Wage top story


train2The minimum wage going up in 20 states was named the top story of 2015 for the U.S. so far by LERN members. The news garnered 30 percent of the votes in our exclusive LERN home page poll.

No reasons were asked, so we’re guessing the increase in the minimum wage is good news for lifelong learning programs. Registrations over the past three decades have declined, in major part because fewer people are able to pay for lifelong learning courses and events. So the increase in the minimum wage might increase registrations somewhat for your program. And of course most of you probably feel the increase will just be a help to the growing U.S. economy.

Three other choices got good support and tied for second place:

  1. Groundbreaking for first high speed train.
  2. 2015 first year of a 15-year transition to a new education model.
  3. Four-year degree now more important than where you went to college.

America falling from #4 in the World Bank’s Knowledge Economy Index to #14 pulled in 100 percent of the votes. And in last place, not getting any votes, was the Denton, Texas school district’s pioneering new grading policy that states there is no penalty for late work.

Educators have been very reluctant to embrace new grading and assessment based solely on learning and knowledge, even with a nudge from the LERN Board of Directors, who voted its support for the new policy in 2007, becoming the first national education association to do so.

We expect parents of boys to be far more receptive to the policy of grading based on learning than educators. A new one-time class “For Parents of Boys” premieres this month in nine Wisconsin communities, sponsored by the local community education programs in those towns.

Thanks to everyone for voting on the top story so far!

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