Daily News Roundup, September 21, 2012

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

ABOUT K-12

RESEARCH ALLIANCES LINK SCHOLARS, EDUCATORS
Long-term partnerships, rather than one-off studies, may become the new norm for researchers looking for access and districts looking for answers. A forthcoming study commissioned by the William T. Grant Foundation, of New York City, finds more districts are developing long-term, structured relationships with researchers. It says the trend is driven by tight local budgets and an increased federal focus on making education research usable. In one model, school districts, particularly in rural areas, may create "improvement communities," providing a larger study sample for researchers while being able to quickly test and share best practices among schools with similar demographics or problems. Those partnerships focus on quick, intensive cycles of research testing and tweaking, which can produce answers to instructional questions in a matter of months rather than years. The article is in Education Week.

WHO GOT STIMULUS DOLLARS?
The 2009 federal economic-stimulus package also launched the bulk of President Obama's education agenda, in the form of new competitive grants like Race to the Top. But a new federal report finds these competitive grants funneled stimulus money to states that had both big budget gaps and top-flight students. The post is from Education Week’s Inside School Research blog.

ABOUT HIGHER ED

ADVANCING TO COMPLETION
WASHINGTON— Nationwide, college graduation rates are far too low, particularly among students of color, a fast-growing demographic in America. But two reports released by The Education Trust show that it doesn’t have to be that way. “Advancing to Completion: Increasing degree attainment by improving graduation rates and closing gaps for African-American students” and “Advancing to Completion: Increasing degree attainment by improving graduation rates and closing gaps for Hispanic students” spotlight colleges of all types that are producing better results by improving graduation rates and/or narrowing the graduation-rate gaps on their campuses.

ONE IN SEVEN YOUNG PEOPLE ARE NOT WORKING OR IN SCHOOL
One in seven people between the ages of 16-24 are not in school or working, a new report finds, and it cost taxpayers $93.7 billion in government support and lost tax revenue in 2011 alone. The report found 5.8 million young people fall into this "disconnected youth" category. The rate of African-Americans out of school and not working is 22.5%, nearly twice the national average.  The article is in the Huffington Post.

WHO’S IN CONTROL?
Robert Shireman has long criticized colleges and lawmakers for not doing enough to protect lower-income students. But now that he's back in California, after a stint battling for-profit colleges for the U.S. Department of Education, Shireman has found a new opponent: faculty leaders at the state's community colleges and an approach to shared governance he says created the mess at City College of San Francisco. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.

CAN MOOCS HELP SELL TEXTBOOKS?
For the moment, providers of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) encourage professors not to require students to buy texts, in order to keep access as open as possible. So publishers can't count on MOOC's to generate a course-adoption sales. But online courses do have recommended-reading lists, and enrollments in the tens of thousands. If even a small percentage of those online students buy books, the sales could add up to a nice boost for a textbook.The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
 

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