Some of the News Fit to Print
A new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education argues that as students of color and diverse ethnicities become the leading population of public school systems in numerous states, closing achievement gaps can secure the country's future prosperity. Given that two-thirds of our economy is driven by consumer spending, the report makes the case that raising individual education levels will boost purchasing power and by extension, the national economy. Students of color make up more than half of the K–12 population in 12 states and between 40 and 50 percent of students in an additional ten states. Yet the high school graduation rates of students of color trail whites' by an average of 20 percentage points. Disparities continue into higher education where in 2011, 31 percent of whites age 25 and older held at least a bachelor's degree, compared to just 20 percent of blacks and 14 percent of Hispanics. The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show dropouts more than three times as likely to be unemployed, and when employed and at the peak of earning capacity averaging only $9 per hour compared to high school graduates and those with bachelor's degrees, who earn $13 and $25 per hour, respectively. The report notes that if every state had graduated 90 percent of its students for just the Class of 2011, America would have more than 750,000 additional high school graduates -- many of whom would have pursued postsecondary education – who would have earned an additional $9 billion each year. This information is from the PEN NewsBlast.
ABOUT HIGHER ED
KHAN ACADEMY FOUNDER PROPOSES NEW TYPE OF COLLEGE
Salman Khan’s dream college looks very different from the typical four-year institution. The founder of Khan Academy, a popular site that offers free online video lectures about a variety of subjects, lays out his thoughts on the future of education in his book, The One World School House: Education Re-imagined, released last month. Though most of the work describes Mr. Khan’s experiences with Khan Academy and his suggestions for changing elementary- and secondary-school systems, he does devote a few chapters to higher education. The post is from The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus blog.
A $10,000 PLATFORM
With state budgets still constrained, college costs are a growing concern for the electorate, Republicans holding 30 governor’s offices, and many of these lawmakers poised for higher profile in the next four years as they contemplate higher office, it seems likely that the proposals seen in places such as Texas, Florida, and Wisconsin will spread, and could even form the backbone of a Republican agenda for higher education from the states up through the national government. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
STEM WORKER SHORTAGES
CEOs of the companies listed on the Inc. Magazine 500 have one wish this Christmas: They want Santa to bring them more tech workers. It has been nearly 8 years since the National Academy of Engineering published a report – titled Rising Above the Gathering Storm – about the ongoing shortage of STEM graduates, yet not only have American schools not made any strides to catch up with the demand for tech-savvy professionals, but they’ve actually dropped even further behind. The article is in EducationNews.org.