Some of the News Fit to Print
ABOUT HIGHER ED
CALIFORNIA STRUGGLES TO ASSESS TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAMS
In California, there are various routes to becoming a teacher, all requiring attainment of a bachelor’s degree, passing several competency exams, and spending time in a classroom. Yet nearly 10 years after the reforms, there is little more than anecdotal evidence—and no hard data—to show whether programs, and graduating teachers, are better than those who graduated before the reforms. Student test scores, which are increasingly used to assess teacher performance, have shown little improvement. By 2011, the number of California students proficient on the national reading exam had increased only five percentage points, to 25 percent from 20 percent. David Rattray, senior vice president of education and workforce development for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, co-chaired a transition committee in the wake of the reforms, and says that there is still a need for changes throughout the arc of the process, from recruiting students to continuously developing experienced teachers. The article is in The Hechinger Report.
ENROLLMENT DECLINE PICKS UP SPEED
The decline in college enrollments appears to be accelerating, with 2.3 percent fewer students enrolled on campuses this spring than there were in spring 2012, according to data published Thursday by the National Student Clearinghouse. The 2.3 percent dip is steeper than the 1.8 percent decline that the clearinghouse reported in December when it compared fall 2012 numbers to those from fall 2011. These reports represent the clearinghouse's first such twice-yearly analyses of fall and spring enrollments, which the Virginia-based organization says will be annual going forward. The clearinghouse collects data from institutions that represent about 95 percent of all enrollments at colleges that grant degrees and are eligible to award federal financial aid. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
REPORT EXPLORES DIVERSITY GAP
The pool of college graduates who earned degrees in the 2007-8 academic year was considerably less diverse than the overall student body, and that finding presents challenges for colleges because more and more individuals seeking a higher education do not fit the prototype of a traditional student, concludes a broad analysis of student outcomes released on Thursday by the American Council on Education. The report, “With College Degree in Hand: Analysis of Racial Minority Graduates and Their Lives After College,” is the third in a series of ACE reports on diversity and inclusion in higher education. It explores a range of student outcomes broken down by racial and ethnic categories, and also examines recent graduates’ performance in the job market and pursuit of advanced degrees. The report says that graduates were predominantly white students who tended to be young, unmarried, childless, and dependent on their parents while in college. The information is from The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Ticker.
Independent School Administrator Peter Gow writes in Education Week’s Common Perspectives blog:The most effective and successful schools understand deeply that developing outstanding teachers and faculties of lifelong professional learners is every bit as important as their work with students. I see more schools thinking ever more intentionally about the training and support of newer teachers and the ongoing professional learning of veterans. If we are to claim to be schools that have a broader and higher purpose than churning out happy graduates, attending to the skills and professionalism of our teachers must be at the center of our work.
MATH SKILLS AT AGE 7 PREDICT HOW MUCH MONEY YOU WILL MAKE
A recent study found that how much money people make at midlife can be predicted by math ability at age seven, and, for girls only, by early reading ability. Other factors may have helped them on the path to success, but even when those were controlled for, the association between basic math and reading skills and future socioeconomic status remained, and remained significant: one jump in reading level, for example, was associated with an increased midlife salary of about $7,750. The article was in The Atlantic.