Daily News Roundup, April 16, 2014

Perspectives: News You Can Use
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Some of the News Fit to Print

COLLEGES SEEK TO IMPROVE REMEDIAL PROGRAMS
Only about a quarter of students nationally who take developmental -- or remedial -- classes ever graduate. Several schools around the country are looking to improve the odds for these students. The AP article is from the Maryland Daily Record.

COLLEGE BOARD PROVIDES GLIMPSE OF THE NEW SAT
Anxious students — not to mention their parents — can get a heads-up for how the redesigned SAT might look in two years. Sample questions for the new version of the college-entrance test were released on Wednesday by the College Board, which announced last month that the new test will include real-world applications and require more analysis. Students will also be asked to cite evidence to show their understanding of texts. The AP article was posted on the NPR website.

TENNESSEE PLAN FOR FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGES APPROVED
The Tennessee House of Representatives on Tuesday, following a similar vote in the Senate, approved a plan by Governor Bill Haslam to offer free community college tuition to all graduates of high schools in the state, The Tennessean reported. The plan will take effect in fall 2015. Governor Haslam, a Republican, has pushed the plan as a key way for the state to encourage a larger share of the population to seek college credentials. The idea of free community college tuition has also been discussed in other states, but the Tennessee plan -- with the strong advocacy of a governor -- has attracted attention nationally and is now being adopted. The information is from Inside Higher Ed’s Quick Takes.

NEW STATE-LEVEL COLLEGE COMPLETION NUMBERS RELEASED
For a snapshot of how Latino students are doing when it comes to finishing college, Excelencia in Education on Tuesday released 53 fact sheets and an online interactive tool showing degree completion in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Officials with Excelencia, an organization that advocates for education attaintment for Latinos, hope that the information will provide policymakers with examples of model programs to improve Latino college completion. "America's success is intertwined with the educational success of Latinos, and that takes leadership not only in Washington, but in statehouses and communities all across the country," said U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, D-Tex., chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training in a press release. The post is from Education Week’s College Bound blog.

DO MOOCS WORK BEST FOR EDUCATED PEOPLE?
After just a few years, an explosion of interest, a lot of criticism and some iteration, the MOOC craze has recently come under close scrutiny. A recent University of Pennsylvania study of the 16 courses that the university offered through Coursera indicates that classes with thousands of students may not close the college gap as quickly as some champions had hoped. average, the University of Pennsylvania completion rate for its MOOCS was just four percent, although completion rates went up when the expectations for the class were lower. “One thing that did seem to make a difference was the number of expectations on the users,” said Laura Perna, co-author of the study on KQED’s Forum program. “Those who had fewer homework assignments, for example, had higher persistence rates.”

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