Education Trust News

Federal Guidance Sheds Light on Race-Conscious Admissions

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice provided guidance last week for higher education institutions that use race-conscious admissions policies. It clarifies the Supreme Court ruling from earlier this year in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which upheld the legality of the voluntary use of such policies. The Fisher decision confirmed Ed Trust’s long-held belief that colleges have a compelling interest to foster diversity in their student body. Diversity benefits the student body at large by encouraging tolerance, breaking down racial stereotypes, enhancing classroom discussions, and preparing students for the workforce they will encounter after graduation.

Joint Statement From Six Education, Teacher, and Youth Organizations on the Federal Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON (October 1, 2013)—The Education Trust, Children's Defense Fund, Democrats for Education Reform, National Center for Learning Disabilities, Teach Plus, and TNTP issued the following statement regarding the federal government shutdown.

“A government shutdown is not only harmful to millions of hard-working Americans, but it is also damaging to our most vulnerable citizens – our children.

Shutdown Would Deal Another Financial Blow to Impact-Aid Schools

If the government shuts down on Tuesday (because of lawmakers’ failure to come to an agreement), 1,389 school districts that receive federal Impact Aid will not get the funding they’re expecting. And it’s not the first time they’ve seen their budgets pared down. Sequestration, or the across-the-board federal funding cuts enacted earlier this year, has already forced some schools to cut services, support personnel, and professional development opportunities for teachers.

Conference Feature: District-Union Collaboration in Baltimore

Baltimore is host to the upcoming Education Trust National Conference, and attendees will have myriad opportunities to learn about the innovative work happening in that city to raise student achievement and close gaps. One effort is the partnership between Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) and the Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) to engage principals and teachers in improving the quality of instruction for all students. In a luncheon plenary session made possible by The Wallace Foundation, BCPS interim CEO Tisha Edwards and BTU President Marietta English will join Ed Trust President Kati Haycock in a conversation about their collaborative approach to re-imagining the structures for measuring, supporting, and rewarding educator performance.

Register today to hear from these and other education leaders from across the country who are working to ensure all students have strong, well-supported teachers and principals. 

Louisiana School Voucher Battle Misses the Point

Some members of Congress are upset about the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to file suit against Louisiana over its new school voucher program. But is this fight — over how a child chooses a school — really the right battle?
Rather than fighting about whether students have access to vouchers to choose one school or the other, policymakers should be worrying about whether the schools available to children provide high-quality education. If we could identify schools providing a rigorous academic program just by looking at their governance structure, that would be handy. But, it’s not that simple. No one feature determines a school’s quality — and certainly not its status as private, traditional public, or charter. Instead, success springs from a combination of factors.

College Preparation Bleak Among Students of Color

A new analysis of 2013 SAT scores shows that only a fraction of African American and Hispanic graduates are ready for college, and while the College Board aims to reduce these inequities, educators also play a big role in ensuring that all students, including students of color, are prepared for life after high school.

According to the College Board report, only 16 percent of African American students and 24 percent of Hispanic students scored a 1550 or higher, a score that corresponds to a high likelihood of success in college. Among all SAT-takers in 2013, 43 percent reached that score or higher.

Leader and Teacher Preparatory Programs: Q&A With Sarah Almy

Sarah AlmyMany states are currently in the midst of implementing college- and career-ready standards and new educator evaluation systems. While these dual policy moves are very much needed, a new paper from Ed Trust shows the need for additional focus on educator preparatory programs. Sarah Almy, recent past director of teacher quality, answered some questions about the importance of improving leader and educator programs and the role the federal government can play.

Delaware Leads By Example

If you lead high-achieving, low-income students to elite colleges, will they go?

Delaware officials are banking on it. They recently announced a partnership with the College Board that will give application fee waivers to low-income students, in addition to packets of information on elite colleges, ranging from financial-aid policies to graduation rates. Students who receive free or reduced-price lunch already qualify for college application fee waivers, but many don’t know that or how to access those waivers. Officials hope delivering the information to students will prompt them to apply to the most selective schools for which they qualify.

Conference Feature: Advocating for Equity

Every day, advocates are toiling diligently to improve outcomes for low-income students and students of color. From statehouses to school board meetings to classrooms, they’re pushing for policies and practices to advance equity. To support this hard but essential work, the Education Trust brings together some of the country’s top equity advocates at our National Conference and asks them to share concrete strategies and lessons learned from the work they do.

Where Students With the Least Get the Most

The Census Bureau confirmed in a report released last week that in the United States children are more likely to live in poverty than those in any other age group. According to the new report, more than 1 in 5 children under the age of 18 lived in poverty in 2012. Poverty is especially rife in communities of color. Census data shows that 37.9 percent of black children and 33.8 percent of Hispanic children lived in poverty in 2012, while 12.3 percent of white, non-Hispanic children suffered the same conditions. Poverty rates are troublingly high for all groups of children.