Archive for Education

A Call for a National Plan To Measure Educational Equity

This report from the National Academies – Monitoring Educational Equity – calls for a nationwide system that “…can help convey why disparities arise, identify groups most affected by them, and inform policy and practice measures to improve equity in pre-K through 12th grade education.” (news release) Sixteen indicators are listed, many of which deal with student outcomes. This report traces developments from pre-k through 12 grade in an attempt to find out why the educational system fails so many of its students.

This document mirrors the 2018 UNESCO title – Handbook on Measuring Equity in Education –  that stated “Greater equity and inclusion in education cannot be achieved without increased efforts to collect and analyse data on the most excluded segments of the population.”(11)

 

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The “Digital Divide” Is Still a Major Problem

This Associated Press analysis of Census Bureau numbers reveals that more than three million school children still have no reliable internet access to complete homework assignments, leaving them more academically underprepared than their counterparts who have access to what many of us think as a basic tool. And this lack is felt more in certain socioeconomic levels: “Students without internet at home are more likely to be students of color, from low-income families or in households with lower parental education levels.”

The latest figures from the National Center for Education Statistics show the wide range of access to internet or broadband or the availability of computers in the home.

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2019 “Condition of Education”

This annual report highlights through uses of massive amounts of data the state of the education sector from pre-k through college. Two very important “spotlights” are included in this year’s version: Young Adult Educational and Employment Outcomes by Family Socioeconomic Status and Postsecondary Outcomes for Nontraditional Undergraduate Students. In light of recent reports of parents scheming to get their children into elite colleges, the first report makes it clear that parental socioeconomic factors do play a significant role in college attendance/completion. The second report, the first time it has been issued, traces the educational path taken by “nontraditional” students; it includes data on completion, transfer, and enrollment rates.

Another relevant report is The Postsecondary Undergraduate Population: Student Income and Demographics from CRS.

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The Need to Fund Community Colleges

This report from the Century Foundation – Recommendations for Providing Community Colleges with the Resources They Need – states that “…the lion’s share of the blame lies with policymakers who systematically shortchange community colleges financially, giving two-year institutions the fewest resources to educate those students who tend to have the greatest needs.”

More than 9 million students are enrolled in this country’s 1000+ community colleges, yet many do not progress to four-year institutions, nor do they graduate from the two-year colleges.

The report calls for extensive research into what resources are necessary to provide community colleges with the tools needed to help students succeed. Heavily referenced and replete with charts/tables, this report outlines priorities and steps to achieve adequate support for community colleges.

 

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Indicators of School Crime and Safety 2018

Containing data from 2015 through 2017 this voluminous compendium details various aspects of crime at all levels of the education sector. Bullying, victimization, active shootings are some of the topics highlighted. Handy “Spotlights” add to the utility of this work.

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2019 Survey of Community College Presidents

What keeps these esteemed individuals awake at night: diminishing financial support, student success, graduation/retention rates? This report, based on results from a Gallup survey that is the product of 235 returned questionnaires, reveals some salient points:

“One in 10 community college presidents indicate their institution offers bachelor’s degree programs, though only 1 percent say it offers a wide range of four-year degree programs.

Community college leaders largely endorse the idea of community colleges offering bachelor’s degrees and believe doing so would increase access to higher education and reduce the racial gap in degree attainment. They do not, however, believe states provide enough financial support to ensure the degrees are high quality.

Two-thirds of presidents at four-year colleges strongly disagree or disagree that community colleges should be able to offer baccalaureate degrees. Their greatest concerns are lowering degree quality and mission creep.

Community college presidents’ greatest concern about offering bachelor’s degree programs is that their budgets will be stretched too far.” (7)

Numerous graphs and charts add to the utility of this timely document. An added bonus is to have the reactions of four-year college presidents intermixed on the question that pertains to the perceived “mission creep” inherent in community colleges awarding bachelor degrees. (see p.13)

 

 

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Who’s Speaking Where? 2019 Commencement Speakers

This is not a comprehensive list, but it does indeed give quite a number of speakers; see how many of them are speaking at more than one event. I found three.

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