Education reform advocates looking for an inspiring summer/fall read should pick up a copy of Diploma Matters: A Field Guide for College and Career Readiness. In the new book, author Linda Murray, Ph.D., shows how educational leaders from the district level on down can create schools that prepare all students for college and career. Murray is superintendent-in-residence at The Education Trust–West.
On Aug. 2, 2011, the debt-ceiling negotiations impasse ended with President Obama signing into law the Budget Control Act of 2011. The law authorizes three incremental increases to our nation’s debt ceiling through 2012, in exchange for reducing the nation’s deficit by $2.5 trillion over 10 years. While the measure addressed a shortfall in the Pell Grant program, Pell and other education programs will likely still face cuts.
Even as the national discourse largely centered on the country’s debt woes in recent weeks, the drumbeat for immigration reform continued to pulse. Last month, California became the latest of 11 states that have enacted their own version of the federal Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, more commonly known as the DREAM Act.
One of the jobs of parenting is to ensure that children learn the importance of practice. That is, practicing the basic skills necessary to master subjects like arithmetic and reading, and also practicing habits like persistence and punctuality. Writing about this reminds me of a retired elementary school teacher I know named María, who worked for 30 years in a rural elementary school where more than 80 percent of the children came from households below the poverty level.
Many observers bemoan the state of American education, especially its disservice to low-income students and students of color, but few do anything about it. Jeff Howard, the founder and president of The Efficacy Institute, is an exception. Howard will offer the keynote address at one of the plenary sessions during The Education Trust’s 2011 National Conference, set for Nov. 3-5 in Arlington, Va.
A recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics found that half of all first-generation college students receive Pell Grants. Without this critical support, a significant portion of young people, whose hopes of a better life are pinned on hard work and education, will have no escape route from poverty.
Like all states, California’s prosperity rests on the strength of its workforce. Yet a new report from The Education Trust–West finds the Golden State’s high schools aren’t preparing students to participate in an economy that increasingly demands a college education. Across the five districts studied, college-readiness rates among high school graduates ranged from 24 to 60 percent. In one illustrative district, the course of study provide to about 30 percent of white high school graduates and almost half the of Latino graduates failed to prepare them for either college or career.