McCormack Speaks

March 30, 2017
by McCormack Speaks
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Economic Pressure on Elders Higher Among Women, Minorities, Oldest Seniors

by Steven Syre, Gerontology Institute

caring for eldersMillions of elder Americans struggle to keep up with the cost of food, clothing and other basics while remaining independent in their own homes. The challenge among older adults to pay for essentials is especially serious for women, racial and ethnic minorities and the oldest seniors.

New national estimates by the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston detail specific economic risks among elders based on gender, race, ethnicity and age. Using the 2016 Elder Economic Security Standard Index, they track the income and calculated expenses of one- and two-person senior households across the country. Read more.

McCormack Graduate School’s Gerontology Institute conducts basic and applied social and economic research and offers services aimed at improving the experience of aging. Its areas of concentration include productive aging, income security, demography, transportation, long-term services and supports, and life-long learning. The institute also provides editorial leadership for the Journal of Aging & Social Policy and Research on Aging.

March 29, 2017
by McCormack Speaks
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How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

by Megan Fontecchio, McCormack Graduate School student

Yorkshire TerrierAs a child, a fun Saturday activity for me and my family would be to go from pet store to pet store in my neighborhood for the sole purpose of playing with the puppies that were for sale. My parents always adopted from shelters; however, these pet stores were right down the street and passing by any window without going in was nearly impossible. As a young child, I never understood why my parents would not let me get the cute, fluffy teacup Yorkshire terrier that matched the stuffed animal I had on my bed. I never thought twice about where these dogs came from, what they have been through, and what they go through on a daily basis in the local pet store. I continued to hear the words “puppy mill” leave my mother’s mouth, but I never fully understood what that meant. Continue Reading →

March 28, 2017
by McCormack Speaks
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Invest in Our Children and Our Economy

by Ann Bookman and Anne Douglass, UMass Boston 

This ViewPoint piece originally appeared in the Boston Business Journal.

child painting a rainbowWhen young children birth to five have access to high-quality early care and education, they are far more likely to complete high school, go to college, and become productive workers and engaged citizens. When working parents have access to quality child care, they can be productive and focused employees. The group that is consistently overlooked in this “win-win” scenario are the child care providers that parents and employers rely on. It is time to elevate the critical role of the early education workforce and their contributions to our children and economy.

The early education system is in crisis because we have failed to recognize the essential role that early educators play. Our research shows that low compensation and a lack of professional development opportunities are to blame. Early educator salaries average $25,000 a year, only a fraction over the federal poverty level for a family of four. Economic hardship forces many of these workers— who are predominantly female — to rely on public support systems to make ends meet.

Speaker Robert DeLeo and the Massachusetts Business Roundtable (MBR) launched a groundbreaking public-private partnership with the recent release of a landmark report, “The Business Imperative for Improving Early Education.” We applaud the speaker and members of the Early Education and Care Business Advisory Group for their leadership. We strongly endorse their vision and bold recommendations for rebuilding a broken workforce development system through increased compensation and professional development opportunities.  Read more.

 

Ann Bookman directs the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. Anne Douglass is executive director of the Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation, also at UMass Boston.

March 28, 2017
by McCormack Speaks
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Du Peng on Elder Care in China

chinese elder maleTo get a sense of China’s elder care challenge, begin with this figure: 230 million.

That’s the number of people in China who are 60 years of age or older today, Professor Du Peng of Renmin University told an audience on the University of Massachusetts Boston campus on March 15. For the first time, those elders are equal in number to the country’s population age 15 and younger. Read more.

McCormack Graduate School’s Gerontology Institute conducts basic and applied social and economic research and offers services aimed at improving the experience of aging. Its areas of concentration include productive aging, income security, demography, transportation, long-term services and supports, and life-long learning. The institute also provides editorial leadership for the Journal of Aging & Social Policy and Research on Aging.

March 27, 2017
by McCormack Speaks
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Time to Ditch Street-Cleaning Tows

by Chadi Salamoun, McCormack Graduate School student

tow truckTurning the corner from March to April means two things for winter-weary New Englanders: they’ve survived another abusive winter (amen) and better weather is right around the corner (AMEN!). Spring carries with it many happy thoughts: the start of baseball season, shorts, barbeques, long walks along the Charles, blooming flowers, friendlier Bostonians, and more.

It also means the start of street-cleaning season and the inevitable dispersion of bright orange or green tickets. For the next eight months, car owners without driveways will check and double-check parking signs, drive endlessly in search of legal parking spots, and lunge from their beds to the ominous roar of a not-so-distant sweeper. Continue Reading →

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