New research by the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University shows a link between suspensions in Florida and students’ failure to complete high school and enroll in college. The study finds more than a quarter of Florida’s high school students are suspended during their freshman year, with rates substantially higher for black and low-income students. But the authors of “Sent Home and Put Off-Track” stress that reducing the number of suspensions, without broadly considering other efforts to re-engage students in school, is only part of the solution to getting more high school students on the path to graduation and college.
In response to last month’s tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., President Obama called for congressional and executive action to reduce gun violence across the country. In mid-January, he released “Now Is the Time,” a gun safety plan that, among other measures, provides funding to increase school safety, to support the development of school emergency plans, and to encourage the improvement of school climates.
Recently, the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center and Education Week released Quality Counts 2013, an annual look at state policies and indicators related to student success. Released in conjunction with the Civil Rights Project’s conference on disparities in school discipline, this year’s Quality Counts report contains a special focus on school safety, climate, and discipline. The results suggest that teachers, especially in high-poverty schools, are struggling with issues of climate and safety. When it comes to these issues, school leaders have a crucial role to play in creating a positive school environment and in supporting teachers.
The success of any school starts and ends with strong leadership. From managing the building to teaching teachers to improving student achievement, the level of leadership provided by the principal defines a school’s learning environment. Our new, four-part webinar series, made possible through the generous support of The Wallace Foundation, will explore the paramount role quality principal leadership plays in driving school improvement.
Congress rang in the new year by passing a bill establishing new tax rates for the wealthiest Americans and preserving current rates, deductions, and credits for most working families. President Obama signed the bill into law on Jan. 2, but the deal only postpones sequestration for two months, a deadline by which lawmakers must make major decisions on spending cuts and entitlement reform. The deal did nothing to take drastic cuts in education — or other critical services for low-income families and those of moderate means — off the table. Nor did it do anything to raise the debt ceiling.
As 2012 and the 112th Congress drew to a close, we thought it appropriate to reflect on the education related work Congress, the White House, and the Department of Education undertook during the last two years.
The average student debt burden has increased to more than $25,000. And in today’s job market, which is especially tough for young graduates, many student loan borrowers are struggling to meet their monthly payments. Thankfully, relief is on the way for some borrowers. Beginning Dec. 21, many federal student loan borrowers became eligible for a new income-based repayment plan called “Pay As You Earn.” The new plan caps borrowers’ payments at 10 percent of their monthly discretionary income, and forgives remaining debt after 20 years. The plan will help numerous borrowers avoid forbearance or default, options that have lasting, harmful effects on their credit.
Each day, like everyone else at The Education Trust, I come to work determined to do the right thing for kids.
So last week's tragedy in Newtown, Conn., was shattering.
Certainly, as individuals, we have had our hearts broken again and again by the senseless gun violence that destroys the lives of too many of our children. And, as individuals, many of us have been involved in efforts to address this devastating problem.
But as an organization, we’ve never taken a public stand.
The U.S. Department of Education has been taking steps to provide students with more tools to help them navigate the college decision process. Now students, like those at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and those participating in a study by the Center for American Progress, are speaking up about the types of information they want and need these new tools to provide, as well as how they think the information should be made available to them, parents, and others.
Results from the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) show the United States is increasing its achievement in reading, math, and science. But while U.S. students perform above the international averages in these subjects, they continue to lag behind students in some other advanced economies, especially their peers in East Asian nations. For instance, fourth-graders in Singaporean schools that, according to principals, serve primarily economically disadvantaged students, outperformed in math U.S. fourth-graders attending schools that primarily serve advantaged students. Test results also show that, despite narrowing in some subjects, gaps between groups of American students remain unconscionably wide.