep in mind, extra time can be a curse rather than a blessing. The SAT is a 4-hour long exam. Some students who are receiving 50% extra time have taken a 4-hour exam and made it a 6-hour exam plus additional time for breaks. A lot of my students with attention and focus issues have a really hard time sitting there for 4 hours; 6 hours is impossible. The extra time hurts their ability to perform on the test.

I’ve seen a variety of modifications and can’t suggest what your son should have without understanding his learning issues. I had a student with severe arthritis who couldn’t bubble in her own answers because it was such a physical strain. I’ve had other students who have had individual testing. While they may be allowed extended time they’re also in an individual setting where it becomes a little more of a self-paced extended time exam. Other students need large print tests. Your son’s accommodations will be based on his needs.

Keep in mind the SAT is intended to be a challenging test and accommodations should help put him on a level playing field with other test takers. They are not intended to improve his score or give him an advantage.

My best advice is to start the process early. Talk with your Special Education Coordinator or your Exceptional Education Department at school to find out what type of modifications might be most appropriate and most helpful. Get approved by College Board before his junior year in case there are any problems that require additional documentation or explanation.

If you have questions, you can contact College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office directly. I have always found them to be very knowledgeable and helpful.

Finally, I have found many special needs students score better on the ACT, so encourage your son to take both tests. And your college search should focus on schools where your son will thrive academically. There are many colleges and universities with programs designed to help students with special needs. Getting right at this stage of education makes it simpler at the other end of the scale.

14 Trillion Dollar Debt

The 14 trillion dollar national debt continues to rise. Government spending has spiraled and is out of control. This has many Americans adopting conservative views on government spending. Unemployment is still high and Americans continue to lose their homes to foreclosures.

Government has grown too large to manage. Many Americans no longer trust or have faith in their government. Change was promised and it never came. The solution is to reduce government involvement in the lives of Americans.

The government should not be involved in handing out money through a welfare system. There are many non-profit organizations that continue to provide support and help for the poor. The welfare system is a handout to those that choose not to work and help themselves. Millions of people on welfare feel they are entitled and make little effort to remove themselves from the welfare system. It is time for people to be accountable for their own lives.

trillion dollar debt

The country is in dire condition and gaining control of excess spending is critical. Hardworking taxpayers are tired of their tax dollars being wasted. Many are struggling to hold on to their homes while the government doles out billions of dollars to corporations for bailouts.

It is clear that bailouts and welfare are not in the best interest of the country nor its citizens. The middle class has always managed to survive on its own. It is now time for the rest of the population including large corporations, to manage on their own. Government spending for any type of hand out program should stop. With the increasing national debt, the government and the American people can no longer afford to carry the burden of those that refuse to help themselves.

There are enough charitable organizations available to provide assistance for people that are truly in need.

Aural Protection

According to data published by OHSA, around 30 million workers are exposed to loud noises in their workplaces, in the United States alone. Worldwide, that number grows exponentially. Of those those 30 million, statistics have also shown that nearly 125 thousand workers have suffered some form of permanent hearing loss in the past 11 years (since 2004). This ranges from partial to complete hearing loss. Unlike other medical conditions that cause loss of hearing, long-term exposure to loud noises causes a type of hearing loss that can’t normally be remedied by surgery or hearing aids. This is due to the fact that microscopic-sized hairs within our inner ears, that are responsible for converting sound wave vibrations into nerve impulses, get destroyed during long term exposure to loud noise. With the emphasis being on long term exposure. Once those hairs are damaged or destroyed, it is very difficult to remedy the hearing loss that occurs, in any way. For this reason, pretty much every country in the world has regulations in place that deal with hearing protection in loud work environments.

aural protection

General Regulations and Protection Devices

As one of our basic senses, hearing should be taken care of under all circumstances. This is true in any modern industry branch. Military personnel, construction site workers, factory workers – all are instructed to take care of their hearing. This is done in two basic ways – workplace noise management and protective hearing gear. A general regulation in most countries of the world, including the US, is that workers in any work place with average noise levels over 85 decibels are required to wear protective hearing gear. However, depending on the environment and also depending from person to person, not all hearing protection devices are equally effective. Common hearing protection equipment can be divided into several basic types: plugs, caps, ear muffs and hybrid devices. Every type has its own advantages and drawbacks and you can even use multiple types in some cases.

Hearing Protection – Plugs and Caps

Ear plugs usually come in two forms, as expandable foam plugs and as reusable pre-molded plugs. Foam plugs usually have to be molded into a proper shape by the worker before they can be used. While they are usually comfortable and easy enough to use, they are not recommended for use in dusty or dirty environments. Workers have to shape them by hand, so unless it is done in a clean environment, they can introduce dust or dirt into their ear canals, making them at risk of an ear infection. Pre-molded plugs don’t have to be molded, can be rewashed and reused, but their downside is that a worker will have to take some time to find a pair of plugs that fit him or her properly. There is also the fact a lot of people actually have a size difference in ear canals, so a pair of identical pre-molded plugs might not necessarily fit properly.

Hearing Protection – Ear muffs and Caps

As for ear muffs, they are easy to use and don’t carry the risk of a potential ear infection, but their downside is that they’re uncomfortable or even ineffective if a worker also wears standard glasses or has a thicker beard – the sound isn’t insulated properly due to the spacing left open by the beard and/or the glasses. Ear caps are similar in the way that they are basically plugs mounted on a frame, but their downside is that they are tricky to wear with protective helmets. Sometimes a single hearing protection device is not enough to protect you adequately. For example, a jet taking off at a 100 meters distance typically exposes a worker to a noise level of around 130 decibel, which is way over any healthy norm. For this reason, it is prudent to combine devices at higher noise levels, such as simultaneously using hearing plugs and ear muffs.

Space Bullies

Every time I’ve flown into the Memphis airport, it reminds me of a middle school. So far I’ve had good experiences connecting to planes there, but the really low ceilings and beige brick walls everywhere make it feel like those few minutes between classes. The only thing missing? Lockers.

Monday afternoon when I got to the airport, my flight was already an hour late. It’s not a whole lot of fun. And it makes me all the more happy that I’ve been taking brentwood driving lessons to get my ass more into the swing of things with driving a car instead of having to take trains and planes. Cars give a girl independence. Just wish I’d got my thumb out before the ripe old age of 21 and learned to drive when I first had the chance.

Luckily, I managed to get rebooked on flights through Memphis and ended up getting back home a little bit earlier than my original schedule.

The price I had to pay for that sweetness? Sitting next to a slab ass who horned in on my space throughout the longer flight to Memphis. I know that some of you guys are tall and big and have a more difficult time in those smaller plane seats. But there are two kinds of those big guys on planes: the ones who try, and the ones who elbow you, switch CDs after seemingly every song (which requires more elbow sawing), polish each CD before playing (requiring even more arm movement), sit spread eagle like they’re on their couch at home in front of the tv, and occasionally weakly apologize but then never bother to change their behavior.

I may be short, but there was nothing on my ticket terms and conditions about being required to forfeit a third of my space to you. And I doubt that anyone’s balls are soooo big that you can’t MOVE your leg back over to your half. This was the first time I’ve ever wished for a plexiglass divider between plane seats. I didn’t feel like hugging the window the whole flight, so instead I passive aggressively defended my turf with an immobile wall of arm and leg marking the inside line of my seat space. I worried that if I actually said anything to him that it would come out like serpents hissing out of my mouth like something from Beetlejuice, and then he would end up being in the seat next to me on my second plane home. So as he read an article about Morrissey, I thought, “Yeah, I’ll give you something to whine about, motherf*^cker!”

I have this photo set as the screen saver on my phone right now. When I turned my phone on as we taxied to the gate, I cursed it too. Treasure this moment? Get me off this damn plane and away from this guy before I shove him on his ass into the aisle!

Creationism Theory Among Conservatives

Many conservatives based on their religious views, believe in the creationism theory. They want the public school system to include this theory in the curriculum. Several politicians admit to believing in this theory. This is another way Christianity is encroaching on the lives of others that do not believe in this religion.

The public school system is already on a shoestring budget. Teachers have to purchase classroom supplies with their own money. Yet conservatives, who want the government to stop spending money, think it is acceptable to spend money to ensure the creationism theory is taught in school.

It seems that conservatives are willing to spend money as long as it furthers their religious agenda. There are millions of Christians that do not believe in the theory. Why should children have to learn a theory based on one religion? There are a number of religions that may also want their version of creation taught as well.

If people want to abandon the science that has provided advanced medical technologies and much more for a religious theory, then they should do so in the privacy of their own homes. The creationism theory has no place in the public school system. It is a religion based theory and should not be forced into the public school system curriculum.

If conservatives and the Christian right wing organizations want to teach this theory to their children, they are free to teach their children in the home or at church. However, this theory should not be forced on the children of those who do not believe in this theory.

Conservatives tend to overlook separation between church and state and sometimes step on the rights of others who choose to believe in a different religion. We are a diverse nation and no religion should advance its beliefs and theories into the public school system.

Politics and Government at the Table

Do people actually still talk to their kids about what’s going on in the world? Do we take the time to make our adult conversations about current daily events into something our children can also connect to? Do we offer to allow them into our conversations about the current state of the world? Sometimes, parents may feel that what’s going in isn’t appropriate to discuss in front young children. This can be appreciated. But there are many current topics that children hear adults around them discuss that children can really understand. When we don’t include our children in these discussions about current events, we exclude them from valuable awareness of our views about the world, valuable learning experiences, and also the ability to learn to have views and conversations about things like politics and government.

Have you had a political conversation around the dinner table lately with your kids? It can feel like a strange concept. But it’s a great way to invite your kids to let you know what they understand about current politics, if anything and help fill in the gaps. Kids who have never talked about politics may feel that politics and government don’t relate to their lives, but this is not the case. Kids need to know how governments, elections, and politics deeply impact things about their world every day, especially on the local level. It’s also important to realize that kids can actually be involved in politics, if they want to from a very young age. There’s so many other terrible things for them to be involved in, why not politics. Many schools allow kids to run for school student councils and other activities starting as young as 8 years of age. It’s a great chance to kids to actually try out politics on their own and see how it impacts them personally.

Paralegal Vs Lawyer. Who Wins?

Being a lawyer may seem like a great pick for a future career, but there are many things one must consider before starting the journey towards becoming one. There are good and bad sides about being a lawyer. The advantages of being a lawyer include higher salaries, prestige and social connections.

There are some disadvantages as well in recent years, the field has been under pressure many paralegals, accountants and actuaries are able to execute tasks that were previously reserved for lawyers only. This led to less job opportunities and lower salaries in certain sectors of the legal system.

Of course, the advantages are plentiful still: salaries are above average, usually ranging from $130,000 a year for lawyers who graduated from top tier law schools. As years go by, the salaries increase, reaching over $200,000 a year after several years. In addition, lawyers are able to pursue “partner-track” jobs and become partners within the firm. This usually takes seven to ten years, but it really does pay off.

This, on the other hand, takes a lot of time. New lawyers often work up to 80 or 90 hours a week, making their free time almost nonexistent. Many complain that they have no real work-life balance and that they constantly think about cases they are working on. Some work through the weekends as well, meaning that their relationships with friends and family will suffer.

Another thing that is important to address is the fact that public legal jobs usually have lower salaries from $50,000 to $70,000 a year. While this seems like a very good salary as well, many are uncomfortable with it because of the ever-growing student loan debts.

This is exactly why many choose to become paralegals instead they can usually enter the market much earlier, they don’t have to pass a school entrance exam and they don’t have to worry about law school debts. They are usually more affordable than lawyers are, meaning that the demand for good paralegals will continue to grow. Paralegals usually work under the responsibility of a lawyer and some work under direct supervision of a lawyer. Some of their duties include drafting of documents, interviewing of clients and preparation of retainers, but the duties vary depending on the specialty of the law firm they are working for. The tasks are usually part of a routine and not as challenging as lawyer tasks.

Similar to lawyers, paralegals should be highly organized, able to meet deadlines and they should be able to handle pressure well. Interpersonal skills are also a welcome trait, as they will be working with various clients. The career paths of paralegals are usually more limited, as well as opportunities to advance in their jobs. They also can’t practice law they will always work under attorney supervision.

Choosing between becoming a paralegal or lawyer depends on what the person is aiming at being a lawyer usually requires high analytical, logical and communication skills, while being a paralegal requires organizational and interpersonal skills. Paralegals perform routine tasks and work in a lower stress environment, while lawyers handle more stress and perform demanding intellectual tasks. The paralegal salary is lower, but the working hours are steady (9-5), while lawyers commonly work overtime and through weekends. If you aim at a steady job with regular hours, a paralegal position is a good choice for you, but if you seek more and wish to gain prestige and social connections, becoming a lawyer is the way to go.

Posted in Law

Online Degrees Still Worth It?

If you are thinking about taking advantage of one of the many online degree programs offered by colleges and universities from across the United States, you are not alone. Trends in distance learning have exploded in popularity, because of its convenience and versatility of the various types of programs offered. However, there is something to keep in mind when considering which programs to use and / or attend. That is, make sure the program you choose is accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. This is an important and beneficial to you for various reasons.

Schools are granted accreditation by the U.S. Department of Education for meeting or exceeding certain criteria for excellence in quality of education. It is no different if you choose an online program than if you were to go to a traditional college or University. This accreditation falls under two categories: institutional and specialized. Institutional accreditation pertains to the college or University as a whole, where specialized accreditation pertains to the individual’s academic programs within the college or University. Accreditation affects the funding that a college or University receives from the Department of Education. The Department of Education does not govern the colleges and Universities that achieve accreditation. Rather, it works with them to make sure they maintain their levels of excellence and assists them in certain ways to advance.

online degreeChoosing an online college or University that has accreditation from the U.S. Department on Education is the most sensible choice. The benefits for you, as a student, are numerous. For example, transferring prior college credits from one accredited college or University to another is easier. Accredited colleges and Universities have agreements with one another to provide smooth transitions for students. As a student of an online program, you are entitled to financial aid. This obviously makes attending college more affordable, as well as an attainable goal.

Yet another benefit of attending an online college or University accredited by the U.S. Department of Education is the legitimacy of the degree that you earn. Holding a degree from an accredited institution will be more recognized and accepted by potential employers when applying for jobs. In addition, many professional organizations do not acknowledge degree from colleges and Universities that are not accredited, the implication being that the academic standards at a non-accredited institution are not held at as high a standard.

There are so-called online colleges and Universities that do not operate within the limits of U.S Department of Education’s guidelines. They essentially take students’ money and award phony degrees to them with little or no regard for academic achievement or mastery. Often, these “schools” do not require a lot coursework and testing on the required subjects. Therefore their graduates are not truly educated in the fields for which they hold “degrees”. These degrees are not held in high esteem, and falling victim to one of these fake schools can make the road to gainful employment very bumpy.

Online learning has become a legitimate, flexible, and convenient way to earn your degree, and improve your life professionally. If you are considering one of the many online college and University degree programs out there, remember to do your research.