Some of the News Fit to Print
THE YEAR IN EDUCATION: A LOOK BACK
In 2012, new teacher-evaluation systems and merit pay spread across the country. Technology continued to transform classrooms, and presidential candidates made education an unexpected focus on the campaign trail. Yet widespread problems in America’s education system persisted, and the nation remained behind much of the international competition. The Hechinger Report traveled from coast to coast to examine new approaches to improving U.S. schools and to answer important questions about what’s working and what isn’t. On the eve of 2013, they selected 13—a baker’s dozen—of the top stories from the past year to highlight what they found in 2012. These stories provide insight into some of the most staggering problems facing U.S. public education today, and look at promising strategies for solving them.
ABOUT HIGHER ED
COLLEGE EDUCATION EXPECTED TO REMAIN A HIGH PRIORITY FOR STATES
While state tax coffers are projected to be in the black in most states, public colleges shouldn't expect that appropriations will be on the rise anytime soon. Even in places where fiscal conditions are improving most quickly, legislators are looking for ways to squeeze the most efficiency out of the tax dollars they appropriate to higher education and, at the same time, keep college affordable. That could lead to more lower-cost degrees delivered by public colleges online or effort. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
HARVARD LAW TO OFFER NOT QUITE A MOOC
Harvard Law School is preparing to offer a free course through edX -- the platform Harvard University uses for MOOCs (massive open online courses). But as The National Law Journal reported, the law course (on copyright) won't be totally open or massive. Enrollment will be limited to 500. The course description explains the rationale behind the limit: "Enrollment for the course is limited, in keeping with the belief that high-quality legal education depends, at least in part, upon supervised small-group discussions of difficult issues. Fidelity to that principle requires confining the course to the number of participants that can be supervised effectively by the 21 teaching fellows. The limit on the enrollment does not mean, however, that there will not be access to the course materials. On the contrary, all of the readings and recorded lectures used in the course will be made available to the public." The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
DEFERRING HIGH SALARY TO TEACH
Four years after the financial crisis, Wall Street hiring has remained weak, and many college graduates have searched for jobs and even careers in other fields. In the last several years, hundreds of such would-be finance professionals and management consultants have taken their high-powered ambitions and spreadsheet modeling skills to the classroom. Teach for America, the 22-year-old nonprofit organization that recruits high-achieving college graduates to teach in some of the nation’s poorest schools for two years, in particular has garnered renewed interest among the business-oriented set. Teach for America says that its 2012 class contained about 400 recent graduates with a major in business or economics. Of those with professional experience, about 175 worked in finance. The article is in The New York Times.
BIRTH TO COLLEGE EDUCATION MODEL
What if teachers, administrators and family support staff could collaborate on delivering a seamless education to prepare at-risk kids for college starting with preschool and following through to high school? Might that help these children achieve success in school and life? Those are the big questions that the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute and the Ounce of Prevention Fund are exploring through a series of case studies they are conducting on building a birth-to-college model of public education. Since 2009, the two organizations have primarily been carrying out that work at the Ounce of Prevention's Educare School in Chicago. Part of the Educare Learning Network, the school is one of 17 funded by public and private partnerships and serving low-income, at-risk infants, toddlers and preschoolers up until kindergarten. The post is from Education’ Week’s Early Years blog.