Tuesday, August 13, 2013

two sides to every story

It must be shocking to most people to read this in FP's Situation Report:
There are 148 senior civilians at DOD who never finished high school. The vast majority of GS-12 to GS-15 workers across the Defense Department are well-schooled. A handful aren't. According to the Pentagon, there are 148 DOD civilians who do not possess a high school degree or its equivalent. That's despite the fact that GS-12 workers can make, if they live in the greater Washington area, between $75,000 and $97,000 per year; GS-15 workers make between $124,000 and $156,000 annually in the same locale.  It's not clear where the individuals who didn't finish high school reside across DOD, and it may not be in the D.C. area. But at a time when the Pentagon is furloughing civilian workers and examining compensation issues among the uniformed military, even the small number of civilian workers making such high salaries without completing high school is striking. According to DOD data provided to Situation Report, there are 105 GS-12 employees with no completed high school degree; there are 36 GS-13 workers with no high school degree; Among GS-14 workers, there is five. And among GS-15s, there are two individuals in the DOD work force who never finished high school. "There is not a general policy on education requirements for General Schedule (GS) positions ranging from 12 to 15," according to a Pentagon spokesperson, who pointed out that many GS positions - such as engineers and psychologists - have "positive education requirements."
On the other hand , listen to this story about a friend who served as U.S. ambassador to several countries but also never finished high school.

He was evacuated from Egypt, where his father worked for the U.S. aid program, at the start of the Suez war, so he didn't complete his senior year in high school there.

No problem,  because he had been admitted to college. Four years later, however, the bursar's office called just before graduation, noting they had no record of his high school diploma  and could not give him his BA unless and until he had one.

He didn't want to take the time or trouble to do a GED because he had already been admitted to graduate school. So he was not given his college diploma.

Several years later, ready to accept his PhD,  university officials said they couldn't award that degree unless they had proof he had a BA.

He gave his explanations, but the administrators were unyielding. Never mind, he said, I've been accepted into the Foreign Service.

What's the moral to this story?

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