Just as teachers are the most important in-school factor influencing whether students achieve at high levels, so are principals pivotal to the way teachers practice and the level at which they perform their duty to their students. As the nation celebrates National Principals Month this October, it is important to recognize the relationship between effective school leadership and elevating student performance. A new report from The Wallace Foundation considers this relationship and offers suggestions for how best to prepare principals to provide the leadership schools need. The Wallace Foundation is sponsoring several sessions on school leadership at this year’s Ed Trust National Conference, Nov. 8-9, in Washington, D.C.
There’s good news for students looking to make their monthly payments on federal student loans more manageable: The Department of Education announced a new tool this week that will streamline the enrollment and recertification processes for borrowers eligible for income-based repayment (IBR) of their federal student loans.
At issue in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court last week, is whether postsecondary institutions should be allowed to use race as a factor in admissions decisions. The case was brought by Abigail Fisher, a young white woman who did not gain admission to UT-Austin and is arguing that this is the result of the university’s admissions policy, which considers the race, as well as a number of other factors, of applicants that are not automatically admitted under Texas’ Ten Percent Plan (TPP). The university asserts that Ms. Fisher would not have been admitted under other admission criteria even if race were not a factor in their admissions process.
Documentary filmmakers Adam and Jaye Fenderson have brought to the screen a subject that could not be more timely. In First Generation, the Fendersons plunge us into the world of four real high school students fighting numerous obstacles to become first in their families to attain a college education.
Growing evidence of teacher impact on student learning, particularly for struggling students, has sparked efforts to encourage effective teachers to bring their skills to the schools that need them most. One such effort is the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grants, which focus on overhauling high-need schools’ human capital systems to motivate effective educators to teach there. Two from among the latest round of TIF grant recipients will present at the 2012 Ed Trust National Conference in Washington, D.C., Nov. 8-9.
On Wednesday, Oct. 3, President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney met for the first of three presidential debates, each providing a glimpse into his plans for education should he be elected in November. This debate centered on domestic policy issues, and while the candidates focused heavily on the economy, we did hear a snippet from each about their thoughts on education.
At a recent meet-the-candidate forum, Gov. Mitt Romney broke with his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), on the issue of Pell Grants. The FY 2013 budget Ryan crafted, and which ultimately passed in the House of Representatives, called for big cuts to the Pell Grant program. It cut both Pell benefits and eligibility. The Ryan Budget also froze the maximum grant at $5,550. In contrast, Romney said Pell grants should grow with the rate of inflation to help students meet the skyrocketing costs of attending college.
As college tuition continues to climb and graduating seniors continue struggling to find jobs, a new study by the Pew Research Center confirms what many already know — student loan debt continues to increase. Nearly 1 in 5 households in the United States currently have student loan debt, a figure that has doubled in the past two decades and is up 15 percent since 2007.
The Civil Rights Project released three new reports last week detailing the segregation that continues in America’s schools. The most troubling finding of the primary report, “E Pluribus … Separation: Deepening Double Segregation for More Students,” is the realization that “double segregation” — by both racial and income status — is growing. The practical result: Students of color increasingly attend more impoverished schools than their peers.
In its release of the “2012 Report on College and Career Readiness,” the College Board announced that the SAT was taken by more high school seniors than ever before, including the highest percentage of students of color. Yet only 43 percent of all test takers met the college readiness benchmark (a predictor of college success), evidence that the nation’s high schools are failing to adequately prepare many graduates to succeed in either college or career.