The failure of Congress’ Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach a compromise has increased the likelihood that automatic, across-the-board spending cuts will be triggered early in 2013. Some in Washington are betting that those cuts will never happen, but the president has made it clear that he won’t let Congress dodge reducing the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years. Either way, it looks like some cuts are on the horizon, so we thought it worth examining the impact across-the-board cuts might have on education.
When it rains in Mt Vernon, Ala., it floods at Calcedeaver Elementary School, which educates mostly low-income children from the MOWA Choctaw tribe. “We have tremendous stumbling blocks, but those stumbling blocks are not our children,” said Principal Susan Jill Dickinson, speaking this month at The Education Trust National Conference, where her school was one of four to win the Dispelling the Myth Award.
In fact, she and her staff of teachers have helped 80 percent of the school’s sixth-graders surpass state reading standards. While no child should have to attend school in dilapidated buildings, any student would be lucky to be taught by the educators at Calcedeaver.
America is already facing a shortfall of 3 million college graduates by 2018. A new poll from Demos and Young Invincibles exposes an additional complication: More than one-third (38 percent) of young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 say they’ll delay starting or postpone completing college because of the weak economy.
Recently released results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed best-ever results for U.S. students overall, yet gaps between groups persist. The Education Trust has prepared a state-by-state look at the fourth-grade results for math and reading, along with those for eighth-grade math and eighth-grade reading. These new data are reminders that much hard work remains to ensure high-caliber schools for all of our country’s children.
President Obama’s recent announcement that the renewal of grants to Head Start agencies will no longer be automatic, but rather based on program performance, is likely to help boost the quality of services to the approximately 900,000 mostly low-income children currently enrolled in Head Start. According to the new regulations, Head Start grantees, for the first time in the program’s 46-year history, will be assessed against high performance standards.
A growing array of organizations — ranging from civil rights groups to business associations, statewide education officials, and education advocates — are raising serious concerns about the rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act recently voted out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and now headed toward the Senate floor.
In a new book that engages the reader but is steeped in research, co-authors Karin Chenoweth and Christina Theokas explore the practices of effective school leaders. They studied 24 schools and interviewed 33 principals nationwide, discovering some of the common ways these educators yield high achievement in places where it is unexpected.
The for-profit college sector has faced a barrage of well-deserved criticism in the past year for gobbling up a disproportionate share of federal-aid dollars, but failing to deliver degrees to its students. Sadly, this institutional failure is not unique to for-profits. A new report from American Institutes for Research exposes a similar trend in our nation’s public two-year colleges. While community college tuition is considerably less than for-profit tuition, the pattern is nearly identical: Institutions gladly accept low-income students and their grant aid, but fail to retain and graduate large portions of their student bodies.
Last week, The Education Trust announced the 2011 winners of the Dispelling the Myth Award. The award, now in its ninth year, recognizes public schools closing the achievement gap and educating all of their students to high levels. The 2011 award winners are: