Education & Schools
Jobs Expert: Standardized People Won’t Win America’s Future PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 15 June 2012 12:28
Emphasis on Early Testing Leads to a Homogenized Workforce, He Says

Since former President George W. Bush amped up standardized testing throughout the nation in 2002 with the No Child Left Behind Act, critics say results have been negative.

“The bottom line is that there is no clear correlation between standardized testing and the knowledge and skills kids will need to prosper in the 21st century world of work,” says Peter Weddle, former CEO of Job Bank USA, Inc., and author of A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream (

“It seems we’re more interested in creating a homogenized workforce than a nation of individuals who have learned what their talent is and how to bring it to work with them,” he says.

Consider these statistics:

Annual state spending on standardized tests has increased by 160 percent – from $423 million in 2002 to $1.1 billion in 2008, according to the Pew Center on the States.

Since 2002, the United States dropped from 18th in the world in math on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to 31st place in 2009, with a similar drop in science and no change in reading.

The NCLB Act has drastically narrowed content, according to a study by the Center on Education Policy.

“This problem begins very early on. We take kids in elementary school and give them tests. Those who do well are designated as ‘gifted and talented,’ which means that everyone else is, by definition, ungifted and untalented. And, that’s just not true.  In effect, we’re devaluing all the capabilities that are not reflected in a standardized test,” he says.

“Of course, we want to take care of our academically proficient kids, but we have to find a way to do that without signaling to every other child that they were at the end of the line when talent was handed out.”

Too many Americans are stuck in old ways of thinking, from the classrooms of our elementary schools and colleges to the workplace,” Weddle says. “But we’re in a new economy and the path to the American Dream has changed. That means our old-school thinking must change as well.”

He offers ways Americans can get back in the game as world leaders:

• We need to accept that the economy has changed: The first step to change is acknowledging it’s needed, Weddle says. “Our employers are no longer competing with cheaper labor; they’re up against smarter labor worldwide,” he says. We hold a trump card, however: We have the most diverse pool of talent on the globe, whereas countries such as China and India have, by choice, a homogenous workforce.

• We must give career education greater priority: In China, every college student must, as a requirement of graduation, take a yearlong course that teaches them the skills and knowledge to manage their own careers effectively.  In the United States, that instruction is missing from college curricula. Yet, 53.6 percent of all college graduates under the age of 25 are now either unemployed or underemployed.

• We need to redefine talent so we can use it: “Our culture has taught us that talent is the province of exceptional people doing exceptional things,” he says.  “We can see the talent of Lady Gaga, but not the talent of an accounts payable clerk.  And that’s myopic.  We are all endowed with talent, but we have to discover it, nurture it and then bring it to work with us.”

• We have to see ourselves as a ‘work in progress’: “The world of work is changing at warp speed – new technology, shifts in the global marketplace and changes in consumer tastes,” he says. “That’s why we need to be committed to continuous learning.  Regardless of our educational degree, years of experience or level of seniority, we need to be acquiring new skills and knowledge all of the time.”

About Peter Weddle

Peter Weddle, a former recruiter and human resource consultant, is the CEO of the International Association of Employment Web Sites, a trade organization. He has written or edited more than two dozen non-fiction books regarding careers and employment; “A Multitude of Hope” is his first work of fiction. Weddle is the founder and former CEO of Job Bank USA, Inc., one of the largest electronic employment services companies in the United States.

Concordia University of Nebraska releases spring honors list PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Jenny Hammond   
Friday, 15 June 2012 09:45

SEWARD, NE (06/14/2012)(readMedia)-- Concordia University, Nebraska announced its term honors list for the second semester of the 2011-12 academic year.

The top 25 percent of undergraduate students who complete at least 12 credit hours qualify for the honors list.

Founded in 1894, Concordia University, Nebraska is a fully accredited liberal arts university committed to excellence in Christian higher education. Concordia was named to the top tier in a U.S. News & World Report's 2012 "America's Best Colleges" ranking in the Regional University- Midwest category and 28th in the "Top 50 Baccalaureate Colleges" of the 2011 Washington Monthly College Rankings. It is one of ten institutions belonging to The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's Concordia University System.

The list of students includes:

Chelsey Creedon, Eldridge, Iowa

Naomi Iltis, Le Claire, Iowa

Lee Johanson, Davenport, Iowa

Concordia University, Nebraska, is located in Seward, Neb., and currently serves over 2,200 students. Concordia offers more than 50 professional and liberal arts programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world. For more information, visit

Shannon Gambon named to Marquette University's Dean's List for Spring 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Amanda Gottheardt   
Friday, 15 June 2012 09:44

MILWAUKEE, WI (06/14/2012)(readMedia)-- Shannon Gambon of Coal Valley, IL has been named to the Dean's List for the spring 2012 semester at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. Gambon is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology.

Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university that draws its more than 11,500 students from all 50 states and more than 75 different countries. In addition to its nationally recognized academic programs, Marquette is known for its service learning programs and internships as students are challenged to use what they learn to make a difference in the world. Find out more about Marquette at

Local student awarded scholarships from Dordt College PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Sarah Vander Plaats   
Friday, 15 June 2012 08:18

SIOUX CENTER, IA (06/14/2012)(readMedia)-- Scholarships from Dordt College have been awarded to incoming freshmen, including these area students:

Natalie Dailey of East Moline, Illinois, has been awarded Hester Hollaar Literary Studies, Kuyper, and Presidential scholarships.

Scholarship details are available at

Dordt College is a comprehensive Christian college in Sioux Center, Iowa. U.S. News & World Report,, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review all list Dordt on their best colleges lists. Dordt is home to approximately 1,400 students. To learn more about Dordt College, visit

Note: Though a scholarship has been awarded and the student has been granted acceptance, the student might not have made a final decision about whether he or she will choose to attend Dordt College.

Braley Urges House and Senate to Work Together to Stop Doubling of Student Loan Interest Rates PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 15 June 2012 08:06

If Congress fails to act by July 1st, student loan interest rates will jump from 3.4% to 6.8%

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today urged House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to put aside politics and work together to stop the looming increase in federally subsidized student loan interest rates.  Unless Congress acts, student loan interest rates will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1st.

“Iowa college graduates have the third highest student debt load in the nation and unless Congress acts Iowa students will have thousands of dollars more debt piled on at the end of the month,” Braley said.  “In our increasingly global economy, good jobs go to those with a good education.  Our colleges and universities are avenues of economic opportunity, and we need to keep higher education within reach of everyone who wants to attend.

“That’s why I’m urging the House and Senate to put aside partisan point-scoring and get to work to stop the student loan interest rate increase.  This shouldn’t be another issue that devolves into a down-to-the-wire partisan hostage situation.”

In January, Braley introduced a bill that would permanently keep the interest rate for federally subsidized Stafford loans at their current rate of 3.4 percent.  More information on the bill can be found at the following link:

Braley’s letter to Boehner and Reid can be downloaded at the following link; the full text of the letter follows:



June 14, 2012


The Honorable John Boehner                       


U.S. House of Representatives               

H-232, U.S. Capitol                       

Washington, DC 20515                         


The Honorable Harry Reid

Majority Leader

United States Senate

522, Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510


Dear Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Reid:

As you know, the interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans are scheduled to double in just over two weeks, unless congressional action is taken.  I urge you both to stop playing politics and come to an agreement over this issue.

College students across Iowa and the nation are waiting for Congress to solve this problem.   Many of them have no faith in our ability to come to an agreement.  If you cannot come to an agreement then these students will see tens of thousands dollars in extra costs when paying back their loans.  For example, a student taking out the maximum $23,000 in subsidized student loans would see an increase of $5,200 over a 10-year repayment period and $11,300 over a 20-year repayment period.

While college students wait, both sides continue to play political games.  One solution offered would have us pay for this extension by forcing middle class Americans to take a pay cut through increased pension contributions.  Middle class Americans should not have to take a cut in pay because of failed leadership in Congress.

As college tuition continues to drastically rise, students cannot afford thousands of more dollars in bills because Congress failed to act.  After witnessing the debacle that occurred over the payroll tax extension, I would hate to see a similar scenario occur with this issue.  Stop playing political games and pass an extension of the current student loan interest rates.  I stand ready to work in any way possible to make sure we keep student loan interest rates at their current level.


Bruce L. Braley

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