Some of the News Fit to Print
ABOUT HIGHER ED
ENJOYING WHITE HOUSE ATTENTION
Advocates of disruptive college business models and carrot-and-stick accountability measures were excited Thursday to hear President Obama back their work in his effort to curb the rising cost of college. The president, in a speech on college costs, praised a new public-private partnership between the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Silicon Valley start-up, name-checked a performance-based college funding formula in Tennessee and praised programs that award degrees to students based on how well they test rather than how much time they spend in a classroom. All of this, Obama said, could help “shake up the current system, create better incentives for colleges to do more with less and deliver better value for students and their families.” The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
OBAMA PLAN DRAWS MIXED REVIEWS
President Obama continues his three-campus "college cost" bus tour on Friday, promoting his plans to make college more affordable through a mix of carrots and sticks. The heart of the proposals is a controversial plan to rate colleges based on measures of access, affordability, and student outcomes, and to allocate aid based on those ratings. Under the plan, students attending higher-rated institutions could obtain larger Pell Grants and more-affordable loans. The Obama administration and its supporters say the ratings would empower consumers with fresh information and would pressure colleges to keep costs down. But skeptics worried about the unintended consequences of the president's plan, predicting that colleges would seek to improve their ratings by turning away at-risk students or by dumbing down their standards. They urged the administration to use caution in choosing the measures it will use to judge colleges. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
THE COMMON CORE AND THE COMMON GOOD
Charles Blow writes in The New York Times: The Obama administration strongly supports the Common Core, and the American Federation of Teachers endorses it. The president of the United Federation of Teachers says that most teachers agree it should be implemented. And, according to CoreStandards.org, “45 states, the District of Columbia, four territories and the Department of Defense Education Activities have adopted the Common Core State Standards.” This seemed like a sure thing. The problem is that, in some states, Common Core testing has been implemented before teachers, or the public for that matter, have been instructed in how to teach students using the new standards. This means that, when students score poorly on the more rigorous Common Core-based tests, it threatens to cause a backlash among parents, who increasingly see testing as the problem, not the solution.
DEAL ORDERS REVIEW OF COMMON CORE
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has ordered a sweeping review of the Common Core State Standards and asked the state board to "formally un-adopt" a part of the program that includes sample English test selections that infuriated some parents. Deal also asked the board to develop a new social studies curriculum that emphasizes, among other aspects, civic and fiscal responsibility. The article is in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.