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Weekend Reading: Education Budgets, Organization, and Happiness

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This weekend, I attended Communiversity 2010 in Princeton, New Jersey, an annual arts festival in town and on campus organized by the Arts Council of Princeton. The highlights included several collegiate a cappella performances and a Beatles tribute band. Look for a photograph of the Deaftones of Westminster Choir College, one of the a cappella groups performing on the Princeton University campus, a bit farther down in this article.

Here are some articles from other websites I enjoyed reading recently.

Cuts to Education and Teachers Salaries: Voting Day at Rainy Day Saver. Earlier this week, many residents of New Jersey voted to approve or reject their school district operating budget. Schools in this state are receiving less federal funding, less state funding, and are in danger of receiving less funding through property taxes. The crunch is making everyone a bit on edge. Most public schools are significantly underfunded, and the discussion will usually lead to salaries of administrative positions (such as principal and superintendent) and long-time teachers, often earning over $100,000 a year with better-than-average benefits.

Deaftones of Westminster Choir CollegeI agree that the tenure system makes it difficult to eliminate teachers who no longer have any interest in doing in their jobs, just waiting patiently until they can retire and receive a pension. As a result of seniority rules and budget cutbacks, the teachers who may be eliminated might be younger, enthusiastic, and successful teachers rather than those more experienced but less effective. In addition, educational and extra-curriculuar programs important to the development of capable young adults will be eliminated.

8 Simple Steps of Having an Organized Life at Money Funk. At thirty-four years of age, I’ve accepted one weakness: organization. I make minor improvements to my ability to live an organized life, but after many attempts at major reform, I’ve come to accept who I am. Organization tips makes sense to me, and in theory they should be helpful. There are times when I believe time is better spent working on and cultivating our strengths than frustrating ourselves trying to improve a weakness whose improvement has limited benefits.

Regarless of Your Financial Situation, Don’t Forget to Be Happy, by Evan’s wife at My Journey to Millions. Don’t forget to look beyond money at the bigger picture. If you’re in a difficult financial situation, and you’re aware that you’re in that situation, being happy could be the last thing on your mind. Happiness is simply a choice. There is only so much in the world that you can control. While you can control a significant portion of your life, there are limits. What you can control is your reaction to those things you cannot control, so choose to react by being happy.

Finally, I’m sharing a programming note. Consumerism Commentary is participating in the Yakezie Challenge, a network of bloggers spearheaded by Financial Samurai, working together to bring their websites to the next level. I’m looking forward to working more closely with motivating colleagues. We introduced Sam from Financial Samurai to Consumerism Commentary in an episode of the Podcast.

Published or updated April 25, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Financial Samurai

Welcome to The Yakezie Flexo! It’s a pleasure to have you in our group. Your experience and knowledge will be cherished.

Looking forward to new members stopping by your site, and you getting to know the rest of us!

Best,

Sam

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avatar Steve

“younger, enthusiastic, and successful” = ageism.

I do agree that teachers need some kind of performance evaluation process – something with teeth that will get rid of those not educating their students. But to blanket assume that it is the older, higher paid teachers is almost certainly incorrect.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,505 (Platinum)

I’m not implying that all older teachers are less effective than their counterparts, I’m stating that the current system favors seniority regardless of ability, favoring, for example, an older, less effective teacher over a younger, more capable teacher. The same system would also rightly, though for the wrong reason, favor an older, effective teacher over a younger, uninspired teacher who chose that career path just to have summers off.

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avatar Steve

Fair enough.

I also wonder, in a more general sense, why we have this expectation that the longer someone does something, the more they should make for doing it. Pay should be related to the value you create, not the cumulative hours you’ve spent creating similar things in the past. There is of course a correlation between experience and ability to create value, but it levels off pretty quickly. Of course the expectation is related to the entitlement mentality we have in this country (including me.)

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avatar Craig/FFB

The education system needs help. You want to protect the good teachers but at the same time the system is built in a way that many get to ride free and not live up to expectations.

Welcome to Yakezie!

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avatar Money Funk

You know… it took me 30+ years to realize that it makes more sense to cultivate our strengths rather than improve our weeknesses. Our strengths make us who we are. Play them out and play them well!

Thank you for the link luv. And super cool to hear you are a fellow Yakezie member. Hey Sam, shouldn’t we host some type of fraternity “hell” week to initiate new members? ;)

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,505 (Platinum)

I would just add that it’s our strengths *and* weaknesses that make us who we are. Not to mention a lot of other stuff.

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avatar Money Funk

Okay, true, true. However, I think if we allow ourselves to execute our strengths than it helps to define us and be heard more to the world than our weaknesses. Well, that is if you want to be heard. Or it could, in part, make us happier or make a stronger foundation to being self-employed, to focus on our strengths than weaknesses. And I think I would be more content to focus making my strengths work for me. (So, why I have I waited so long?)

And all the other stuff, too…
Okay, its Monday. I’m rambling.

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avatar Evan

Glad you liked my Wife’s Post! One day I’ll get you to comment over there.

Welcome to the Yakezie Group – Good people!

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