Education Trust News

Gaps Narrow in Geography, But Scores Remain Low

It’s no wonder GPS devices are a hot seller in the U.S. gadget market. Many Americans are simply incapable of reading a map. New data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress on how public school students perform on geography show mixed results. Between 1994 and 2010, the scores of African-American and Latino fourth-graders skyrocketed — by 27 and 21 points, respectively. In both fourth and eighth grades, the gaps between students of color and their white counterparts narrowed between 2001 and 2010.

But some of the news is troubling.

Pell Propels Single Mom Toward Biotech Career

Image previewLife doesn't always go the way you plan. Years back, Ashley Graham used her associate's degree to land a job as a phlebotomist. At that time, her goal was to become a nurse. But marriage, the birth of her son, and a divorce interrupted those career plans.  Seeking a fresh start, Ashley moved across the country and decided that nursing was no longer the right fit. With help from her parents and the Pell Grants program, she was able to go back to school. Today, after three years of juggling her coursework with 18 hours a week of on-campus employment, Ashley is on her way to a new life.

If you agree that Pell Grants make a difference in the lives of college students, then please join us today, July 25, to help Save Pell.

Pell Keeps Hard-Working College Students on Track to Graduation

Martine Aurelien, 20, is a rising junior at Cornell University where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in human development. She also is a Pell Grant recipient. When her father was laid off, her mother’s job became the family’s only source of income. The Pell Grant has allowed Martine to stay focused on her studies. This summer, she’s doing her part to earn money for school and to help her family by working as an intern in with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington, D.C.

If the Pell Grant is cut from the federal budget, students like Martine will have to find another source of financial aid to complete their studies. In this economy, many will end up dropping out of school. You can help them stay on course to graduation by joining us tomorrow for Save Pell Day.

Pell Changes Lives, Strengthens Families

No one in Jerry Gonzalez’s family had ever graduated from high school, but he always excelled at academics. With his mother's encouragement, he completed high school and enrolled in one of the top engineering programs in the country. Paying for school wasn't easy, though, and it took a combination of scholarships, loans, part-time work, and Pell Grants, to make it through.

People who share Jerry’s appreciation for the Pell Grant program are invited to join us on Monday, July 25, for Save Pell Day, an online day of action when we’ll tell Washington America can’t afford to balance its budget on the backs of hard-working college students.

Thanks To Pell, Alabaman Scored a First

Five years ago, Seyram Selase, now 27 and a grants manager for a nonprofit in Anniston, Ala., showed something priceless to his bedridden grandfather. The nonagenarian farmer who had never learned to read lit up at the sight of his grandson’s college diploma, taking in all that it represented. Seyram is the first man in their family to graduate from college. 

Selase earned his bachelor's degree with financial-aid help from the Pell Grants program. People who share Selase's appreciation for Pell, should plan to join us on Monday, July 25, by participating in Save Pell Day, an online day of action when we're telling Washington that Americans can't afford to balance the budget on the backs of hard-working students.

Tuition Up, State Aid Down, Pell at Risk

Federal lawmakers have picked a lousy time to consider cutting the Pell Grant program. Call it the college crunch: The economy is in a slump, at least 19 states have slashed their higher education budgets, and public colleges and universities are raising tuition and cutting institutional financial aid. The ones getting squeezed the most are college students and their families, especially those who rely on financial assistance to afford college.  Which is one of the reasons The Education Trust is spearheading a national campaign to preserve Pell.

Help Make Noise on July 25, Save Pell Day

 A broad coalition of social justice, education, and youth groups will band together Monday, July 25, to send a loud message to Washington decision makers: Don’t cut Pell Grants for low-income and working class students.

On Save Pell Day, student advocates across the country will use e-mail and social media to get the attention of policymakers, and to stand up for the nearly 10 million hard-working students who rely on Pell to afford college. You can help us win the fight to save Pell by joining the community on Facebook and following @SavePell on Twitter. You can also check out the Save Pell Tumblr blog to track the latest news on the campaign.

Pell Still in Jeopardy, but Momentum to Save it Gathers

While no deal was made on the debt ceiling or federal spending on Capitol Hill over the weekend, the Pell Grant program remains in jeopardy. Any cuts to the program could amount to billions of dollars and lost opportunity for millions of low-income and working-class students. We must continue to speak up to Save Pell.

House Committee Approves Flexibility Bill, Duncan ‘Disappointed’

On July 13, the House Education and the Workforce Committee marked up the third in a series of bills intended as part of  reauthorization package for the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA). The latest bill opens the door to dangerous raids on resources intended for — and desperately needed by — some of our nation’s most vulnerable students.

Michigan Takes Big Step Forward on Tenure and Teacher Quality

Last month, Michigan took an important step toward ensuring high-quality teachers for all students.  State legislators passed landmark legislation that revamps the state’s existing system for awarding tenure to teachers. Recommendations from The Education Trust Midwest helped to inform the new legislation.