Some of the News Fit to Print
Some of the News Fit to Print
RESEARCH ALLIANCES LINK SCHOLARS, EDUCATORS
Long-term partnerships, rather than one-off studies, may become the new norm for researchers looking for access and districts looking for answers. A forthcoming study commissioned by the William T. Grant Foundation, of New York City, finds more districts are developing long-term, structured relationships with researchers. It says the trend is driven by tight local budgets and an increased federal focus on making education research usable. In one model, school districts, particularly in rural areas, may create "improvement communities," providing a larger study sample for researchers while being able to quickly test and share best practices among schools with similar demographics or problems. Those partnerships focus on quick, intensive cycles of research testing and tweaking, which can produce answers to instructional questions in a matter of months rather than years. The article is in Education Week.
WHO GOT STIMULUS DOLLARS?
The 2009 federal economic-stimulus package also launched the bulk of President Obama's education agenda, in the form of new competitive grants like Race to the Top. But a new federal report finds these competitive grants funneled stimulus money to states that had both big budget gaps and top-flight students. The post is from Education Week’s Inside School Research blog.
ABOUT HIGHER ED
ADVANCING TO COMPLETION
WASHINGTON— Nationwide, college graduation rates are far too low, particularly among students of color, a fast-growing demographic in America. But two reports released by The Education Trust show that it doesn’t have to be that way. “Advancing to Completion: Increasing degree attainment by improving graduation rates and closing gaps for African-American students” and “Advancing to Completion: Increasing degree attainment by improving graduation rates and closing gaps for Hispanic students” spotlight colleges of all types that are producing better results by improving graduation rates and/or narrowing the graduation-rate gaps on their campuses.
ONE IN SEVEN YOUNG PEOPLE ARE NOT WORKING OR IN SCHOOL
One in seven people between the ages of 16-24 are not in school or working, a new report finds, and it cost taxpayers $93.7 billion in government support and lost tax revenue in 2011 alone. The report found 5.8 million young people fall into this "disconnected youth" category. The rate of African-Americans out of school and not working is 22.5%, nearly twice the national average. The article is in the Huffington Post.
WHO’S IN CONTROL?
Robert Shireman has long criticized colleges and lawmakers for not doing enough to protect lower-income students. But now that he's back in California, after a stint battling for-profit colleges for the U.S. Department of Education, Shireman has found a new opponent: faculty leaders at the state's community colleges and an approach to shared governance he says created the mess at City College of San Francisco. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
CAN MOOCS HELP SELL TEXTBOOKS?
For the moment, providers of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) encourage professors not to require students to buy texts, in order to keep access as open as possible. So publishers can't count on MOOC's to generate a course-adoption sales. But online courses do have recommended-reading lists, and enrollments in the tens of thousands. If even a small percentage of those online students buy books, the sales could add up to a nice boost for a textbook.The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
THE EDUCATION UPSTARTS
Education policy has long featured two players—the government and teachers unions. But in recent years, a new generation of activists has stepped up to lobby legislators and drive the conversation. The Atlantic provides a rundown of worthy upstarts.
WHY KIDS SHOULD GRADE TEACHERS
A decade ago, an economist at Harvard, Ronald Ferguson, wondered what would happen if teachers were evaluated by the people who see them every day—their students. The idea—as simple as it sounds, and as familiar as it is on college campuses—was revolutionary. And the results seemed to be, too: remarkable consistency from grade to grade, and across racial divides. Even among kindergarten students. A growing number of school systems are administering the surveys—and might be able to overcome teacher resistance in order to link results to salaries and promotions. The article is in The Atlantic.
REPORT SHOWS HIGH SCHOOL EXIT EXAMS IN TRANSITION
States are increasingly aligning their high school tests with career- and college-readiness standards, and many will replace their exams with ones developed for the Common Core State Standards, according to a new report. In addition, end-of-course exams are becoming increasingly popular as some states move away from the comprehensive exit exam. The article is in Education Week’s College Bound blog.
SEGREGATION PROMINENT IN SCHOOLS
The United States is increasingly a multiracial society, with white students accounting for just over half of all students in public schools, down from four-fifths in 1970. Yet whites are still largely concentrated in schools with other whites, leaving the largest minority groups — black and Latino students — isolated in classrooms, according to a new analysis of Department of Education data. The article is in The New York Times.
ABOUT HIGHER ED
SPENDING BILL ADVANCES WITHOUT CHANGES FOR HIGHER ED
WASHINGTON -- Congress drew near Wednesday afternoon to passing a stopgap spending bill that would fund the federal government through March 27, 2013, averting a government shutdown without making any changes to financial aid or research appropriations. The bill removes the threat of a government shutdown in the coming months. The Senate voted to expedite debate on the bill, which has already passed the House, and could pass it as early as today. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
SHOULD COLLEGES LOOK AT OUTSOURCING REMEDIATION?
With a growing number of high school graduates unprepared to take on college-level work, more and more colleges and universities are forced into the position of providing remediation: expensive, credit-free courses meant to get students up to speed. According to a recent study by the ACT, only about one third of high-school seniors were able to meet the college-readiness benchmarks in science, and a majority failed to meet them in mathematics. According to Richard Vedder, who is the director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity and teaches economics at Ohio University, even in subjects like English and literacy, a substantial number of students don’t have the skills that would allow them to earn better than a C grade in a college-level course. The article is in EducationNews.org.