Some Education On Education


Can you say streamline?

When it comes to the 2005 budget proposal, education and training programs fared not all that great. For a diatribe on just what's cut The Institute for America's Future has a few very opinionated opinions.

But all's not lost on the technology training and education front, to hear Martin Bean, a top certification and training expert, tell it. Bean, who is COO of New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, chatted with me on Monday about the changes and said the good news is that states apparently will have more autonomy to disperse funds. However, that autonomy comes with higher accountability.

The new budget consolidates the four different grant streams that were part of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) into the WIA Plus Consolidated Grant program, which has a budget of approximately $4 billion, according to Bean's team. (These were originally split into separate funding streams, specifically WIA Adult, WIA Dislocated Worker, WIA Youth and Employment Services.) States now can also choose to tap programs that were part of the Departments of Labor, Agriculture and Education, worth a potential pot of another $3.6 billion. The good news for states is that they can cut down on administrative overhead. But be forewarned: 10 years from now, each state will need to place 100 percent of the workers they train with grant resources.

Sounds like an argument for private-sector involvement to me. By the way, Bean says two sure-fire areas of curriculum investment this year are project management and risk management. "Project management continues to be a very strong area both in the training and certification space," Bean said.

By the way, here's the take on the budget from CompTIA's public policy group.

And, here's a related thought to ponder in case you're wondering just where else to apply training resources: Got a release from an outfit called NoteFix, which bills itself as a leader in laptop repair that can be found here. The company reports that the "most commonly repaired notebook" brands are from Toshiba, Sony and Hewlett-Packard. The good news is that title holder of this dubious honor, Toshiba, is also the easiest one to fix because of its internal configuration, according to NoteFix. IBM ThinkPads were the least commonly repaired notebooks out of the seven brands that the company handles regularly.

Hmmm, makes me wonder where my Apple iBook stands?

Any thoughts on education or Apple? (The use of both those words in the same sentence is purely coincidental.)