Dreamers Crowdsourcing to a Degree

Roundup: More undocumented aspiring collegians are turning to the sites where benefactors will help them pay their fees in return for reimbursement after graduation.

National Journal
Jody Brannon
Add to Briefcase
Jody Brannon
Dec. 2, 2013, 3:42 a.m.

The Next Amer­ica pro­duces a weekly roundup of edu­ca­tion stor­ies rel­ev­ant to a di­ver­si­fy­ing na­tion. These stor­ies date from Nov. 25 to Dec. 2.

HIGH­ER EDU­CA­TION

UN­DOC­U­MENTED STU­DENTS TURN TO CROWD­FUND­ING TO PAY FOR COL­LEGE. About 65,000 un­doc­u­mented youth gradu­ate from U.S. high schools each year. And while some states may of­fer them in-state tu­ition and more in­sti­tu­tions are ex­tend­ing fin­an­cial-aid pack­ages, as­pir­ing Dream­ers are look­ing for non­tra­di­tion­al ways to fin­ance their col­lege. Among al­tern­at­ives are so­cial crowd­sourcing sites like Pave, Go­FundMe, and Schol­arMatch. With Pave, for in­stance, a stu­dent’s fin­an­cial back­ers ne­go­ti­ate a per­cent­age of a gradu­ate’s in­come for up to 10 years. His­pan­ic­ally Speak­ing News

GOOD YEAR TO BE AD­MIT­TED TO THE COL­LEGE OF YOUR CHOICE? The num­ber of high school gradu­ates is the low­est since the mid-1990s, which means more avail­able slots for col­lege ad­mis­sion this year. An ex­pec­ted 3.2 mil­lion youth will fin­ish 12th-graders this spring, down from the 1996-97 peak of 3.4 mil­lion. That demo­graph­ic shift means a smal­ler in­com­ing col­lege fresh­man pool, per­haps even smal­ler since a rising por­tion of high school gradu­ates are Lati­nos who en­roll in col­lege at lower rates. Edu­ca­tion News

COL­LEGE EARLY-AD­MIS­SIONS PRO­GRAM AIMS TO BOOST HIS­PAN­IC EN­ROLL­MENT. Texas’s Bound for Suc­cess pro­gram is ex­pec­ted to “pre-ad­mit” about 1,500 stu­dents, or 20 per­cent of at­tendees at Ar­ling­ton Pub­lic School Dis­trict, to the Uni­versity of Texas (Ar­ling­ton), pre­sum­ing they gradu­ate. The goal is to in­crease the col­lege-go­ing rates of His­pan­ics by ad­mit­ting stu­dents to col­lege as early as the be­gin­ning of their ju­ni­or year. Latino Ed Beat

PRESCHOOL AND K-12

WHY DE­MAND FOR SPAN­ISH-SPEAK­ING TEACH­ERS IS IN­CREAS­ING. More than 37.6 mil­lion people in the United States speak Span­ish at home, and, ac­cord­ing to 2010 fig­ures, at least 10 per­cent of pub­lic-school stu­dents are Eng­lish lan­guage learners—sig­nal­ing a need for more dual-lan­guage teach­ers. The need for more Span­ish-speak­ing teach­ers is es­pe­cially acute for stu­dents hav­ing trouble in math, sci­ence, and his­tory, and more bi­lin­gual teach­ers equates to bet­ter at­tend­ance and gradu­ation rates. Voxxi

NYC CHAL­LENGE: 40 PER­CENT OF PUB­LIC-SCHOOL KIDS DON’T SPEAK ENG­LISH AT HOME. In New York City, four in 10 pub­lic school stu­dents come from fam­il­ies that speak a lan­guage oth­er than Eng­lish at home. Now, with the rol­lout of Com­mon Core — a na­tion­wide edu­ca­tion ini­ti­at­ive aimed at stand­ard­iz­ing tests and rais­ing the bar to in­ter­na­tion­al bench­marks through lan­guage-in­tens­ive learn­ing in all sub­ject mat­ter — ELLs and oth­er high-need stu­dents face the daunt­ing task of keep­ing pace with more lin­guist­ic­ally rig­or­ous test­ing at a time when many stu­dents without such obstacles are already strug­gling to stay up to speed. City and State NY

HEAD START NAR­ROWS ACA­DEM­IC GAP FOR LATINO KIDS. Dual-lan­guage learners rep­res­ent a large and rap­idly grow­ing group of chil­dren; in 2006, al­most a third of chil­dren en­rolled in Head Start or Early Head Start lived in a house­hold in which a lan­guage oth­er than Eng­lish was spoken. New re­search in­volving young Latino and Span­ish-speak­ing chil­dren con­firms that widely avail­able pub­lic pro­grams help dual-lan­guage learners as they head in­to ele­ment­ary school. Fu­tur­ity

SCHOOLS SEEK TO DI­VER­SI­FY AD­VANCED-PLACE­MENT CLASSES. More than 600,000 aca­dem­ic­ally prom­ising high school stu­dents — most of them poor, Latino, or black — fail to en­roll in Ad­vanced Place­ment courses, and schools across the na­tion are ex­plor­ing ways to im­prove those stu­dents’ pro­spects for col­lege. For in­stance, an Or­lando, Fla., high school has tripled en­roll­ment in AP courses, partly spurred by in­cent­ives to teach­ers whose stu­dents pass AP courses. New York Times

RA­CIAL ACHIEVE­MENT GAP IN BERKE­LEY PUB­LIC SCHOOLS PER­SISTS. The 2020 Vis­ion for the Chil­dren and Youth pro­gram in Berke­ley, Cal­if., began in 2008, aim­ing to close the achieve­ment gap between Afric­an-Amer­ic­an and His­pan­ic stu­dents and their white class­mates. The gap between Afric­an-Amer­ic­an and white stu­dents has since closed by 30 points, but a 250-point dif­fer­en­tial still must be ad­dressed in the next six years to reach the 2020 goal. UWire

CON­NECTI­C­UT MINOR­IT­IES LABELED DIS­ABLED AT SLIGHTLY HIGH­ER RATE THAN WHITES. Black and His­pan­ic stu­dents are iden­ti­fied as hav­ing a dis­ab­il­ity at a slightly high­er rate than their white peers in Con­necti­c­ut’s pub­lic schools. Fig­ures from the 2011 school year in­dic­ated that 21.7 per­cent of His­pan­ic stu­dents are cat­egor­ized as dis­abled in a state where 19.5 per­cent of those en­rolled are His­pan­ic; among blacks, the fig­ures are 16.3 per­cent and 13 per­cent re­spect­ively. Among white stu­dents, about 58.3 per­cent have a dis­ab­il­ity, and the state’s white school pop­u­la­tion is 61 per­cent. The most com­mon cat­egory for both black and His­pan­ic stu­dents is a learn­ing dis­ab­il­ity or a speech and lan­guage impair­ment.  New Haven Re­gister

D.C. TO GET A HAR­MONY CHARTER SCHOOL. Texas’s largest charter-school op­er­at­or will open its first school out­side of the Lone Star State, aim­ing to at­tract 216 ele­ment­ary pu­pils next au­tumn to Har­mony School of Ex­cel­lence DC. The Har­mony mod­el seeks to close the achieve­ment gap among minor­it­ies by fo­cus­ing on sci­ence, tech­no­logy, and en­gin­eer­ing. The school will grow each year un­til en­roll­ment reaches about 850 stu­dents in grades kinder­garten through 12. Har­mony

LAN­GUAGE BAR­RI­ERS: THE NEW SE­GREG­A­TION? Some stud­ies have found that gif­ted pro­grams fa­vor white stu­dents and that blacks and Lati­nos are over­looked. Au­thor Mat­thew Lynch writes that stat­ist­ics sup­port claims that an wide pro­por­tion of white stu­dents are en­gaged in tal­en­ted pro­grams while oth­er demo­graph­ics are un­der­rep­res­en­ted in them. Huff­ing­ton Post


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