WASHINGTON (June 27, 2013) — The results from the 2012 long-term trend National Assessment of Educational Progress show that over the last four decades, our nation has made very real progress for all groups of students.
Since the 1970s, reading and math performance for 9 and 13-year-olds has increased significantly. At all ages, gains have been largest among students of color. And they are meaningful: In math, for example, African American and Latino 9-year-olds are performing about where their 13-year-old counterparts were in the early ’70s.
WASHINGTON (June 24, 2013) — The Supreme Court’s decision today in Fisher v. University of Texas reaffirmed the bedrock constitutional principle that universities have a compelling interest in considering racial and ethnic diversity as one factor in developing a carefully crafted admissions policy. Although the Court found that the Fifth Circuit applied the wrong standard, it did not question the compelling nature of diversity as a factor in admissions. Even when you control for income and other advantages, students of color are still admitted to college at lower rates than their white peers. Colleges and universities need tools to address this inequity, and today’s decision ensures those tools remain available.
WASHINGTON (June 19, 2013) —The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is an important step toward putting the lessons learned over the past decade to work for the benefit of students, particularly low-income students, students of color, students with disabilities and English-language learners. We know when they are provided quality instruction, interventions and support by effective teachers and school leaders committed to their achievement, these students can succeed in school. Today's House Education and Workforce Committee markup of legislation proposed by Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) and Subcommittee Chairman Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) is welcome as it moves us forward in updating this landmark legislation for K-12 students. Unfortunately, we believe the legislation falls short of the lessons learned and the need to ensure all students, especially those most in need, are college and career ready.
WASHINGTON (June 18, 2013) — Today’s Department of Education announcement misses the mark on a responsible transition to new college- and career-ready standards and assessments. If students are going to meet these new standards, then we need teachers to teach to the standards and schools to support them. But today’s announcement does little to make that a reality. Rather, the department is sending harmful mixed signals that students should meet the new standards, but it’s still okay for teachers and schools to be evaluated on the old ones.
WASHINGTON (June 11, 2013) — Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is long overdue. Eleven years since the passage of No Child Left Behind, it is clear that the law needs updating — and it is encouraging that members of Congress have taken steps to get the process moving. Today’s Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee markup of legislation proposed by both Senator Harkin (D-Iowa) and Senator Alexander (R-Tenn.) is the first step on the journey toward improving upon our existing law and ensuring the academic and career success of all children.
WASHINGTON (June 5, 2013) — Programs like Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) are designed to provide high school students with challenging academic course work and a head start on a college education. But despite aggressive efforts — by federal and state lawmakers, private philanthropy, and districts and schools — to expand participation, there remain significant differences in the rates at which students from different racial and economic groups gain access.
WASHINGTON (May 14, 2013) — Efforts to close the achievement gap have often focused solely on the lowest performing students, and results from national assessments suggest that American schools have made a lot of progress. But there hasn’t been nearly as much progress in moving low-income students and students of color to the highest level of achievement; gaps there have widened significantly in recent years. Certainly, efforts to bring the bottom students up must continue, but the nationwide effort to close long-standing gaps between groups will never succeed without a focus on students at all points on the achievement spectrum.
WASHINGTON (February 14, 2013) — College tuition is skyrocketing, forcing far too many students to take on frightening debt loads. To make matters worse, our financial-aid system is difficult to navigate and burdensome for those who rely on it most. It doesn’t have to be this way.
“Doing Away With Debt: Using Existing Resources to Ensure College Affordability for Low and Middle-Income Families,” a new Education Trust report, proposes a redesign of the federal financial-aid system to increase college completion, reduce student debt, and close the opportunity and attainment gaps that consign so many talented young Americans to lives on the margins of our society. The organization calls for a shared responsibility among the federal government, state governments, institutions of higher education, and students themselves to help low-income and working-class students complete college with no loans and middle-income students to do the same with no-interest loans and affordable, income-based repayments.
WASHINGTON (February 7, 2013) — Nearly a year ago, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan began granting waivers from key school accountability provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Through this effort, the Department of Education offered states the opportunity to develop their own systems for accountability in exchange for implementing certain reforms.
WASHINGTON (November 29, 2012) — Study after study confirms that a rigorous high school curriculum is the surest predictor of success in college. Even so, New York City is denying thousands of Latino and African-American students access to rigorous high schools. In doing so, it’s not just damaging the futures of these young people, but it’s doing long-term damage to the future of what is arguably the world’s most important city.