Some of the News Fit to Print
ABOUT HIGHER ED
RE-THINKING THE COMPLETION AGENDA
Valencia College President Sanford C. Shugart with help from his colleague Richard Rhodes, who is a Carnegie Board member and president of Austin Community College District, provide us with principles that can move the needle on student completion. Shugart writes: “Given that the national goal of increasing the percentage of working Americans with a degree depends very heavily on enrolling and graduating many more nontraditional students, we might draw special attention to the challenges of the community colleges, where more than half of all college students begin their educations, and where 80 percent of the underrepresented, the poor, and the first-generation students are served. If they are to be enfranchised at all (and we need them to be, since, as was once said, demographics is destiny), we need them to experience pathways to deep learning, progression, graduation, and further education. Everyone, from the White House to the major foundations, to the associations and the policy mavens around Dupont Circle, is talking about this. So here is the challenge we face as an industry: We are being asked to achieve much better results with fewer resources to engage a needier student population in an atmosphere of serious skepticism where all journalism is yellow and our larger society no longer exempts our institutions (nor us) from the deep distrust that has grown toward all institutions.”
With input from Rhodes, Shugart offers some themes to consider and concrete suggestions for improvement. The commentary is in Inside Higher Ed.
WHY HIGHER EDUCATION MUST BE PART OF IMMIGRATION REFORM
CEO of Teach for All Wendy Kopp writes in Time magazine: Last week, President Obama and a bipartisan group of senators outlined a plan for comprehensive immigration reform. Like the DREAM Act that has stalled for years in Congress, the proposal’s outline hints at an expedited pathway to citizenship for young people who came to the U.S. as children if they attend college or serve in the military. As the details are worked out in the coming weeks, it is critical that legislation include provisions that make it easier for undocumented high schoolers to go to college. Education is the gateway to the American Dream. But today our immigration laws make higher education — a virtual requirement for financial security — out of reach for more than one million undocumented students.
LUMINA CEO ANSWERS QUESTIONS ON COLLEGE COMPLETION
The Lumina Foundation is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college. CEO Jamie Merisotis takes that message around the country. Last week, he spoke to the Economic Club of Florida. The Foundation’s goal is for 60 percent of Americans to earn a high-quality post secondary credential or degree by 2025. Merisotis took questions from the audience about how to reach that goal. The interview was on several NPR stations.
WAIVERS AND ESEA RENEWAL GET HARD LOOK FROM SENATORS
The Obama administration has issued more than 30 waivers to help states get relief from parts of No Child Left Behind. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held a hearing on the waivers yesterday. Committee members debated whether Congress should move forward on the long-overdue reauthorization of the law, or step back and allow waivers to take hold in states, and then learn from them. So what's happens next? In an interview after the hearing, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, head of the Committee said it was too early to say. He's not sure just yet if he wants to have more hearings, or get going on a bill. And he said that while elements of the committee's 2011 ESEA renewal bill are likely to inform the new version, the panel also will likely take into account concerns it heard about that bill. (He didn't say this, but many in the disability community, which is close with Harkin, didn't like that legislation one bit.) "It's a new Congress," he said. "I think we need to make a fresh start on it," possibly incorporating some of the ideas states have put into the waivers. The post is from Education Week’s Politics K-12 blog.
OREGON BILL WOULD REQUIRE COLLEGE CREDIT IN HIGH SCHOOL
A proposed Oregon bill, would require college credit for six of the 24 high-school classes necessary to earn a diploma, starting with the class of 2020. The move would increase the number of students going to college, make their degrees more affordable, and encourage students not considering college to continue in higher education, said the sponsor. The article is in Diverse Issues in Higher Education.
EDUCATION TECH NON-PROFIT LAUNCHES WITH CARNEGIE CORP, GATES SUPPORT
With some major names behind it as funders and advisors, the new non-profit inBloom aims “to make personalized learning a reality for every U.S. student by improving the effectiveness, variety and affordability of education technology.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York have provided startup funding. The announcement was in the Non-Profit Quarterly.