Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Internships can be great, but be careful

The letter that arrived at a Charlotte-Mecklenburg high school asking to recruit students for summer internships carried the Observer's logo and offered work in sales, customer service and business management.  But the counselor who got it couldn't find any information about the company claiming to be the Observer's partner,  so she asked me to check whether it was legit.

Nope.  The company was in talks with the Observer,  but nothing had been settled.  The folks in our business offices weren't amused,  and the counselor didn't let the company in to recruit.

"It is amazing how many people want to come in and recruit students for things that may not benefit them,"  said the counselor,  who asked that I not name her because she doesn't want to get caught in any controversy over what she jokingly dubs her work as the troll at the gate.

Good internships provide valuable education
It was a reminder that every good thing comes with a flip side.  Helping students get real-life work experience is a big trend in CMS and other public schools.  I'm all for that.  My parents sent me to a prestigious private journalism school,  and by far the best education I got was from a 10-week internship at the newspaper that eventually hired me. In the ensuing decades I've worked with lots of high school and college interns, and it's usually a great experience for them and the newsroom.

In the fast-changing tech world,  I suspect,  hands-on work can be even more valuable.

But it's good to know that counselors,  who already have their hands more than full,  are keeping an eye on the folks who want to pitch to teens.  The counselor in question said she runs a Better Business Bureau check on companies that want to enter her school;  she recently found 20 complaints about a would-be recruiter.

As they used to tell us in J-school back in the day:  If your mother says she loves you,  check it out.

And here's Tuesday's round-up of education legislation.  Things are about to get very interesting with the Senate budget looming.

Senate Bill 860,  introduced by Mecklenburg Republican Jeff Tarte,  would revise the formula for school letter grades to make growth a bigger factor.  It would also extend the testing window and revise some aspects of educator contracts.

SB 852 would extend eligibility for the National Board supplement to instructional coaches in Title I schools.

House Bill 1243 would set up a fund to provide college loans that could be repaid by teaching in the science,  technology, engineering and math fields in N.C. public schools.


Wiley Coyote said...

As they used to tell us in J-school back in the day: If your mother says she loves you, check it out.


If someone says "it's for the children", vote no!

Shamash said...

The internship wasn't in newspaper delivery, was it?

Why not give out the name of the company so people know which scam "jobs" to avoid.

I doubt that they are ONLY targeting HS kids.

There are a lot of slimeballs out there doing these kinds of summer jobs where they round up a bunch of unsuspecting kids and ship them off somewhere to "market" all kinds of garbage to local communities.

Shamash said...

I see Wiley's alarm is working.

Hint: The B is Back...

(I'm not an Elton John fan, but I KNOW which tune she meant...)

Anonymous said...

have you done any research as to how many 3rd grade students in CMS will be attending summer school due to "Read to Achieve". Some officials are saying our State could have one of the largest summer school programs in the entire country, in some districts nearly half of all 3rd grade students will be attending summer school. This is the reason why the standards were lowered.

Anonymous said...

Does any one know what double tree is hosting the Houston group trying to hire teachers? Does anyone know the time?

Anonymous said...

Texas does not have a state tax.. Something to think about teachers.

Anonymous said...

9:52, this story has details. It's in Raleigh:

Wiley Coyote said...

While Houston is offering starting salaries of almost $47,000, CMS is offering "mint candies".

CMS recruiters have already visited Pennsylvania, New Mexico, New York, Illinois, Michigan and Virginia, as well as events in the Carolinas, according to a recent report to the school board. And the district has created an "I Am CMS" marketing campaign that includes fliers, postcards and such attention-getters as "I am 'mint' to work for CMS" candies. (Ann Doss Helms January 2014)

Recruiting is common in all idustries. Nothing new.

Anonymous said...

would hate to be paid commission on trying to sell NC public education in other states. This is a tough sell for sure:)

Shamash said...

Anon 9:52am...

Houston, eh? Been there, done that.

Uh, the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

And y'all might want to read up a little on the schools and neighborhoods.

My old neighborhood was known as El Salvador Del Norte by the locals a few years back...

Shamash said...


"While Houston is offering starting salaries of almost $47,000..."

How much of that is "combat pay"?

You're talking about a school district that's 8% "white" and 80% FRL.

Your "dream" scenario for CMS.

Any teacher moving to Houston will get a REAL education in their schools.

Shamash said...

Let's check in on the "liberal" side of the issue:

You know SHE wouldn't allow anything that hasn't been politically corrected...

Something about winning a Broad Prize for Urban Education seems to have brought out the best in 'em...

Anonymous said...

47,000 for starting pay!! Moving bonus.. Charlotte has bad areas two. I am sure they have suburbs. Teachers can afford house there.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What's NC starring pay?

Wiley Coyote said...


Back up a sec...

My "dream scenario" for CMS is NOT 8% White, so you can retract that statement.

We both know that's where it's headed if something doesn't drastically change.

Anonymous said...

3:26, state minimum starting pay is $30,800; in CMS it's $35,418. Find the pay scales here:

Anonymous said...

That's pretty bad.. Teachers would be fools not to shop around.

Shamash said...


I didn't say it was a GOOD dream.

More like a nightmare.

Having lived in Houston, I don't think I'd want my kids going to HISD schools at all.

Of course, I chose to leave Houston BEFORE even trying.

But the suburbs aren't bad.

Last time I checked, Katy ISD was pretty good.

Here's a REALLY GOOD demographic analysis of the general area by Katy ISD.

Shamash said...

Anon 2:48pm.

(Posted at the risk of "hijacking" the comments a bit further...)

Yes, the housing in the suburbs of Houston is fine (about 25-30 miles from the city center).

HISD, though, DOES NOT include the "nicer" parts of town for the most part.

In fact, you can pretty much use the HISD borders as a fair indicator of where you WOULD NOT want to raise a typical family in Houston on less than a multi-millionaire's "gated/guarded community" budget.

Make sure you KNOW where you're going...

(On a personal note, I sold my favorite S&W .38 Special shortly after leaving Houston...just didn't feel the need anymore.)

Anonymous said...

Student "white flight" and

Teacher "bright flight"

Will the last qualified person in CMeS turn out the lights.

Anonymous said...

My first thought when I received CMS' pill box of little white mints was that they might represent the valium I would need in order to work in some of the system's schools.

Anonymous said...

11 % just pays for the ABC Bonus money promised but not paid over 6 years ago.

Benefits anyone ? BENEFITS