Education Trust News

Introducing: Pay as You Earn

At a time when college costs are soaring at about four-and-a-half times the rate of inflation, and amid a precarious post-graduate labor market, paying back education loans is a challenge for many college graduates. Fulfilling your academic dreams, only to find yourself tens of thousands of dollars in debt is a Pyrrhic victory. The financial burden constrains graduates’ employment options, dictates their career choices, and can negatively affect their financial and personal lives for years to come. In an effort to relieve some of the crushing pressure of student debt, the Obama administration recently announced plans to ease the burden on student borrowers with its “Pay as You Earn” program.

Perhaps the Best Ed Trust Conference Ever, Nov. 3-5

Kati Haycock - 2010 ConfDear Friend,

School budgets are being slashed, think tanks are arguing that the focus on closing achievement gaps is harming “smart” kids (as if none were poor or of color!), and the federal government is veering between a waiver process and a draft Elementary and Secondary Education School Act bill that threatens to stall the gap-closing momentum we’ve begun to gather in recent years.

If ever there was a good time for The Education Trust to convene a conference for people who are committed to closing the achievement gap, no matter what it takes, this is it. We are at war, folks, and our 2011 National Conference — which begins next week, Nov. 3-5, in Arlington, Va. — will provide the support and inspiration we all need to keep fighting. If you are among the hundreds of gap closers who are already registered, I look forward to seeing you there. If you haven’t yet committed, please consider registering on site.

Gap Between Advanced Students Widens

A new report from the Center for Education Policy reveals that while the percentage of all high school students who made “advanced” scores on state reading and math assessments is growing, the gap between white and African-American students scoring at these high levels is widening. The study also found that, in general, low-income students and students of color are far less likely to score advanced on state assessments than their white and more affluent peers.

Criticism Mounts for Weak NCLB Rewrite

Ed Trust joined 20 other civil rights, disabilities rights, education reform, and business organizations last week in withholding support for the Senate’s new rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind.

Syracuse U. Stands by its Investment in Diversity

Syracuse University has chosen to diversify its student body and invest in a more equitable future. At a time when many universities cling tenaciously to the inward-looking measures celebrated by the U.S. News & World Report college ranking, Syracuse has recruited more low-income students and students of color over the past decade. Its outreach extends to prospects in local communities as well as from cities farther afield, including Miami and Los Angeles.

Report: Need-based Financial Aid Outpaced by Other Aid

At a time when Pell Grants are on the chopping block and low-income students are forced to take on crippling debt, a new report finds that increases in the amount of aid available for students demonstrating financial hardship are dwarfed by increases in aid available for reasons other than need.  

Senate’s ESEA Reauthorization Proposal Disappoints

Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has released a long-anticipated draft of the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) — known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Although the bill  addresses several issues championed by The Education Trust, including college- and career-ready standards, funding fairness, and equitable access to the strongest teachers, its slack accountability provisions compelled Ed Trust, along with five other civil rights organizations, to send a letter to Sens. Harkin and Michael Enzi (R-Wyoming) expressing our deep disappointment.

Students, Nation Gain from California’s Dream Act

College aspirations could be realized for far more undocumented students in the Golden State, after the recent signing of the California Dream Act. The new law will allow them to qualify for the state’s Cal Grant, as well as institutional aid from California’s public universities and fee waivers from the state’s system of community colleges.

Senate ESEA Reauthorization Proposal Disappoints

The Ed Trust and five other civil rights organizations have expressed to Sens. Tom Harkin and Michael Enzi our deep disappointment in the accountability provisions of their ESEA reauthorization proposal. While a number of the provisions in the overall proposal could help to promote better outcomes for students, those assets are undercut by the proposal’s slack accountability provisions. Click here to read the letter.

Inspiring All Students to Aim High

Poverty need not bar youth from the opportunities that college affords. But K-12 educators must use the right strategies to get their students prepared.  That’s the message conveyed by a recent study of high schools that either won a College Board Inspiration Award or drew an honorable mention for the annual prize, which honors high-poverty high schools that have improved markedly on measures of college readiness.