Some of the News Fit to Print
ABOUT HIGHER ED
INNOVATIONS TO IMPROVE STUDENT SUCCESS
Starting students early in structured program pathways and tackling barriers that often derail their college ambitions are part of a statewide strategy to improve student success among North Carolina community colleges. The system has crafted 15 strategies to increase college completion called SuccessNC. Although it's too early to assess how the reforms are doing, the colleges have seen promising initial results. The article is in Community College Times.
DIFFERENT STRATEGIES IN ONLINE EDUCATION
While public and private institutions have chosen different strategies on online education, academic officials in both camps face the same challenges with getting faculty members on board with the efforts, according to new research conducted by the Learning House, Inc., of members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Council of Independent Colleges. The information is from Inside Higher Ed’s Quick Takes.
CHALLENGES OBAMA’S COLLEGE RATING PLAN WILL LIKELY FACE
President Obama's college-rating system isn't public yet, but it's already generating plenty of controversy. Critics worry that the plan, which would judge colleges and universities based on measures of access, affordability, and student outcomes, will punish institutions that serve low-income students and those that prepare graduates for high-need but low-paying professions. The critics also cite gaps in existing data and warn of a host of unintended consequences, including the dumbing down of standards and the tightening of admissions criteria. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
STUDY: MOST FIRST-GENERATION STUDENTS NOT PREPARED FOR COLLEGE
While surveys show that most of those who would be first-generation college students want to attend college, a majority are not prepared to succeed in key courses, according to a report released Monday by ACT and the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE). The study found that 52 percent of first-generation 2013 high school graduates who took the ACT met none of the four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks. That compares to 31 percent of all ACT-tested graduates who met none of the benchmarks. Only 9 percent of the first generation students met all four benchmarks, while 26 percent of graduates overall did so. The benchmarks specify the minimum scores students must earn on each of ACT’s four subject tests (English, math, reading, and science) to have a 75 percent chance of earning a grade of C or higher in a typical credit-bearing first-year college course in the corresponding subject area. The information is from Inside Higher Ed’s Quick Takes.
NOT MANY TEACHERS CAN BE EVALUATED USING STATE TEST SCORES
School districts across Washington state are starting to evaluate teachers and principals in new, more rigorous ways. Not surprisingly, that’s not easy. Rather than simply rating teachers and principals as satisfactory or unsatisfactory, districts are using a four-level scale and, for the first time, must include student academic growth as a significant part of those evaluations. Just how to do that well? A panel last week at the University of Washington made it clear that question is far from settled. The article is in the Seattle Times.
DISTRICT OFFICIALS EYE BLENDED LEARNING, WITH CAUTIONARY LESSONS IN MIND
Orlando, Fla. Backers of blended and online learning arrived here to exchange ideas and learn about practices they can take back to their districts and offices—even as major problems playing out in school districts that have launched outsized technology projects offered reminders of potential consequences when the most ambitious plans go awry. The article is from Education Week.