Some of the News Fit to Print
5 Ways Students Changed In The Last 40 Years
Every couple of years, the National Assessment of Educational Progress releases a short-term snapshot of how students fare in science, civics or other subjects. But it doesn't quite answer the big question: How are students really doing? That's the job of a report released Thursday, "The Nation's Report Card: Trends in Academic Progress 2012." It's an assessment released every four years that tracks U.S. students' performance in reading and math since the 1970s. The 2012 assessment included more than 50,000 students from public and private schools. It tracks them at ages 9, 13 and 17, regardless of grade level, and compares their performance using tests that take about an hour and features mostly multiple-choice questions. Here are five things to know about academic progress since the 1970s, according to the 2012 report. The article is in CNN’s Schools of Thought blog.
ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA LEAVES HIS MARK ON L.A. SCHOOLS
In the middle of Watts, at one of the worst-performing high schools in Los Angeles Unified, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was in his element. As he sat with Jordan High students late last year, he shared snippets of his life story, as he's done during scores of school visits during his eight years as mayor. He was raised without a father, was kicked out of one school and dropped out of another before graduating from Roosevelt High with a 1.4 GPA — because his mother and a teacher believed in him, he told students. "Do you believe in you?" he asked them. "I believe in you. I believe you can reach for the stars." No other issue has stoked the mayor's personal passion as much as public education. Despite lacking any formal authority over the nation's second-largest school system, Villaraigosa has left a major imprint. The article is in the Los Angeles Times.
ABOUT HIGHER ED
STUDENT LOAN RATES SET TO DOUBLE ON JULY 1
The interest rate on government-backed student loans is going to double on Monday. Policymakers in Washington could not agree on a plan to keep it from happening. If they don't agree on a plan soon, 7 million students expected to take out new Stafford loans could be stuck with a much bigger bill. The story is from NPR’s Morning Edition.
WHAT IS COLLEGE FOR?
If a college’s true product is a transformed student, then the main effect of the next decade should be to redouble every school’s commitment to that cause. The explicit goal of residential liberal arts colleges will again be to increase what a student knows and change who she is. If this is true, then the conversations left to be had are about the transformative mission of the school. What exactly is it? Deciding on a clear and important set of goals will not be easy, but colleges cannot afford to kick that can down the road. We each need to figure out what our college is for. This commentary is from Inside Higher Ed.