August 21: Education News We're Reading This Week


August 21, 2015Here are the best articles from education news this week.

College & Career Outlooks:

  • Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis proves that earnings differences between those with varying levels of education are greater now that an any point in history. “The value of higher education has never been greater,” writes U.S. News & World Report.
  • Patricia Cohen of The New York Times notes that this data also demonstrates that while black and Hispanic college graduates fare better financially than those of the same race without a degree, their education “has not been a guarantee of financial security” as it has been for white and Asian students.
  • Additionally, The Atlantic details to what degree a student’s choice of college and major will impact their future earnings.
  • MarketWatch cites a Georgetown University study which concludes that while some job opportunities still don’t pay like they should, it turns out that young, job-seeking recent graduates aren’t often stuck with low-paying and/or retail jobs. However, opportunities for some of the country’s highest paying and most cutting-edge jobs are still dominated by white males in Silicon Valley, and NPR reports on how Black Girls CODE aims to change that through instruction and mentorship for young girls of color interested in tech.
  • This week New York Chalkbeat posted a piece on Urban Ambassadors, a selective mentorship program with its sights set on getting more black and Latino males into competitive colleges and universities. “In my school,” said participant Leo Herrera, “I personally have distractions that take me off sometimes. But luckily I’ve got these guys that always keep me on track and remind me where I want to go.”

Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • Chester E. Finn and Brandon L. Wright discuss the rarity of gifted students reaching their full potential in the U.S. Their piece in The Wall Street Journal emphasizes the need to draw from successful local and international models in order to close the Excellence Gap on a national scale.
  • Jill Barshay has converted National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data on national standards for math and reading proficiency—measured in complex deviations and “NAEP” points—into grade levels. In this article, she explains why expectations are a hot button issue and how testing between the top and bottom schools vary by three or four grade levels.

Higher Education:

  • In light of numerous plans to “fix” college affordability by national leaders and political organizations, the Lumina Foundation has offered a new solution: define affordability by how much a family can pay instead of suggesting costly plans for free education. Inside Higher Ed notes that the “college is too expensive, let’s charge less” model doesn’t hold water.
  • Since 2000, the U.S. has allocated $300 billion in taxes for Pell grants without ever collecting data on how many of its recipients complete their college degree. According to a Hechinger Report analysis, over one third of these students at 82 responsive institutions had not completed a degree after six years.

EdTech Updates:

  • College professors are starting to request that students bring their mobile devices to class. The Chronicle of Higher Education gives an overview of many new apps and ideas that educators are using to make lectures more engaging through blog posts, interactive assignments, and live tweeting.
  • Lastly, you can help ensure the issue of equity in tech education is a topic of discussion at this year’s SXSWedu festival! The Cooke Foundation is in the running to host a panel at the innovative Austin, Texas gathering.

Vote us into SXSWedu here!

For some background on why this issue is so important, check out our blog on the topic.