Here’s a roundup of the education articles that caught Next America’s eye from Dec. 30 to Jan. 6. All address trends that particularly affect minority students.
FEDERAL WORK-STUDY MONEY BENEFITS WEALTHIER STUDENTS. Nearly a quarter of students receiving work-study aid come from families with incomes of more than $80,000 a year, and about half of recipients attend private, nonprofit universities, according to the Education Department. Less than 2 percent of community-college students — who are more likely to be low-income — have work-study jobs. The 50-year-old formula that determines allocation of public dollars benefits high-cost colleges that have been invested in work-study for a long time. The Hechinger Report
HOW CUNY’S ASAP PROGRAM SPEEDS DEGREE COMPLETION. A program that guarantees free tuition and textbooks, intensive advising, and a structured schedule is increasing associate’s degree completion at the City University of New York. An analysis of low-income students needing remediation found that a third of students taking part in Accelerated Study in Associate Programs graduated in two and a half years, compared with less than a fifth of normally enrolled students. CUNY, a diverse urban college system, is working with nonprofit Complete College America to bring the pathway to community colleges in other cities. Chronicle of Higher Education
BOOSTING PH.D. DIVERSITY BY DEEMPHASIZING THE GRE. A partnership between Vanderbilt and Fisk, a historically black university, has increased minority participation in science doctoral programs in part by emphasizing character over test scores in admissions decisions. The Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program has accepted 68 students since 2004, 55 of whom come from underrepresented minority groups. Students who complete the program have a 100 percent job-acceptance rate. NPR
COMMON CORE COULD HURT ENGLISH-LANGUAGE LEARNERS. Some educators are worrying that new K-12 academic standards, with their emphasis on complex reasoning, could hurt non-native English speakers. The Hechinger Report heads to a California elementary school to find out how the new standards are changing math class. The Hechinger Report
WHY ARE L.A.’S iPADS SO EXPENSIVE? The Los Angeles Unified School District is paying $768 per tablet, compared with $200-a-piece devices some San Diego students are using. Other districts are paying even less to put more technology in students’ hands. L.A. Schools Superintendent John Deasey says the district wants to give students get the best: The devices are high-end Apple iPads that come with additional math and English curriculum materials. Los Angeles Times
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A DHS report "found gaping holes in domestic nuclear detection and defense capabilities and massive failures during covert testing." A team put in place to assess our readiness capabilities found significant issues in detecting dangerous radioactive and nuclear materials, failing to do so in 30 percent of covert tests conducted over the course of the year. In far too many cases, the person operating the detection device had no idea how to use it. And when the operator did get a hit, he or she relayed sensitive information over unsecured open radio channels."
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."