Here’s a roundup of the education articles that caught Next America’s eye from Feb. 24 to Mar. 3. All address trends that particularly affect minority students.
Obama: “When I was their age, I was a lot like them.” President Obama’s new initiative aimed at helping young, minority men is small in scale: a $200 million philanthropic commitment from the private sector, plus an interagency task force. But Obama’s speech launching the initiative was one of the most passionate and personal he’s made in a while. The president noted that demographic shifts have made helping young minority men more important than ever. “This is a moral issue for our country,” Obama said. “It’s also an economic issue for our country. After all, these boys are a growing segment of our population. They are our future workforce.” New York Times
The Statistics That Explain Why Young, Minority Men Lag Behind. ThinkProgress, a policy blog at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, breaks down the odds stacked against the young African-American and Hispanic men President Obama’s initiative hopes to serve. The barriers begin with lower levels of early childhood education and end with high adult unemployment rates. Gaps in income and wealth between white and black Americans have been rising for 40 years. ThinkProgress
With Lower Aspirations, White Men Go Further In Community College. White male students at two-year colleges are less engaged in the classroom than their black and Latino peers. Yet 32 percent of white, male community college students go on to earn a degree or certificate within three years, compared to just 5 percent of black and Latino male community college students, according to a report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas. The report criticized administrators for steering academically weak minority students into programs focused on addressing weaknesses, rather than on tapping into students’ strengths. The Chronicle of Higher Education
College Supply Matters, Too. Demand for higher education needs to be met with enough supply — in the form of adequately funded seats at colleges and universities, according to columnist Eduardo Porter. A 2006 study from John Bound of the University of Michigan and Sarah Turner of the University of Virginia found that when states had a large college-age population, public spending per student fell and so did graduation rates. Other researchers have found that the wage premium associated with a college degree rises when state institutions charge more in tuition and enroll fewer students. New York Times
Americans and business leaders weigh in on skills and immigration. Just over half of Americans would favor a policy that would issue green cards to international students who graduate from U.S. college or university, according to a Gallup survey conducted on the behalf of the Lumina Foundation and released last week. Thirty-four percent of the over 1,000 people surveyed in English-language phone interviews said family ties to U.S. citizens should be the highest priority in immigration policy decisions; 29 percent said work skills should take precedence. In a separate survey, 42 percent of about 600 business leaders chose work skills. Gallup
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A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."
"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."
"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.