Insourcing of Foreign Students & Engineers Top U.S. Priority

Effective on July 1, 2006, it will be more difficult for U.S. students to both become eligible for and borrow federally subsidized student loans, due to legislation signed by President Bush in February 2006. Known as the Budget-Deficit Reduction Bill, it wipes out $12 billion from the federal student loan program. The interest rates will climb to a fixed rate of 6.8 % for a student applying for a federal loan, referred to as the Stafford Loan program, with a capped rate of 8.5% for parents applying on behalf of their child, known as PLUS loans, also subject to additional variable rates. Many parents are considering home equity loans as an alternative, which provide far lower borrowing interest rates.

But with college tuition rates rising each year sometimes more than double the rate of inflation, it is becoming more and more impossible for the middle class to afford a college education. With the federal loan limit for years now remaining at $20,000.00 per school year, it requires many to apply for private bank loans in addition to the federal loan. Many students take as many as seven years to complete an undergraduate degree as they must work full-time at low-paying jobs, in order to afford tuition and living expenses, thus delaying their ascendance into the permanent work force.

According to the Department of Education, as many as 400,000 U.S. students each year forego a higher education entirely, dissuaded by tuition costs and fear of the inability to repay college loans. In the last several years, due to declining interest rates, students were able to consolidate their student loans in order to lower the rates on previous accruing loans. With the new legislation, the fixed rate will preclude them from doing so in the future, regardless of a decline again in interest rates.

The higher education dilemma in the U.S. is rather complex and multi-faceted, however, and universities have already begun to look to other resources in order to fill their coffers by going abroad. That brings us to the present immigration bill making its way through the U.S. Senate which is a far more liberal version than the U.S. House of Representatives’ bill which passed at the end of 2005. Buried in the text of the Senate bill is a restructuring of the student visa process, which was largely slowed down after September 11, 2001 and eventually put under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security by 2003.

In April 2005, President Bush met with King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia at his Crawford, TX ranch. At such time, they made an agreement to encourage more Saudi students to receive their undergraduate educations in the U.S. Presently, there are approximately 5,000 Saudi Arabian students studying in U.S. colleges and universities and 15,000 applications in the pipeline, although confirming the exact figures is one momentous task, if not impossible to find.

The deal which King Abdullah proposed to President Bush was to allow 5,000 students per year the opportunity to study in the U.S., with all tuition costs footed by the Saudi Arabian government. The scholarship program, which was not publicly announced by either the White house or the Saudi Embassy, was an attempt for the Saudi government to fast-track the student visa program to which the administration has now agreed.

Of importance, and publicly disclosed and lauded by Maura Harty, the State Department’s Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, when attending the U.S. University Presidents Summit on International Education, – a two-day forum to promote international education and hosted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in January 2006 – is that the system to expedite the student visa application process has been a top priority since 9/11. She remarked that 500 new consular positions have been added since 9/11; negotiations extended reciprocity agreements reducing the number of times a student must renew or reapply for a visa; directing all U.S. embassies and consulates to put student and exchange visitors at the head of the line when scheduling visa interviews.

Also of note, is that during the 2004-2005 school year, there were 565,039 foreign students enrolled in institutions of higher learning in the U.S., meaning, there now are that many fewer slots for American students when applying to college. But Harty adds, “We do not want to lose a single foreign student and we don’t want them to miss the beginning of school, so the State Department has made processing of student and exchange visitor visas a priority at every post.”

And alarmingly so in a post-9/11 world, Harty states that “Some 97.5% visa applications are processed within two days, and that the screening process for the 2.5% visa applicants subject to special screening requirements for security reasons has been streamlined, typically taking one week to two weeks.” If true, Americans can only dream that other government services flowed so quickly and efficiently for them. In contrast, U.S. students applying for federal loans must wait months to find out the status of their applications and whether or not they will be able to afford the school year’s tuition.

But at the heart of the proposed expansion of the student visa program is another issue embedded in the Senate’s immigration bill which would raise considerably the amount of H1-B visas allowed, which are allotted to foreign workers to work in U.S. industry on a supposed temporary basis. Beginning in Fiscal Year 2006, the amount of such visas were limited to 65,000 but an additional 20,000 were eventually added, at the 11th hour, for foreigners who graduated from U.S. graduate and Ph.D. programs. In the new bill, measures call for doubling the number of skilled worker temporary visas to 115,000 per year with an option of raising the cap 20% more each subsequent year.

And in a new visa category known as the F-4 visa, students pursuing advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics would be granted permanent U.S. residence if they find a job in their field. They would only be required to pay a fee of $1,000.00. The rallying cries from such notables as Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates, and Sun Microsystems CEO, Scott McNealy, have made it clear that they desperately need the government to increase the number of H1-B visas. But telling, as Microsoft’s Manager for Federal Affairs, Marland Buckner, states, “It’s in the best interests of Microsoft and we believe in the best interest of national competitiveness from an innovation standpoint, to bring as many smart people to the U.S. as possible.” Bill Gates wants no restrictions at all on H1-B visas.

But according to Ron Hira, Vice President of IEEE-USA, an organization representing 225,000 electrical and computer engineers, says, “Many U.S. companies don’t even bother to recruit Americans because they can find foreigners willing to work longer hours for less pay.” But with business and science leaders focusing almost exclusively on loosening laws in order to acquire foreign talent, they are seemingly turning their backs on educating Americans first, necessary to maintain a thriving, innovative economy for Americans.

Much like all other sectors of our government as well as commercial industry, both lawmakers and CEO’s myopically concentrate on the bottom line, while the U.S. educational system is being systematically abandoned and essentially dismantled. By not providing future livelihoods for future generations of Americans all in the name of globalism, the U.S. may find itself incurably behind, not only in terms of innovation but in terms of a basic standard of living. How can we expect our students to compete with such an agenda if they are no longer the top priority?

Practical Lawn Care Education

When you are strolling by a lawn you take for guaranteed that grass cares for itself and never stop a minute to think that something looking so simple as grass is a organism, the end of a long chain of biological process that may involve various science for analyzing and understanding the wonderful relations of the plants soil and environment. Beginning is truly a challenge. Learn about elements and molecules, life processes and environment chain under your feet may lead you develop a great interest in lawns and gardening that afterward can become a highly enthusiastic hobby,thus grass can be spotted as many mini structure: molecules and cells, roots, blades, all of them providing their utility to the whole organism. Many organism share a common area : your lawn, to learn more about your lawn as ecosystem can trigger your curiosity and willingness to learn about the topic, starting a education on this will be very useful to your family life and help to develop moral values.

Organisms never rest. Every day and night, every season and kind of weather they are struggling for their survival, some times competing with each other , some times being friendly, they should resist many dangerous agent that pose a risk to their live, like pesticides, herbicides, hail, frost, scorching sun or hard wind, they knit the wonderful life net and its knitting can take you closer to the poetic meaning of living. People refuse to see lawn and garden as something live, something that they might be aware that restore the quality of soil and water,if properly kept, and environmental care of lawn will preserve the life of many animals,benefic microorganism and grass. The use of chemicals can deliver quick result but the side effect are deadly to the fragile life systems found on soil and grass.

Practical Lawn Care Education

As many things in life the best way to learn is practicing. Practicing gardening and lawn care are vital points on your practical lawn care education. Near you dozen of plants and animals are moving and showing their life cycle, and notice that observation is the base of all knowledge and science is basically pure observation in its first stage.

If you grow very interested on these matters, you can find someone who may help you to discover the lawn care education priorities and lesson,gardeners, professional contractors and other people who are wise on this topic after long years of experiences are the best teachers you can find, they have all the empiric experience to aid you with your lawn care and also, some of them have the theories fundamentally to support your questions.

Soil, Water and Life: Lawn Care Lessons

Soil and water, plants and animals hold very complex relations: a lack of balance of the relation will end up damaging all the organism evolved, to work in a regular basis with a professional consultant, a gardener or contractor enjoy the work and learn the lesson nature is giving you., and your life will improve in a impressive way knowing the secret of lawn life.

Politics in Public Education: The Legislative Agenda

Public education in America has encountered many challenges, particularly in the last three decades. Declining test scores, declining graduation rates, poor results for high school graduates once entering college unprepared, and the clear lack of life-long learning skills are just symptoms of the underlying problems and issues with K-12 education.

The decline of direct parental involvement, poor university education school preparation for teachers, misdirected and inconsistent standardized testing efforts, and the lack of any teacher testing and annual monitoring of teacher progress have all contributed to the problems in public education, and alarming lack of results and preparation of our children. However, underlying the symptoms and the causes that I have cited is the compromising of the true mission and goals we all expect to be unwavering. That is to say, those given the sacred responsibility of educating our students have compromised the very mission of education, and the achievement of the goals and objectives that we have counted upon to be the foundation of our future and our children’s future. This is not an accusation, a supposition, or an opinion. This is a fact. I have seen it and documented it first hand in my own state, and have verified similar encounters and compromises by the educational elite, administrators, and most directly the two largest teacher unions in the United States. It is at a minimum, appalling, and potentially criminal.

What I am attempting to describe are the political compromises made by the teacher unions, with complicity by some administrators and ratification by local school boards, reducing the quality of education and the integrity of the teaching experience, solely for the benefit of power and money. The recipients of the increased power, funding, and funds into their own coffers to be utilized for purposes other than education, are the national teacher unions, their respective state affiliates, and their colleagues.

When union domination, and the marginalization of parents occur, our children are the losers. They are no longer the priority. They are no longer the most important participants in the educational experience as they should be, and must be, if we’re to achieve those lofty goals, and make our children the best prepared in the world. No matter what changes we make to public education, no matter how we improve standardized testing, measuring results, educating and preparing our teachers, and funding education, if we don’t take the politics out of education, and the implementation of good education policy in our government, we are doomed to fail. Yes, unions have a right to exist, and yes our teachers should be treated well, and be paid well. However, with regard to public education, we’re not talking about a typical working environment. The priority must be the students, or the proposition of public education on its’ very face, is false. Why do many private schools, parochial schools, and most “home-schoolers” often do significantly better than their public school counterparts, with much less funding? Their encouragement of parental involvement in education policy, and their children’s day-to-day education experience, as well as the absence of political pressure being exacted by the teacher unions, is a major factor.

Having direct, first hand knowledge of the referenced compromises and tactics by the education elite and teacher unions, I have seen how the entire political agenda has permeated the legislative process at the state and national levels. As Education Policy Chairman in my State’s Legislature, I have had to deal with these political pressures, and have seen how the masterful agenda on the part of the education elite and the unions have affected my colleagues, and their ability to resist the enormous pressure brought to bear on them, and their respective school districts. The compromise of our children’s future has permeated the legislative process through lobbying efforts, the recruitment of pro-union candidates, and sheer intimidation. My assessment is that it will continue until it can’t be fixed. Then a collapse of public education, as we know it, will occur, and something will have to take its’ place. Meanwhile, our children have lost their future, and our nation may never regain its position as a superpower, and the leader of the free world.

Yes, this is serious business. I firmly believe that if we wait until the alarming collapse that I have cited, America will have lost its’ future. This is a time for a loud call to common sense, our founding values, and the premise that the self-serving educational elite cannot be permitted to compromise our children’s education and their very future anymore. It must stop. As the new “Tea Party” movement has awakened the silent majority from their political and policy indifference of the past, a new movement must rise up out of the ashes of our disastrous math and science test scores, falling graduation rates, and politically-correct social transformational education experience. The basics underpinning our traditional education system including academic excellence, parental involvement and support, discipline, and clear consistent standardized testing and evaluation, must be restored.

Public education must clearly adapt to a global environment, and the teaching methodology must adapt to the times and current technologies. However, we must turn out a new type of teacher that can teach to ALL students. The actual pedagogy deployed must be based on the premise that students learn at different rates, have different backgrounds, and actually think differently. However, to be consistent with the goals and objectives that I noted earlier, the sacred mission-to-educate, we must find a way to deliver a quality education to every single student and to discard the premise that some students can learn, and some cannot. We owe it to ourselves, to them, and most importantly, we owe it to future generations of Americans, and to assure that America continues as the leader of the free world.