Some of the News Fit to Print
IN DEBATE, OBAMA, ROMNEY LINK EDUCATION TO THE ECONOMY
During their second duel of this campaign, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Tuesday night framed the issue of education as an economic one. The first question at the town-hall style debate at Hofstra University, in Hempstead N.Y., came from a college student who asked what the candidates were going to do to make sure a good-paying job awaited him upon graduation. The post is from Education Week’s Politics K-12 blog.
FLORIDA’S RACE-BASED ACADEMIC GOALS BRING CONTROVERSY
In a vote last week, the Florida Board of Education approved a new set of student achievement goals that differ based on students’ race and other characteristics, CBS Tampa reports. The plan, which sets achievement targets to be met by 2018 based on each students’ race or ethnic background, has already encountered opposition from educators and activists across the state. The article is at EducationNews.org.
ABOUT HIGHER ED
MAJORING IN OUTCOMES
Prospective students who are considering colleges in Virginia can now use a Web tool to see how much money newly minted graduates of individual academic programs earn, with data that is broken out by college and major. For example, a bachelor's degree-holder from George Mason University who majored in computer engineering can expect to earn $59,000 in his or her first year after graduation, according to the College Measures website, which is 56 percent more than the state average in that discipline. On the other side of the earnings scale, the average George Mason graduate who studied biology earns $32,000, still 15 percent more than peers from other Virginia colleges. The web tool and an accompanying report were released this week as part of a joint venture between the state’s higher-education coordinating body and College Measures, a nonprofit group that the American Institutes for Research (AIR) supports. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
GRADES OUT, BADGES IN
Grades are broken. Students grub for them, pick classes where good ones come easily, and otherwise hustle to win the highest scores for the least learning. As a result, college grades are inflated to the point of meaninglessness—especially to employers who want to know which diploma-holder is best qualified for their jobs. That's a viewpoint driving experiments in education badges. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
UT SYSTEM TOUTS PLANS FOR FREE ONLINE COURSES
University of Texas System regents approved a $10 million investment in massive open online courses, or MOOCs, becoming the first public university system to join edX, the partnership started by Harvard and MIT. The goal is for institutions to launch four courses through edX by the fall of 2013. The courses will be free. Learners will not earn college credit, though the system eventually intends to offer course credit. The article is in the Houston Chronicle.