Correction: An earlier version of this report mistakenly used a photo of high school graduates at Howard University’s auditorium, and the accompanying caption misrepresented Howard’s enrollment of African-American students. The enrollment is not in decline.
Here’s a roundup of the education articles that caught Next America’s eye from Feb. 3 to 10. All address trends that particularly affect minority students.
TROUBLE MOUNTS AT HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. Enrollment challenges at Howard University illuminate broader problems facing HBCUs, notably competition from elite colleges to recruit the best African-American students. Today, enrollment is shrinking and students are increasingly low-income. Two historically black colleges are now predominantly white, and one is predominantly Hispanic. The New York Times
FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE? MORE LAWMAKERS BACKING THE IDEA. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, has proposed providing two years of free community- or technical-college education to high school graduates. Haslam wants to create an endowed scholarship, seeded with state lottery reserves. Meanwhile, Mississippi and Oregon legislators are also considering making community college free. The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Oregonian
THE RETURN OF THE TIGER MOTHER. Remember Amy Chua, self-described Tiger Mother? The Yale Law School professor is out with a new book, coauthored with husband Jed Rubenfeld, that attempts to identify three cultural traits — which they call “superiority complex,” “insecurity,” and “impulse control.” They make certain groups more academically successful. Unsurprisingly, the book has been controversial. “We think the facts actually debunk racial stereotypes,” Rubenfeld said. NPR
AMERICA’S FIRST ISLAMIC FRATERNITY. Alpha Lambda Mu — the first Islamic fraternity to hit U.S. campuses — now has chapters in Texas, California, and New York. At the University of San Diego, initiation involves morning prayer and setting goals for the coming semester, rather than beer pong and hazing. However, the chapter already has lost four pledges — attributed to “part-time jobs and grueling study schedules.” The New York Times
ARE STUDENTS BEING TAUGHT HOW TO READ SPANISH CORRECTLY? American students learning to read English are often taught phonetically — to sound out the components of an unfamiliar word. But that may not make sense for students learning to read Spanish, according to a new study from Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. The finding has ramifications for bilingual education in the U.S., and — more generally — could change the way Spanish-speaking students are taught to read in their native language. Stanford Graduate School of Education
GOVERNORS LAY OUT EDUCATION AGENDAS. After years of state budget cuts, education systems may be in for a funding boost this year — at least in some specific areas. State governors are throwing their weight behind workforce training, expansion of early-childhood education, and partnerships with businesses. The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Stateline has a roundup of proposals in this year’s State of the State speeches. Stateline
ICYMI: Recent Next America Education Stories
WHAT’S THE VALUE OF A $10,000 DEGREE? The Florida College System’s low-cost, workforce-oriented degrees could serve graduates just as well as a liberal-arts diploma from a public university. By Sophie Quinton
THE UNINTENDED DARK SIDE OF TESTING KIDS. Roundup: Rep. George Miller, a force behind the No Child Left Behind legislation, says he never anticipated the landmark education law would ignite a testing obsession. By Jody Brannon
What We're Following See More »
Donald Trump is planning to reverse an Obama-era order requiring that schools allow students to use the bathroom that coincides with their gender identity. Trump "has green-lighted the plan for the Justice Department and Education Department to send a “Dear Colleague” letter to schools rescinding the guidance." A case is going before the Supreme Court on March 28 in which Gavin Grimm, a transgender high school student, is suing his high school for forbidding him to use the men's room.
Retired Russian diplomats and members of Vladimir Putin's staff are compiling a dossier "on Donald Trump's psychological makeup" for the Russian leader. "Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser."
Donald Trump is set to issue a new and more focused executive order clarifying the scope of his travel ban, hoping that the order will survive legal challenges. The new order would focus on the same seven countries, "but would only bar entry to those without a visa and who have never entered the United States before. Unlike the original order, people from those countries who already have permanent U.S. residency (green cards) or visas would not face any restrictions." Some lawyers believe the government will now have much stronger standing, though lawyers who challenged the initial order see the same core problems with the forthcoming ban.
"President Donald Trump announced Monday that Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster will serve as his next national security adviser, filling the void left last week by the sudden dismissal of Michael Flynn. ... Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who had been serving as the acting national security adviser since Flynn's exit, will return to his role as chief of staff of the National Security Council." The pick was widely praised on both sides of the aisle.