Every week, The Next America produces a collection of education articles that catch our eye. These date from Dec. 2-9.
The Obama Administration’s Recruitment Wish List. The White House wants participants in a higher-education summit to commit to a concrete step that would help more low-income students graduate. The administration’s suggestions for institutions include setting specific targets for low-income enrollment, partnering with local school districts and community colleges, and making remediation more relevant. The event, originally scheduled for Wednesday, will likely be held in January as the president and first lady will attend Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in South Africa. Chronicle of Higher Education
Schools Step Away From Harsh Discipline Policies. Large urban districts are rethinking zero-tolerance policies, which are linked to arrest records, low academic achievement, and high dropout rates that particularly affect minority students. Districts like Broward County, Fla., are keeping students who commit minor, nonviolent offenses in school and offering them counseling rather than calling the police. New York Times
Takeaways from PISA. The most recent data from the Programme for International Student Assessment, a test taken by 15-year-olds around the world, show that U.S. students are pretty much in the middle of the pack when it comes to math, reading, and science test scores. Interestingly, socioeconomic differences have a bigger influence on test scores here than in other countries, and fewer low-income students outperform expectations. The Atlantic
How Much Student Debt Is Normal? Student debt can range from less than $5,000 per year to almost $50,000 per borrower, according to a report from the Institute for College Access and Success. In 2011-12, 71 percent of those seeking a bachelor’s degree had student debt, compared with 68 percent of students four years earlier. New York Times
The Amazing Shrinking Lunch Hour. At many public schools today, students get just 15 minutes or less to sit down and eat lunch. Federally subsidized school meals are often the only thing standing between low-income children and hunger, and federal standards try to ensure that students get nutritious meals. But what’s the point of providing healthy fare if students don’t have time to eat it? NPR
First-Generation Students Least Sure of Their Majors. First-generation college students who select a major when they take the ACT are less sure of their choices than their peers with better-educated parents. Thirty percent of boys whose parents earned a graduate degree or higher were sure of their future majors, compared with 45 percent of boys whose parents had never gone to college. Overall, only 36 percent of test-takers in the class of 2013 selected a planned major that’s a good fit for their interests. ACT
- 1 How to Measure Trump’s Political Strength
- 2 Is Anti-Trump Message a Winning Strategy for Democrats?
- 3 White House Takes Modest First Steps On Obamacare Stability
- 4 Smart Ideas: What California Gets Right on Carbon; How Trump Exploits Human Psyche
- 5 Everything We Learned From Edward Snowden in 2013
What We're Following See More »
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."