Identifying talented students & supporting college success


February 23, 2018 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. Disparities in the gifted identification process are discussed by researchers and reporters. Higher ed coverage examines supporting college access and success for students from low-income and nontraditional backgrounds.

The 2018 Cooke Young Scholars Program application is open! This selective five-year, pre-college scholarship provides high-performing 7th grade students with comprehensive academic and college advising, as well as financial support for high school, summer programs, internships, and other learning enrichment opportunities. Apply now! The deadline is March 21, 2018.

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Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • “Researchers found that students eligible for free or reduced lunch programs are less likely to be identified for gifted education services even after controlling for prior math and reading achievement scores,” states UConn Today. “In addition, the findings indicated that students in low-income schools have a further reduced possibility of being identified for gifted services.”
  • As part of a strategy to attract families to the district, Detroit Public Schools may expand gifted education offerings. Chalkbeat reports that a current teacher shortage may make the initiative challenging, and notes that gifted programs can often “tend to exacerbate racial and socioeconomic segregation.”
  • “A review of Sacramento County schools by The Sacramento Bee revealed that the number of African American and Hispanic students in accelerated high school programs is often much lower than the percentages in the general student population at the same school.”


Higher Education:

  • As states adopt policies for making the first two years of college tuition-free, Inside Higher Ed reports that “a growing number are attaching requirements and conditions to tuition-free plans that worry advocates for low-income students.”
  • The typical college student is “more likely than not to be financially independent from their parents,” according to a new brief from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “These independent students are more likely to be working, low-income, attending school part-time and have unmet financial need than younger students who come straight to college from high school,” summarizes MarketWatch.
  • New America launches the Higher Ed Index, combining data from IPEDs, Federal Student Aid, and College Scorecard to provide information on schools, students, loans, grants, and outcomes.


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • In the space between high school graduation and the start of college, many students experience ‘summer melt’ and do not show up. The Chronicle of Higher Education writes about how colleges and universities can better support students during this transition, drawing on research by Cooke Scholar Ben Castleman and Lindsay C. Page.
  • Education Dive makes recommendations for faculty, administrators, and institutions to better support nontraditional students, citing findings from the Cooke Foundation’s “True Merit” report.
  • In the Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia State University President Dr. Anthony Jenkins cites the foundation’s “State University No More” research and explains new initiatives and partnerships the institution has begun to become more affordable to low-income students


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