Ethnicity, Race Color Odds for a College Degree

Roundup: Ditch the idea that pre-kindergarten through grade 12 is enough schooling to ensure access to the middle class. Think about it as pre-K through 16, a civil-rights project says.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Students walk on the campus of UCLA on April 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. According to reports, half of recent college graduates with bachelor's degrees are finding themselves underemployed or jobless. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
National Journal
Jody Brannon
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Jody Brannon
Nov. 12, 2013, midnight

The Next Amer­ica pro­duces a weekly roundup of edu­ca­tion stor­ies rel­ev­ant to di­versity. These stor­ies date from Oct. 31 to Nov. 11.


STU­DENTS’ PATH TO DE­GREES SHOW DIS­TINCT ROUTES BY ETH­NI­CITY, RACE. A re­cent Na­tion­al Edu­ca­tion As­so­ci­ation gath­er­ing of uni­on dis­trict lead­ers dis­cussed sub­urb­an neigh­bor­hood demo­graph­ics where white and Asi­an-Amer­ic­an stu­dents at­tend largely white schools, and Afric­an-Amer­ic­an or Lati­nos at­tend minor­ity-ma­jor­ity schools. Gary Or­field of UCLA’s Civil Rights Pro­ject said pre-K through grade 12 school­ing should be re­con­ceived to pre-K through 16, to im­prove chances of as­censcion to the middle class. Re­por­ted Uni­versity of Wis­con­sin-Madis­on edu­ca­tion pro­fess­or Glor­ia Lad­son-Billings on the strat­i­fied U.S. edu­ca­tion sys­tem: “The 468 top-tier uni­versit­ies in the coun­try are largely white and Asi­an. The 3,250 two-year, four-year lower-tier schools are black and Latino. They are over­crowded, they are un­der-re­sourced, you’re less likely to gradu­ate from one of these, and you’re more likely to have to work while you’re do­ing it. So, the sys­tem is un­equal all the way through.” NEA Today


ARMY BACKS OFF FROM  DROP­PING 13 ROTC SCHOOLS IN 10 STATES. The Army is re­con­sid­er­ing its de­cision to end Re­serve Of­ficers Train­ing Corps pro­grams at 13 U.S. uni­versit­ies, opt­ing to place those pro­grams on pro­ba­tion rather than to sus­pend them. Those schools, largely in the South, that had been on the chop­ping block typ­ic­ally com­mis­sion no more than 15 of­ficers a year. The Army wants to fo­cus on 56 mar­kets that are more re­flect­ive of chan­ging U.S. demo­graph­ics. See the schools ori­gin­ally lis­ted to close in 10 states, in­clud­ing three in Ken­tucky. New York Times

MORE U.S. CHARTER SCHOOLS AS­PIRE TO BE “˜DI­VERSE BY DESIGN.’ A 4-year-old New Or­leans charter school that em­phas­ized ra­cial and eco­nom­ic di­versity is show­ing res­ults, like many sim­il­ar schools across the U.S. The Cen­tury Found­a­tion es­tim­ates about 25 “di­verse by design” charters schools have opened in Den­ver, New York, Wash­ing­ton, and oth­er loc­ales in re­cent years. “To me it’s a won­der­ful de­vel­op­ment,” said Cen­tury seni­or fel­low Richard Kah­len­berg. “It’s the old com­mon school ideal “¦ that you have stu­dents from all dif­fer­ent back­grounds com­ing to­geth­er and learn­ing what it means to be an Amer­ic­an.” The At­lantic

CATH­OL­IC EDU­CAT­ORS OP­POSE AD­OP­TION OF NEW GUIDELINES. A let­ter signed by more than 100 Ro­man Cath­ol­ic edu­cat­ors, pro­fess­ors, and ad­min­is­trat­ors has asked that U.S. Cath­ol­ic schools ig­nore the new Com­mon Core edu­ca­tion­al stand­ards, claim­ing they lower stand­ards, among oth­er reas­ons. “We see the Com­mon Core as a min­im­um, just as we’ve seen oth­er state stand­ards in the past as a min­im­um, and we in­tend to go way bey­ond that,” said Sis­ter John Mary Flem­ing of the U.S. Con­fer­ence of Cath­ol­ic Bish­ops. New York Times

TEACH­ERS WEIGH IN ON HOW TO IDENTI­FY GRIT. Edu­cat­ors are try­ing to identi­fy and quanti­fy the in­tan­gible qual­ity of grit. The Edu­ca­tion De­part­ment has pro­duced a pa­per, New York charter schools have pro­duced re­port card for char­ac­ter traits, and Edu­cat­ors 4 Ex­cel­lence in Los Angeles had pub­lished a re­port, call­ing grit a “game changer” for lift­ing per­form­ance. Hechinger Re­port


CALI­FOR­NIA: LATI­NOS LAST IN COL­LEGE COM­PLE­TION. Though more than a third of Cali­for­nia res­id­ents are Latino, only 11 per­cent of Latino adults hold a bach­el­or’s de­gree, ac­cord­ing to “The State of Lati­nos in High­er Edu­ca­tion in Cali­for­nia,” a re­port re­leased by the Cam­paign for Col­lege Op­por­tun­ity. By com­par­is­on, 39 per­cent of whites and 23 per­cent of blacks hold bach­el­or’s de­grees. Di­verse | La Opin­ion

FLOR­IDA: SEV­ENTH-LARGEST U.S. SCHOOL DIS­TRICT AD­DRESSES ‘SCHOOL TO PRIS­ON PIPELINE.’ An al­tern­at­ive sup­por­ted by ad­min­is­trat­ors, po­lice, and the state at­tor­ney’s of­fice will em­power Broward County Pub­lic Schools prin­cipals rather than school re­source of­ficers as the the primary de­cision makers in re­spond­ing to stu­dent mis­be­ha­vi­or. The move is an at­tempt to re­duce the num­ber of stu­dents be­ing charged with crimes for minor of­fenses. In the school year that ended in June 2012, Broward had the most ar­rests, and 71 per­cent of the 1,062 were mis­de­mean­ors. The plan is an al­tern­at­ive to the zero-tol­er­ance policies com­mon in many schools. As­so­ci­ated Press

ILLINOIS: DIS­TRICTS AD­JUST TO SUR­GING MINOR­ITY POP­U­LA­TIONS. The newly re­leased 2013 Illinois School Re­port Card shows total minor­ity en­roll­ment at 49.4 per­cent, part of the reas­on schools across the Chica­go re­gion are hir­ing bi­lin­gual teach­ers, pub­lish­ing news­let­ters in many lan­guages and cel­eb­rat­ing di­versity. The biggest surge has been in His­pan­ics. Chica­go Tribune

MIS­SOURI: RUR­AL SCHOOLS BUILD SAFETY NET FOR IM­MIG­RANT CHIL­DREN. About 75 per­cent of the stu­dents en­rolled at rur­al Noel (Mo.) Primary School are im­mig­rants and refugees who moved to the Oz­ark town (pop­u­la­tion 1,832) to work at the Tyson Foods slaughter­house. Between 2008 and 2013, the lan­guages spoken by stu­dents jumped from six to 11. Teach­er Erin McPh­er­son is in charge of more than 100 Eng­lish-lan­guage learners in a school of about 220 stu­dents, ages 3 to 9.  The Gaz­ette

NEW YORK: BROOK­LYN SCHOOL MOD­EL TO BE COPIED STATEWIDE. Busi­ness ex­ec­ut­ives, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, and edu­cat­ors pleased by a Brook­lyn tech­no­logy cur­riculum that has also been ap­plauded by Pres­id­ent Obama will ex­tend the ap­proach to 16 ad­di­tion­al com­munit­ies in the state. Cur­rently, Crown Heights stu­dents en­gaged in the Path­ways in Tech­no­logy Early Col­lege pi­lot sup­ple­ment their stand­ard course load with ex­tens­ive com­puter-sci­ence classes and com­plete the pro­gram with enough col­lege-level work to also re­ceive an as­so­ci­ate’s de­gree. Cap­it­al New York

TEXAS: RE­PORT ANA­LYZES IM­PACT OF PRE-GRADU­ATION TEST­ING ON LATI­NOS. New le­gis­la­tion de-em­phas­iz­ing test­ing in the state’s high school gradu­ation re­quire­ments will help Latino and black stu­dents, ac­cord­ing to a policy brief re­leased by the Urb­an Policy Re­search & Ana­lys­is at the Uni­versity of Texas, Aus­tin. The tests stu­dents must pass to gradu­ate will drop from 10 to five. Latino Ed Beat


U.S. MATH AND READ­ING SKILLS IM­PROV­ING. Every two years, hun­dreds of thou­sands of Amer­ic­an fourth- and eighth-grade stu­dents take the Na­tion­al As­sess­ment of Edu­ca­tion­al Pro­gress. The test eval­u­ates stu­dents’ read­ing and math abil­it­ies through read­ing com­pre­hen­sion ques­tions and grade-ap­pro­pri­ate math prob­lems. The res­ults of the test have provided a snap­shot of Amer­ic­an edu­ca­tion since 1990. Over the past two dec­ades, scores have been rising, but slowly. The 2013 res­ults are out, and the na­tion­al av­er­age scores have in­creased — just barely — since 2011. The At­lantic

RE­PORT: CHILD’S FIRST 8 YEARS CRU­CIAL TO ACA­DEM­IC, OVER­ALL SUC­CESS. An An­nie E. Ca­sey Found­a­tion re­port on edu­ca­tion read­i­ness sug­gests that strong early child­hood pro­grams for­mu­lated for chil­dren through age 8 and that in­cludes par­ent­al sup­port lead to bet­ter suc­cess in school and adult­hood. The Early Child­hood Lon­git­ud­in­al Study found just 36 per­cent of third-graders had de­veloped age-ap­pro­pri­ate cog­nit­ive know­ledge and skills. Pro­gress Illinois

FIRST-GEN­ER­A­TION STU­DENTS LAG IN COL­LEGE READ­I­NESS, RE­PORT SAYS. About a quarter of high school gradu­ates who took the ACT in 2013 met all four of its col­lege-read­i­ness bench­marks, in Eng­lish, read­ing, math­em­at­ics, and sci­ence. But only 9 per­cent of stu­dents whose par­ents did not go to col­lege met all bench­marks, ac­cord­ing to “The Con­di­tion of Col­lege & Ca­reer Read­i­ness 2013: First-Gen­er­a­tion Stu­dents,” re­leased on by ACT and the Coun­cil on Op­por­tun­ity in Edu­ca­tion. Chron­icle of High­er Edu­ca­tion | ACT Re­port (pdf)


STUDY: BLACK STU­DENTS WITH BLACK TEACH­ERS HAVE LOWER RATES OF TEEN PREG­NANCY. Few­er than one-third of teen moth­ers fin­ish high school and less than 2 per­cent of those gradu­ate from col­lege. A study of Geor­gia stu­dents, pub­lished in the Journ­al of Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion Re­search and The­ory, looks at schools in Geor­gia and finds that the pres­ence of minor­ity and fe­male teach­ers as ment­ors and role mod­els im­proves the aca­dem­ic out­come of teen moth­ers. The At­lantic

SUC­CESS FOR ALL PRO­GRAM SHOWS RISE IN READ­ING. A new eval­u­ation of Suc­cess for All pro­gram showed read­ing achieve­ment im­prove­ment of about 12 per­cent in an­nu­al growth, com­pared to their peers. The SFA pro­gram is sup­por­ted by a five-year fed­er­al grant in a De­part­ment of Edu­ca­tion in­nov­a­tion com­pet­i­tion.  New Amer­ica

UN­DER­STAND­ING THE LIFELONG BE­NE­FITS OF PRESCHOOL. High-qual­ity preschool is an ef­fect­ive way to re­duce so­cial prob­lems as­so­ci­ated with poverty be­cause it teaches chil­dren the psy­cho­lo­gic­al skills they need to suc­ceed as adults, ac­cord­ing to an Amer­ic­an Eco­nom­ic Re­view art­icle. The au­thos of “Un­der­stand­ing the Mech­an­isms Through Which an In­flu­en­tial Early Child­hood Pro­gram Boos­ted Adult Out­comes” con­sidered the 40-year out­come of preschool stu­dents from Ypsil­anti, Mich., in the mid-1960s.  Vander­bilt News


A DIF­FER­ENT MOD­EL FOR MER­IT AID. Raise, a mi­cro-schol­ar­ship site, seeks to use mer­it plus be­ha­vi­or to re­ward stu­dents. So far 20 schools are signed up to sup­port stu­dents. As an ex­ample, Tu­lane Uni­versity ex­pects to use the ser­vice to re­ward lead­er­ship and com­munity ser­vice. The site’s founders are also work­ing with six low-in­come high schools to help stu­dents bet­ter un­der­stand what is needed for col­lege suc­cess. Chron­icle of High­er Edu­ca­tion

COM­MUNITY COL­LEGE MAKES STUDY­ING PAY An ex­per­i­ment­al pro­gram at Ivy Tech Com­munity Col­lege in In­di­ana­pol­is seeks to help im­prove com­munity-col­lege gradu­ation rate by keep­ing stu­dents fo­cused on study­ing in­stead of work­ing a part-time job. The As­so­ci­ate Ac­cel­er­ated Pro­gram of­fers schol­ar­ships that cov­er tu­ition, fees, and some ex­penses — al­low­ing some stu­dents to gradu­ate with­in one year. Wall Street Journ­al

NEW STU­DENT-LOAN RULES ADD PRO­TEC­TIONS FOR BOR­ROW­ERS. The Edu­ca­tion De­part­ment has cre­ated rules that will make it easi­er for stu­dents who have de­faul­ted on their loans to re­pay them. About 46 per­cent of the 600,000 dis­tressed loans gran­ted in 2010 were from for-profit schools. Loan hold­ers who make nine on-time “reas­on­able and af­ford­able” pay­ments have the chance to re­hab­il­it­ate their situ­ation. New York Times

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