Some of the News Fit to Print
FIXING THE ‘OPPORTUNITY GAP’ TO CLOSE THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP
What would it really take to close the achievement gap? The answer, according to a cadre of education scholars who have just published a new book, is to fix the "opportunity gap" that exists between children born into middle class and affluent families and those who are not. Thirty years after the release of the seminal A Nation at Risk report ushered in an era of academic standards and standardized tests to measure how students were mastering those, "Closing the Opportunity Gap," argues that until federal and state governments, as well as local school districts, devote as much time and attention to making investments in broad access to quality preschool, health care, good teachers, and rich curricula as they have to driving up test scores and graduation rates, the academic gaps between upper and middle-class kids and their low-income peers will never disappear. The post is from Education Week’s Politics K-12 blog.
ACLU SUES CALIFORNIA OVER LACK OF ENGLISH INSTRUCTION
According to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in California, more than 20,000 students enrolled in schools around the state are not getting the level of English instruction they require. California schools are required by law to offer English instruction to those who don’t speak the language, but according to the district’s own records, more than 20,000 people don’t get the help to which they’re legally entitled. The ACLU alleges that this failure to provide language help is instrumental in keeping kids left back and results in low scores on exams that measure student proficiency. The article is from EducationNews.org.
ABOUT HIGHER ED
ONLY SOMETIMES FOR ONLINE
The wholesale replacement of community college curriculums with online courses might not be the best idea, according to new research from the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. That’s because community college students prefer face-to-face courses over their online equivalents in certain subjects, the study found, particularly courses they consider difficult, interesting or important. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
TECH TRAINING MAY PROVIDE FATTER PAYCHECKS THAN 4-YEAR COLLEGE DEGREE
When it comes to getting a job that pays good wages, students in Texas might get more bang for their buck by attending a technical, two-year program than they would by earning a four-year bachelor's degree, according to a report presented on Thursday to the state's Higher Education Coordinating Board. The report, which echoes findings released last year by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, was prepared by College Measures, a partnership of two research and consulting groups, the American Institutes for Research, and Matrix Knowledge Group. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
AMBITIOUS UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA REQUIREMENTS COULD BACKFIRE
More California districts are requiring teens to take a course load that exceeds the state's minimum requirements -- the same courses required for admission to the University of California -- to graduate from high school. A new report says these ambitious requirements could backfire by making graduation too difficult for some students, and cause them to drop out or fail to earn diplomas after four years. The article is in the San Jose Mercury News.