Some of the News Fit to Print
ABOUT HIGHER ED
COMPLEX PROBLEM, COMPLEX SOLUTION
Colorado’s public colleges are taking on the problem of low success rates in remedial education from multiple angles, with encouragement from state government. And the early returns look good. More students are completing remedial courses, according to an annual progress report the state requires its community colleges and public four-year institutions to produce. Colorado’s statewide remedial course completion rate climbed last year to 62 percent from 59 percent the previous year. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
REACH OF TEACHING WILL DEFINE GREAT UNIVERSITIES
“In 10 or 20 years, when we judge the great universities, it will not just be on their research but on the reach of their teaching,” Richard Levin told The Chronicle of Higher Education on Wednesday. That perspective dovetails, of course, with the mission of the company Mr. Levin now leads. Coursera, which teams up with traditional universities to provide free, online versions of their courses, has its own lofty ambitions as a global-change agent: “We envision a future where everyone has access to a world-class education,” reads the company’s mission statement. To the extent that Coursera is helping universities expand the reach of their teaching, Mr. Levin’s redefinition of the responsibility of “great universities” as world-teachers is opportune.
SHOULD STATES BE DOING MORE TO PROTECT COLLEGE STUDENTS?
This week, the National Consumer Law Center, a nonprofit that specializes in consumer law and policy, said the focus should be on shutting down the programs that don't meet minimum standards — not just giving families more information. For one, the group argues that states' oversight should extend equally to accredited and unaccredited schools to ensure that they aren't using "deceptive practices" to encourage students to enroll. Some states have been lenient with accredited programs, but they should also be scrutinized since they qualify for financial aid and have the potential to cause greater financial harm, the group says. The post is from The Washington Post’s Wonk blog.
LOUISIANA DUMPING COMMON CORE
Louisiana will be required to seek a new state assessment and dump the Common Core State Standards in favor of new standards, according to a June 18 announcement from Gov. Bobby Jindal. He also said he is requiring the state board to seek the new state assessment through a competitive-bidding process. But Jindal faces a fight on his hands from state Superintendent John White and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, who say that Jindal has no legal power to unilaterally force the state to pick new standards and new tests. The post is from Education Week’s State EdWatch blog.