Some of the News Fit to Print
ABOUT HIGHER ED
EVOLUTION OR MISSION CREEP?
Michigan gave its community colleges the legal authority to issue bachelor’s degrees last month, becoming the 21st state to do so. That figure has jumped from 11 states just eight years ago. But the practice remains controversial despite its rapid expansion. The authorizing legislation in Michigan passed only after a bruising multiyear battle. Four-year universities in the state and their advocates are still steaming about the bill, arguing it will lead to duplication of degree programs and harm their collaboration with community colleges. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
BROWN’S PROPOSAL WOULD BRING BIG CHANGES TO CALIFORNIA’S TWO-YEAR COLLEGES
At the same time Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing increased funds for California’s vast community-college system, he is seeking controversial changes in how those 112 campuses operate, the L.A. Times reports.The focus of the plans by Mr. Brown, a Democrat, includes keeping campuses affordable, courses available, and students moving more swiftly to transfer or graduate.Under the proposals, colleges would receive state support based on how many students complete courses, not how many are enrolled; students would be barred from repeating classes merely to improve their grades; fee waivers would be granted only to students with good grades; and students would be required to pay the full cost of courses if they exceed a 90-unit cap on credits.The proposals, which have drawn some criticism from students and college officials, would not take effect unless they were approved by the state Legislature, in which Democrats have a large majority. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
TRANSFORMATION FROM WITHIN
Higher education is facing a disruption, but the biggest driver of change is getting lost in the hype. That's the message of a new report commissioned by the academy’s primary trade group, the American Council on Education. “There is indeed a transformation coming in American higher education,” writes Louis Soares, a special policy adviser to the council’s president, Molly Corbett Broad. “It is not driven by technology or MOOCs, though these tools abet the change. It will be driven by the rise of post-traditional learners.” The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
CRUSH OF EDUCATION LAWS AWAIT RENEWAL IN CONGRESS
The new Congress faces a lengthy list of education policy legislation that is either overdue for renewal or will be soon in a political landscape that remains consumed with fiscal issues. The list of policies includes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and higher education and early child-care grants. Longtime Capitol Hill aides can't remember a time when Congress was this jammed up. The article is in Education Week.
NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE CLIMBS
The national high school graduation rate has improved notably, with 78.2% of students receiving a diploma in 2009-10, up from 75.5% the year before, according to figures from the National Center for Education Statistics. There were 38 states with an increase of one percentage point or more in the most recent analysis. Still, one in five students are not getting a diploma. The post is from Education Week's College Bound blog.