Economic Segregation In Schools


June 2, 2017 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. A report finds that 4 in 10 public-school districts are intensely economically segregated; Princeton University acts to admit more low-income students; 2017 Cooke College Scholars are announced; and Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold Levy co-authors an op-ed about a program for outstanding low-income math students that is funded by the foundation.

Elementary & Secondary Education

  • The Center for American Progress (CAP) finds that four out of every ten public-school districts experiences intense economic segregation. Yet the report finds that most Americans support the economic integration of schools. CAP outlines some steps that the federal government, states and districts can take to better integrate schools.
  • The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) releases its annual Condition of Education report. It finds that nearly half of Hispanic and black public school students attend high-poverty schools, compared to only 8 percent of white students. ACT Center for Equity in Learning summarizes.


Higher Education

  • Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber has committed to rapid progress in making Princeton a more inclusive place for those from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Princeton has increased the percentage of Pell Grant recipients from 6.5 percent for the class of 2007 to 21 percent in next year’s freshman class, the New York Times reports.
  • EdSurge speaks with higher education scholar Sara Goldrick-Rab about income-share agreements as a possible method for reducing student debt. Income-share agreements (ISAs), which have been adopted at Purdue University among others, are contracts in which investors pay students’ tuition under the condition that the student will owe a percentage of their future income after graduation. Goldrick-Rab cautions that such programs can be dangerous because they are fully privatized and put the burden of higher education on the individual instead of the government and taxpayers.
  • The New York Times highlights the stories of first-generation students around the country in a series titled “I Won’t Give Up.” Students describe the challenges of being the first in one’s family to attend college. These include isolation, feelings of doubt, financial concerns, and academic barriers. 
  • Federal lawmakers introduce legislation seeking better post-secondary student outcome data. The Chronicle of Higher Education summarizes how better outcomes data through a comprehensive student unit-record system could help families in their decisions and help institutions remain accountable. However, opponents of a student unit-record system argue that the release of such data would be a violation of FERPA, or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.


Cooke Foundation Highlights

  • Eighty outstanding students with financial need are awarded Cooke Foundation College Scholarships of up to $40,000 annually for four years. They were chosen from a pool of more than 5,100 scholarship applicants. Foundation Executive Director Harold Levy says: “Our scholarships have enabled extraordinarily talented students from familieswith modest incomes to attend top colleges and universities and graduate with honors. 
  • NPR tells the story of Cooke Young Artist Award recipient Angelica Hairston. Three Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars are also in the news: Tao Hong in the Queens Tribune, Rashida Anderson-Abdullah in The Black Loop and Elis Sholla in the Schoolcraft Connection.
  • Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold Levy and Daniel Zaharopol of Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM) write in an op-ed for Fox News about a $1 million Cooke Foundation grant that will enable BEAM to expand from New York City to Los Angeles. BEAM provides enrichment programs for high-achieving, low-income math students in middle school.   

Social Media Spotlight


Congrats Maria, love your addition to the slogan ??? #JKCF #CookeScholars #WednesdayWisdom Repost from @mariavalen_31 Graduation Series (3/3) ?Think Big. Work Hard. Achieve. And Dance??? • I’ve officially obtained by B.E. in Biomedical Engineering. This cap and gown have come a long way and have some THANK YOU words: -To my brother @cyberpaks and mother, for giving me unconditional love and teaching me the importance of getting those A’s back in kindergarten, which I have carried with me throughout this rollercoaster that we’ve been riding together -To the foundation that changed my life @thejkcf opened my doors to education, and motivated me to continue to reach higher -To the friendships that destiny has put on my way, thank you for always putting a smile on my face -To the HS and college professors that made me love math and sciences (just a little more than dancing) -To my beautiful Venezuela ?? Gracias por darme mis raíces y enseñarme, hasta el sol de hoy, que el venezolano no se cansa. Llevé con orgullo tu bandera en mi corazón (literal y metafóricamente) y siempre daré lo mejor para mejorar tu futuro y ponerte en alto

A post shared by Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (@thejkcf) on

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