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 »
President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."
Facebook "outlined new measures it is taking to combat what it calls 'information operations' that go well beyond the phenomenon known as fake news" on Thursday. Facebook acknowledged that there are governments using its platform as a tool to launch propaganda information campaigns and "manipulate public opinion in other countries. ... Facebook suspended 30,000 accounts in France ahead of last Sunday’s first-round presidential election."
Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.
Members of Congress are eyeing a one-week spending bill which would keep the government open past the Friday night deadline, giving lawmakers an extra week to iron out a long-term deal to fund the government. Without any action, the government would run out of funding starting at midnight Saturday. “I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon," said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.