Some of the News Fit to Print
ABOUT HIGHER ED
WE’RE DOING A LOUSY JOB OF GETTING POOR KIDS TO COLLEGE
For low-income students in the United States, the college math is bleak: only one-third of kids from families at or below the poverty line attend college, and even fewer graduate. The Department of Education has committed to improving those numbers, but a new report casts serious doubt on the effectiveness of the government’s efforts. The commentary is in Time Magazine.
NOT STAYING THE COURSE
The average completion rate for massive open online courses is less than 7 percent, according to data compiled by an Open University doctoral student as part of her own MOOC studies. Katy Jordan, whose Ph.D. research focuses on online academic social networks, took time out from her doctorate to gather information on the number of people completing a range of free web-based courses. So far, she has tracked down information on the percentage of students completing 29 MOOCs. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
DEBATE OVER MOOCS REACHES HARVARD
Ambivalence about MOOCs, which has increasingly been voiced on campuses across the country, is also being heard among faculty members at Harvard University. While the level of unease expressed at Harvard, during a conference on Wednesday and in other venues, is not as unified or oppositional as recent statements made at American, Duke, and San Jose State Universities, it is all the more notable for arising among the faculty of an institution that has invested $30-million in a nonprofit organization that produces massive open online courses. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
DIVERSITY AT ISSUE AS STATES WEIGH TEACHER ENTRY
Slowly but surely, a growing number of states are eyeing policies to select academically stronger individuals for their teaching programs as one avenue to improve the quality of new teachers. Underneath the attention such plans are attracting, though, run deep-seated fears about their potential consequences—particularly whether they will result in a K-12 workforce with fewer black and Latino teachers. On nearly all the measures states are considering, from GPAs to licensure-test scores, minority candidates tend to have weaker scores than their white counterparts. The article is in Education Week.
LATINOS MAKE GAINS IN EDUCATION
After lagging behind other Americans in education for generations, Latinos have significantly narrowed the gap, and last year they passed a milestone, with new Hispanic high school graduates more likely than their white counterparts to go directly to college, according to a new study. In an era of rising high school completion and college attendance over all, Latinos have made larger gains than other groups, the Pew Research Center reported Thursday, in a study based on data collected by the Census Bureau. By several measures, young Latinos have achieved parity with blacks in educational attainment. The article is in The New York Times.