Daily News Roundup, February 29, 2012

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

ABOUT HIGHER ED

COLLEGES MISASSIGN MANY TO REMEDIAL CLASSES
Two new studies from the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College have found that community colleges unnecessarily place tens of thousands of entering students in remedial classes — and that their placement decisions would be just as good if they relied on high school grade-point averages instead of standardized placement tests.  The studies address one of the most intractable problems of higher education: the dead end of remedial education. At most community colleges, a majority of entering students who recently graduated from high school are placed in remedial classes, where they pay tuition but earn no college credit. Over all, less than a quarter of those who start in remedial classes go on to earn two-year degrees or transfer to four-year colleges. The article is in The New York Times.

HOUSE BILL AIMS TO LET COLLEGES OFF THE HOOK
The House of Representatives will vote today on H.R. 2117, a bill that would repeal rules that maintain the quality and integrity of educational programs that taxpayers pay roughly $40 billion in student financial aid to each year. Many major higher education associations support this bill. The article is from the Center for American Progress website.

HOUSE PASSES BILL TO REPEAL CREDIT HOUR
The House of Representatives voted 303-114 Tuesday to repeal the Education Department's credit hour and state authorization regulations, with 69 Democrats joining the all of the chamber's Republicans to back the bill. Higher education groups cheered the House's actions, but the next step for the measure is unclear. While the bill might be able to attract enough Democratic support in the Senate to become law, the Obama administration has said it strongly opposes any attempt to repeal the regulations, and the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions has waged a high-profile fight against for-profit colleges. The state authorization and credit hour rules apply to nonprofit, public and for-profit institutions, but Democrats who voted against the measure characterized it as an effort to erode consumer protections. The article is in Inside Higher Ed’s Quick Takes.

ABOUT K-12

K-12 WRINKLE SEEN IN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION CASE
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to review a race-conscious college-admissions program sets the stage for a potentially landmark decision that could further limit or even eliminate permissible ways of promoting racial diversity in both K-12 schools and higher education. The article is in Education Week.

NEGOTIATORS DEADLOCK OVER TEACH ELIGIBILITY
Federal negotiators have pushed back on the U.S. Department of Education's attempts to tie together the Title II accountability system for teacher preparation with eligibility for the TEACH grant program. (The two policies are housed in different federal statutes.) TEACH is a grant program that subsidizes tuition for candidates who agree to teach in high-needs fields in low-income schools for four years.  States must identify "high quality" programs for the purpose of TEACH, and the Education Department has also proposed making that label the top tier of a four-tiered system states would be required to use to classify their own programs under Title II of the Higher Education Act. The post is from Education Week’s Teacher Beat blog.

PERFORMANCE RATINGS FOR CHARTER SCHOOL TEACHERS MADE PUBLIC
Performance ratings for 217 New York City charter school teachers were made public on Tuesday but city officials cautioned that because of missing information, the reports cannot be used to objectively compare the quality of a public school versus charter school education. The controversial ratings cover math and English teachers of grades four to eight at 32 charter schools. The article is in The New York Times.

 

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