Dreamers Crowdsourcing to a Degree

Roundup: More undocumented aspiring collegians are turning to the sites where benefactors will help them pay their fees in return for reimbursement after graduation.

National Journal
Jody Brannon
Dec. 2, 2013, 3:42 a.m.

The Next Amer­ica pro­duces a weekly roundup of edu­ca­tion stor­ies rel­ev­ant to a di­ver­si­fy­ing na­tion. These stor­ies date from Nov. 25 to Dec. 2.


UN­DOC­U­MENTED STU­DENTS TURN TO CROWD­FUND­ING TO PAY FOR COL­LEGE. About 65,000 un­doc­u­mented youth gradu­ate from U.S. high schools each year. And while some states may of­fer them in-state tu­ition and more in­sti­tu­tions are ex­tend­ing fin­an­cial-aid pack­ages, as­pir­ing Dream­ers are look­ing for non­tra­di­tion­al ways to fin­ance their col­lege. Among al­tern­at­ives are so­cial crowd­sourcing sites like Pave, Go­FundMe, and Schol­arMatch. With Pave, for in­stance, a stu­dent’s fin­an­cial back­ers ne­go­ti­ate a per­cent­age of a gradu­ate’s in­come for up to 10 years. His­pan­ic­ally Speak­ing News

GOOD YEAR TO BE AD­MIT­TED TO THE COL­LEGE OF YOUR CHOICE? The num­ber of high school gradu­ates is the low­est since the mid-1990s, which means more avail­able slots for col­lege ad­mis­sion this year. An ex­pec­ted 3.2 mil­lion youth will fin­ish 12th-graders this spring, down from the 1996-97 peak of 3.4 mil­lion. That demo­graph­ic shift means a smal­ler in­com­ing col­lege fresh­man pool, per­haps even smal­ler since a rising por­tion of high school gradu­ates are Lati­nos who en­roll in col­lege at lower rates. Edu­ca­tion News

COL­LEGE EARLY-AD­MIS­SIONS PRO­GRAM AIMS TO BOOST HIS­PAN­IC EN­ROLL­MENT. Texas’s Bound for Suc­cess pro­gram is ex­pec­ted to “pre-ad­mit” about 1,500 stu­dents, or 20 per­cent of at­tendees at Ar­ling­ton Pub­lic School Dis­trict, to the Uni­versity of Texas (Ar­ling­ton), pre­sum­ing they gradu­ate. The goal is to in­crease the col­lege-go­ing rates of His­pan­ics by ad­mit­ting stu­dents to col­lege as early as the be­gin­ning of their ju­ni­or year. Latino Ed Beat


WHY DE­MAND FOR SPAN­ISH-SPEAK­ING TEACH­ERS IS IN­CREAS­ING. More than 37.6 mil­lion people in the United States speak Span­ish at home, and, ac­cord­ing to 2010 fig­ures, at least 10 per­cent of pub­lic-school stu­dents are Eng­lish lan­guage learners—sig­nal­ing a need for more dual-lan­guage teach­ers. The need for more Span­ish-speak­ing teach­ers is es­pe­cially acute for stu­dents hav­ing trouble in math, sci­ence, and his­tory, and more bi­lin­gual teach­ers equates to bet­ter at­tend­ance and gradu­ation rates. Voxxi

NYC CHAL­LENGE: 40 PER­CENT OF PUB­LIC-SCHOOL KIDS DON’T SPEAK ENG­LISH AT HOME. In New York City, four in 10 pub­lic school stu­dents come from fam­il­ies that speak a lan­guage oth­er than Eng­lish at home. Now, with the rol­lout of Com­mon Core — a na­tion­wide edu­ca­tion ini­ti­at­ive aimed at stand­ard­iz­ing tests and rais­ing the bar to in­ter­na­tion­al bench­marks through lan­guage-in­tens­ive learn­ing in all sub­ject mat­ter — ELLs and oth­er high-need stu­dents face the daunt­ing task of keep­ing pace with more lin­guist­ic­ally rig­or­ous test­ing at a time when many stu­dents without such obstacles are already strug­gling to stay up to speed. City and State NY

HEAD START NAR­ROWS ACA­DEM­IC GAP FOR LATINO KIDS. Dual-lan­guage learners rep­res­ent a large and rap­idly grow­ing group of chil­dren; in 2006, al­most a third of chil­dren en­rolled in Head Start or Early Head Start lived in a house­hold in which a lan­guage oth­er than Eng­lish was spoken. New re­search in­volving young Latino and Span­ish-speak­ing chil­dren con­firms that widely avail­able pub­lic pro­grams help dual-lan­guage learners as they head in­to ele­ment­ary school. Fu­tur­ity

SCHOOLS SEEK TO DI­VER­SI­FY AD­VANCED-PLACE­MENT CLASSES. More than 600,000 aca­dem­ic­ally prom­ising high school stu­dents — most of them poor, Latino, or black — fail to en­roll in Ad­vanced Place­ment courses, and schools across the na­tion are ex­plor­ing ways to im­prove those stu­dents’ pro­spects for col­lege. For in­stance, an Or­lando, Fla., high school has tripled en­roll­ment in AP courses, partly spurred by in­cent­ives to teach­ers whose stu­dents pass AP courses. New York Times

RA­CIAL ACHIEVE­MENT GAP IN BERKE­LEY PUB­LIC SCHOOLS PER­SISTS. The 2020 Vis­ion for the Chil­dren and Youth pro­gram in Berke­ley, Cal­if., began in 2008, aim­ing to close the achieve­ment gap between Afric­an-Amer­ic­an and His­pan­ic stu­dents and their white class­mates. The gap between Afric­an-Amer­ic­an and white stu­dents has since closed by 30 points, but a 250-point dif­fer­en­tial still must be ad­dressed in the next six years to reach the 2020 goal. UWire

CON­NECTI­C­UT MINOR­IT­IES LABELED DIS­ABLED AT SLIGHTLY HIGH­ER RATE THAN WHITES. Black and His­pan­ic stu­dents are iden­ti­fied as hav­ing a dis­ab­il­ity at a slightly high­er rate than their white peers in Con­necti­c­ut’s pub­lic schools. Fig­ures from the 2011 school year in­dic­ated that 21.7 per­cent of His­pan­ic stu­dents are cat­egor­ized as dis­abled in a state where 19.5 per­cent of those en­rolled are His­pan­ic; among blacks, the fig­ures are 16.3 per­cent and 13 per­cent re­spect­ively. Among white stu­dents, about 58.3 per­cent have a dis­ab­il­ity, and the state’s white school pop­u­la­tion is 61 per­cent. The most com­mon cat­egory for both black and His­pan­ic stu­dents is a learn­ing dis­ab­il­ity or a speech and lan­guage impair­ment.  New Haven Re­gister

D.C. TO GET A HAR­MONY CHARTER SCHOOL. Texas’s largest charter-school op­er­at­or will open its first school out­side of the Lone Star State, aim­ing to at­tract 216 ele­ment­ary pu­pils next au­tumn to Har­mony School of Ex­cel­lence DC. The Har­mony mod­el seeks to close the achieve­ment gap among minor­it­ies by fo­cus­ing on sci­ence, tech­no­logy, and en­gin­eer­ing. The school will grow each year un­til en­roll­ment reaches about 850 stu­dents in grades kinder­garten through 12. Har­mony

LAN­GUAGE BAR­RI­ERS: THE NEW SE­GREG­A­TION? Some stud­ies have found that gif­ted pro­grams fa­vor white stu­dents and that blacks and Lati­nos are over­looked. Au­thor Mat­thew Lynch writes that stat­ist­ics sup­port claims that an wide pro­por­tion of white stu­dents are en­gaged in tal­en­ted pro­grams while oth­er demo­graph­ics are un­der­rep­res­en­ted in them. Huff­ing­ton Post

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