Here’s a roundup of the education articles that caught Next America’s eye from Feb. 17 to 24. All address trends that particularly affect minority students.
Will Banning Remediation Hurt or Help Florida Students? Florida colleges are nervous about a new state law that prevents institutions from requiring recent state high school graduates to take developmental classes. By making placement tests optional, lawmakers hope to give students more freedom to choose their courses, and perhaps cut down on the number of students paying college tuition to review high school material. But some educators worry that students will enroll in college-level classes before they’re ready to succeed in them. Wall Street Journal
Most Texas Eighth-Graders Don’t Go On to Earn College Degrees. State data show that fewer than one-fifth of Texas children who entered eighth grade in 2001 went on to earn a higher-education credential 11 years later — and that the achievement gap is growing. Disadvantaged students who entered eighth grade in 1996 were 17.4 percentage points less likely to earn a post-secondary credential than their more affluent peers; in 2001, the gap was 19.2 percentage points. About two-thirds of Texas public school children today are nonwhite. Texas Tribune
Washington State Legislature Approves State Financial Aid for ‘Dreamers.’ The state Legislature passed a bill that would expand state financial aid to students who graduated from state high schools and have lived in-state for at least three years, lessening the burden of college costs on students brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Gov. Jay Inslee strongly supports the measure, which now heads to his desk for a signature. Associated Press
Where Did the U.S. News Archives Go? The U.S. News rankings don’t give institutions credit for recruiting low-income, minority students, and some of the criteria can actively harm efforts to recruit those demographics, elite college administrators recently told National Journal. Despite the importance of these rankings to colleges and applicants, U.S. News has eliminated its online archives prior to 2007, and there doesn’t seem to be an online record of how rankings methodology has changed over time, James Fallows writes. The Atlantic
Turning Disadvantaged Kids Into Chess Champions by Teaching Them How to Think. Blogger Shane Parrish published a compelling account of an inner-city chess coach’s success, taken from Paul Tough’s 2013 book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. One of the ways coach Elizabeth Spiegel helps kids become chess champions? Encouraging them to slow down and think before making a move. In other words, she teaches them self-control. Farnam Street
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"A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 34% of registered voters think the three presidential debates would be extremely or quite important in helping them decide whom to support for president. About 11% of voters are considered 'debate persuadables'—that is, they think the debates are important and are either third-party voters or only loosely committed to either major-party candidate."
Will he or won't he? That's the question surrounding Donald Trump and his on-again, off-again threats to bring onetime Bill Clinton paramour Gennifer Flowers to the debate as his guest. An assistant to flowers initially said she'd be there, but Trump campaign chief Kellyanne Conway "said on ABC’s 'This Week' that the Trump campaign had not invited Flowers to the debate, but she didn’t rule out the possibility of Flowers being in the audience."
NBC's Lester Holt hasn't hosted the "Nightly News" since Tuesday, as he's prepped for moderating the first presidential debate tonight—and the first of his career. He's called on a host of NBC talent to help him, namely NBC News and MSNBC chairman Andy Lack; NBC News president Deborah Turness; the news division's senior vice president of editorial, Janelle Rodriguez; "Nightly News" producer Sam Singal, "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, senior political editor Mark Murray and political editor Carrie Dann. But during the debate itself, the only person in Holt's earpiece will be longtime debate producer Marty Slutsky.
"The House passed legislation late Thursday that would prohibit the federal government from making any cash payments to Iran, in protest of President Obama's recently discovered decision to pay Iran $1.7 billion in cash in January. And while the White House has said Obama would veto the bill, 16 Democrats joined with Republicans to pass the measure, 254-163."
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”