Daily News Roundup, May 8, 2013

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

ABOUT HIGHER ED

IN CALIFORNIA, PUSH FOR COLLEGE DIVERSITY STARTS EARLIER
California was one of the first states to abolish affirmative action, after voters approved Proposition 209 in 1996. Across the University of California system, Latinos fell to 12 percent of newly enrolled state residents in the mid-1990s from more than 15 percent, and blacks declined to 3 percent from 4 percent. At the most competitive campuses, at Berkeley and Los Angeles, the decline was much steeper. Eventually, the numbers rebounded. Until last fall, 25 percent of new students were Latino, reflecting the booming Hispanic population, and 4 percent were black. A similar pattern of decline and recovery followed at other state universities that eliminated race as a factor in admissions. The article is in The New York Times.

TOUGH WORDS FOR TRIO
WASHINGTON -- A report from the Brookings Institution released Tuesday makes a harsh judgment about the federal government’s college preparation programs for low-income students: After four decades, the programs have little to show in return for the Education Department’s $1 billion annual investment. The policy brief, which appears in the journal The Future of Children, a joint project of Brookings and Princeton University, calls for a major overhaul of federally funded college preparation programs. Under the authors’ proposal, funding for all federal preparation programs -- including TRIO Programs, such as Upward Bound and Student Support Services, as well as GEAR UP -- would be consolidated, creating $1 billion in federal grants. Colleges, school districts and for-profit and nonprofit agencies could apply for the grants, which would be awarded to applicants using “evidence-based interventions.” The article is in Inside Higher Ed.

LOW-INCOME STUDENTS PAY HIGH NET PRICES
At hundreds of colleges, low-income students pay high prices, even after grant aid. That's one key finding of an analysis of federal data released on Wednesday by the New America Foundation. In the paper, "Undermining Pell: How Colleges Compete for Wealthy Students and Leave the Low-Income Behind," Stephen Burd, a senior policy analyst at the foundation, evaluates how well individual colleges with varying resources serve low-income students. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

THE ‘DARK SIDE’ OF TECH INNOVATION
Companies, colleges, and columnists gush about the utopian possibilities of technology. But digital life has a bleaker side, too. Over the weekend, a cross-disciplinary group of scholars convened here to focus attention on the lesser-noticed consequences of innovation. Surveillance. Racism. Drones. Those were some of the issues discussed at the conference, which was called "The Dark Side of the Digital" and hosted by the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee's Center for 21st Century Studies. (One speaker even flew a small drone as a visual aid; it hit the classroom ceiling and crashed.) The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

ABOUT K-12

ARE TEACHER EVALUATIONS PUBLIC?
Stephen Sawchuk writes in Education Week: In the wake of several states releasing large sets of "value added" data on individual teachers to media outlets last year, I wrote a widely read story for Education Week on whether formal teacher-evaluation records are publicly accessible. We found quite a lot of variation in the scope of states' open-records laws. A lot has changed since 2012, with at least four states altering their laws since the story ran. So we wanted to give you a sense of where things stand now.

EARLY COLLEGE READINESS ASSESSMENTS GROWING
Concern over high school graduates being unprepared for college-level work has educators and policymakers looking for ways to identify learning gaps earlier. A new review by the Community College Research Center finds some form of early-college-readiness assessments are offered in 38 states, and 29 states have structured interventions to help reduce the need for remedial coursework for incoming college freshman. The paper, Reshaping the College Transition by Elisabeth A. Barnett, Maggie P. Fay, Rachel Hare Bork, Madeline Joy Weiss of Columbia University suggests that the number of state and local initiatives employing these tactics is widespread and growing. The post is from Education Week’s College Bound blog.

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