What interests me about my discovery is that if schools were to follow the guidelines, it is unlikely that they would assign summer homework. It would just be too difficult, too costly, and teachers would have to be on hand to provide “guidance and instruction.” But as long as no one knows about the guidelines, and no one asks that the school enforce them, schools will continue to assign summer homework. In fact, even though the guidelines were issued over a year ago, every New York State student I heard from got homework last summer.
Back in Winnipeg, this domino effect is one of Anna Stokke’s biggest concerns. If they don’t know their math facts, she says, they won’t be able to do fractions, which means they won’t be able to handle algebra, which means calculus is out, which means they can’t be engineers, doctors, pharmacists, economists, programmers, or any discipline that requires math, including skilled tradeswork. But one thing they can become? Teachers, who can go through the system with minimal math training and arrive in class expected to inspire children to create and conceptualize their own mathematical knowledge—and relying on a new set of parents to fill the gap. “This is a never-ending cycle of innumeracy,” says Stokke. “And we have an obligation to speak up for the kids.”
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This is a tough topic. My personal opinion is that you should NOT pay for a master's degree, or at least not pay the majority of the degree. When I did my MA, I had an assistantship that paid for three of the four semesters. I'm now working on an online degree program and my employer is paying for most of my classes.
I earned my MA in History in 2005 and have used my degree since then. I don't think my degree was the only reason I was hired, but I think it put me ahead of the other applicants. That degree has since paid off again, as I was hired as an adjunct instructor at my local community college.
If you don't need a master's degree for your job, don't get one. Get your BA, work for a couple of years, and then determine if you need additional education.