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UN focus on youth

"87 percent of people 15 to 24 live in developing countries," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the body's General Assembly. "The global economic crisis has had a disproportionate impact on young people. The have lost jobs, struggled to find even low wage employment and see access to education curtailed."

Dan Margolis, People's World

On August 12, the UN launched the International Year of the Youth, aimed at alleviating the grinding poverty, record joblessness and problems affecting millions of young people across the globe while various affiliated agencies noted that, in many ways, the situation for young people worldwide has never been so bad.

August 12 is International Youth Day, and this is the 25th since it was first declared in 1985. The year's theme is "Dialogue and Mutual Understanding."

"87 percent of people 15 to 24 live in developing countries," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the body's General Assembly. "The global economic crisis has had a disproportionate impact on young people. The have lost jobs, struggled to find even low wage employment and see access to education curtailed."

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In States Where "Gun Ed" Is Prevalent, Comprehensive Sex Ed Is Nowhere to Be Found

Genitals, unlike guns, are in 100% of households. Why not use the same approach -- that knowledge is power -- and give our kids straight forward, age appropriate information?
How the Latest Abstinence Findings Could Turn Into a Classic Sex-Ed 'Bait and Switch'

Lisa Russ, AlterNet

Seems to me that simple, clear communication works best, even with young kids. When there is a threat or an opportunity I let my kids know in plain and simple terms.  No running with scissors.  Walk carefully near the edge of a pool.  Put the matches down.  So far this plain-talking strategy has kept ER visits to a minimum and led to a relatively peaceful life with 2 pre-schoolers.

Judging from the turbulence caused by a sex ed curriculum under consideration by the School Board in Helena, MT, there are people who disagree.  According to Fox News, some local parents are in a tizzy about their kindergartners learning the actual words for their body parts, including those covered by their bathing suits.  When we as parents want to communicate important information to our kids (or hear important information from them), why wouldn’t we use the right words?  Their objections to the curriculum go on from there, but it seems grounded in the same basic fear of information.

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How the Latest Abstinence Findings Could Turn Into a Classic Sex-Ed 'Bait and Switch' Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check
The religious right is rallying around a study that supposedly proves their legitimacy. In reality, the findings just demonstrate how important comprehensive sexual education is.

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Learning by Degrees

If even a professionally oriented college degree is no longer a guarantee of easily found employment, an argument might be made in favor of a student’s pursuing an education that is less, rather than more, pragmatic.

Rebecca Mead, New Yorker Magazine

A member of the Class of 2010—who this season dons synthetic cap and gown, listens to the inspirational words of David Souter (Harvard), Anderson Cooper (Tulane), or Lisa Kudrow (Vassar), and collects a diploma—need not be a statistics major to know that the odds of stepping into a satisfying job, or, indeed, any job, are lower now than might have been imagined four long years ago, when the first posters were hung on a dorm-room wall, and having a .edu e-mail address was still a novelty. Statistically speaking, however, having an expertise in statistics may help in getting a job: according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, graduates with math skills are more likely than their peers in other majors to find themselves promptly and gainfully employed.

The safest of all degrees to be acquiring this year is in accounting: forty-six per cent of graduates in that discipline have already been offered jobs. Business majors are similarly placed: forty-four per cent will have barely a moment to breathe before undergoing the transformation from student to suit. Engineers of all stripes—chemical, computer, electrical, mechanical, industrial, environmental—have also fared relatively well since the onset of the recession: they dominate a ranking, issued by Payscale.com, of the disciplines that produce the best-earning graduates. Particular congratulations are due to aerospace engineers, who top the list, with a starting salary of just under sixty thousand dollars—a figure that, if it is not exactly stratospheric, is twenty-five thousand dollars higher than the average starting salary of a graduate in that other science of the heavens, theology.

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Putting Our Brains on Hold

 

The world leadership qualities of the United States, once so prevalent, are fading faster than the polar ice caps.

We once set the standard for industrial might, for the advanced state of our physical infrastructure, and for the quality of our citizens’ lives. All are experiencing significant decline.

The latest dismal news on the leadership front comes from the College Board, which tells us that the U.S., once the world’s leader in the percentage of young people with college degrees, has fallen to 12th among 36 developed nations.

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Philadelphia grooms future teachers at Parkway West High School

by Sarah Burgess - The Notebook

Leon Sullivan's teaching internship at Parkway West's Urban Education Academy has taught him many lessons.

Among them: "You've got to be patient and understanding. You can't let what they say get to you. You've got to be willing to go back over some things. (And) when kids act a certain type of way, you don't get into a confrontation, you go to the source."

Sullivan, 18, along with 64 classmates, spends two hours, four days a week in classrooms at nearby elementary schools.

The two-year-old internship program is proving a successful way to turn students on to teaching.

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