Daily News Roundup, March 20, 2013

Perspectives: News You Can Use
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Some of the News Fit to Print

ABOUT HIGHER ED

MINORITY GROUPS REMAIN OUTNUMBERED IN TEACHING PROGRAMS, STUDY FINDS
Despite major changes in the racial makeup of American public school students, the people training to be teachers are still predominantly white. According to a study being released today by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, which represents colleges and universities with teacher certification programs, 82 percent of candidates who received bachelor’s degrees in education in 2009-10 and 2010-11 were white. By contrast, census figures show that close to half of all children under 5 in 2008 were members of a racial or ethnic minority. The article is in The New York Times.

THINK TANK’S REPORT DOCUMENTS IMPACT OF STATE HIGHER ED CUTS
A Washington think tank that focuses on the impact of government policy decisions on low-income students issued a report Tuesday aimed at documenting the extent of state budget cuts for higher education and arguing that they are hurting students and state economies. The report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities largely mirrored the findings of recent studies by the State Higher Education Executive Officers and others. The information is from Inside Higher Ed’s Quick Takes.

SUNY SIGNALS PUSH TOWARD MOOCS
The State University of New York’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday endorsed an ambitious vision for how SUNY might use prior-learning assessment, competency-based programs, and massive open online courses to help students finish their degrees in less time, for less money. The plan calls for “new and expanded online programs” that “include options for time-shortened degree completion.” In particular, the board proposed a huge expansion the prior-learning assessment programs offered by SUNY’s Empire State College. The system will also push its top faculty members to build MOOCs designed so that certain students who do well in the courses might be eligible for SUNY credit.  The post is from The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus blog.

ABOUT K-12

REMOVING OBSTACLES TO STEM EDUCATION IS CRITICAL TO U.S. VITALITY
San Jose State President Mohammad H. Qayoumi writes in the Huffington Post: Embracing technology is critically important, as 21st-century jobs will increasingly require an educated and highly skilled workforce. Over the next 10 years, 5 out of 8 new jobs and 8 out of 10 of the highest paying positions in the United States will be in careers related to science, technology, education, and math (STEM) subjects. But in a decade the United States could face a shortage of one million STEM graduates. The nation's economic vitality hangs in the balance.

THE COMMON CORE MEETS STATE POLICY: THIS CHANGES ALMOST EVERYTHING
Stanford Professor Emeritus Michael Kirst writes in a policy brief from PACE (Policy Analysis for California Education): The Common Core State Standards are designed to transform current instruction by focusing teacher attention on fewer, higher, and deeper standards (NGA/CCSSO, 2010). Current state assessment and accountability systems in California, however, are not aligned with the Common Core’s specific instructional approach.

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