The Next America produces a weekly roundup of education stories relevant to diversity. These stories date from Jan. 18 to 27.
DEMOGRAPHIC DATA AFFORDS COLLEGES A LOOK AT THE FUTURE. The Chronicle of Higher Education produced a deep look at the impact of demographic change on U.S. classrooms. For example, the figures indicate 95 4-year-olds for every 100 18-year-olds, a trend that has widespread repercussions. Wrote Sara Lipka: “Demographic change has become a crucial focus of enrollment management over the past decade, but with intense pressure to fill each year’s class, longer-term planning can lapse.” Also of interest:
- Bracing for Demographic Shifts, Colleges Face Tough Trade-Offs
- Interactive Data: Who Will Reach College Age in the Next 14 Years?
FREE STEM DEGREE FOR N.Y. STATE GRADS? New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a free college education at a SUNY or CUNY campus to the top 10 percent of New York high school graduates who secure a bachelor’s degree in science, math, or technology. For the tuition-free degree, the graduates would be required to work in New York for five years. Albany Business Review
BLACK STUDENTS AT UNIVERSTIY OF MICHIGAN LOBBY FOR DIVERSITY. A group of black students at the University of Michigan made seven demands, ahead of “physical action,” in an attempt to stop a decline in black enrollment. On the list: affordable on-campus housing options; a new multicultural center; more classes about marginalized minorities in U.S. history; and a 10 percent increase in black representation. Atlanta Black Star
Q&A: LEADING SUCCESSFUL HBCUs. Diverse interviewed William Bynum Jr., president of Mississippi Valley State University, on issues facing historically black colleges and universities. One issue, given the decline in enrollment (now 3 percent of blacks enroll at HBCUs), is the lack of substantial endowments.
HOW A LIBERAL-ARTS DEGREE PAYS LONG-HAUL DIVIDENDS. Rising college costs and student debt, paired with the weak job market for recent college grads, spur a report exploring the value of a liberal-arts degree. The Association of American Colleges and Universities used census data to conclude that older Americans who majored in the humanities and social sciences out-earned those with professional and preprofessional degrees. That group was 40 percent more likely to have a graduate degree as well. Chronicle of Higher Education
THE MISSION: REDESIGN THE COLLEGE OUTCOME. The Association of American Colleges and Universities has embarked on a mission to “develop a portable and competency-based framework for general education,” allowing that the current format is obsolete and should be geared toward learning outcomes, or competencies. AACU President Carol Geary Schneider said the project, backed by a $2.3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (a Next America supporter), will focus on how best to organized the “educational experience” — perhaps moving away from the credit hour. Inside Higher Ed
BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS SEEK GREATER DIVERSITY AMONG TEACHERS. A decline in the number of black teachers in Boston public schools has put the city in violation of a federal court order, prompting officials to step up efforts to recruit and retain teachers of color. Boston Globe
ICYMI: Recent National Journal Education Stories
- What If More Colleges Were Like Amherst? Despite a White House call to action, elite colleges face incentives not to enroll low-income students.
- Bolstering Education, to a Degree. Roundup: In the White House and on Capitol Hill, the president spurs action intended to get colleges to focus on diversifying student bodies and on producing more graduates from the ranks of the low income and minorities.
- Minority Enrollment Is Low at Many Conservative Colleges. In the Republican Party’s struggle to court minority voters, one more hurdle has emerged: Minority students may be underrepresented at historically conservative colleges and universities, enrollment data show.
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"An emerging government funding deal would see Democrats agree to $15 billion in additional military funding in exchange for the GOP agreeing to fund healthcare subsidies, according to two congressional officials briefed on the talks. Facing a Friday deadline to pass a spending bill and avert a shutdown, Democrats are willing to go halfway to President Trump’s initial request of $30 billion in supplemental military funding."
The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former national security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents requested are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes is not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.
The U.S. deployed "F-35 joint strike fighters" to Estonia on Tuesday. The "jets will stay in Estonia for several weeks and will be a part of training flights with U.S. and other NATO air forces." The move comes at a time of high tension between the U.S. and Estonia's neighbor, Russia. The two nations have been at odds over a number of issues recently, most of all being Vladimir Putin's support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in light of Assad's chemical weapons attack on his own people in the midst of a civil war.