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:
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.
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.
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.