Education Trust News

Conference Feature: Leading School Change

Principals play a crucial role in setting the tone for their school and helping their staff identify and act on areas for improvement. This year’s Education Trust National Conference, which takes place Oct. 24-25 in Baltimore, will feature a number of concurrent sessions highlighting the role of principals in leading school change.

Buy Now and Pay Later Doesn’t Work in Higher Ed

Proposals that allow students to attend college “for free” now and pay later seem like they would be beneficial for students. However, many of these proposals — including Oregon’s “Pay It Forward” — could end up costing students more. They also overlook the real problem: College costs too much.

Student Loan Default Rates Illustrate Continuing Affordability Issues in Higher Ed

Annual data released Sept. 30 show that student loan borrowers are finding it increasingly difficult to repay their debt: Now, 1 in 10 borrowers default on their student loans within two years of starting repayment.

Two-year default rates have been collected since 1987 and peaked at 22.4 percent in 1990. Though the most recent figure is much lower, it has more than doubled in recent years from a low of 4.5 percent in 2003.

Conference Feature: Teaching in Overdrive

All across the nation, schools are transitioning to rigorous, college- and career-ready standards. These standards demand much more of our students — and of their teachers. At this year’s Education Trust National Conference, a host of concurrent sessions will focus on how educators can help all students meet new, higher expectations.

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.