December 11: Education News We're Reading This Week


December 11, 2015—Here’s our weekly roundup of the biggest education news you may have missed, including enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), an affirmative action case that was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, and findings that academics are not the only challenge low-income students face with higher education.

Elementary and Secondary Education:

  • President Barack Obama signed ESSA into law Thursday. “Every child, regardless of race, income, background, or zip code … deserves the chance to make of their lives what they will,” the president said. The National Association for Gifted Children has created a document answering questions about how this new law will affect high-achieving students.

  • A report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that most states provide less per-student funding to schools than before the Great Recession, and many are making additional cuts.

Higher Education:

  • The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday on Fisher v. University of Texas II. In The Atlantic, Richard D. Kahlenberg examines how the high court’s ruling on the case next year has the potential to end affirmative action based on race and ethnicity in school admissions policies.

  • Inside Higher Ed speculated on how the justices will rule in the affirmative action case and shared the reactions to Justice Antonin Scalia’s remarks questioning whether affirmative action may be harming African-American students.

  • The major findings of a new study from the University of Wisconsin at Madison were shared in The Chronicle of Higher Education: “One in five community-college students went hungry in the last month because they couldn’t afford enough food, according to a new study, and one in 10 either were forced out of a home or have stayed overnight in a shelter or an abandoned building.”

  • How can selective colleges and universities enroll and graduate more high-achieving, low-income students? The Hechinger Report shares Grinnell College’s strategies for socioeconomic diversity.


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  •  The St. Francis Indian School Board of Education celebrated the accomplishments of Cooke Young Scholars Sheighla Lunderman and Matilda Anderson at a recent meeting, reports Lakota Country Times.

  • Cooke Young Scholar Ayetzy Presa’s mock trial team was featured in the Highland Community News. The high school team was undefeated as it headed to the county championship semifinals for the first time in the school’s history. Ayetzy says: “I learned that putting in the practice and dedication with my team leads to amazing results. I want to work to advocate for others, for voices that don’t always feel as if they are heard, and I know that my time spent in mock trial has helped me build the confidence to do so.”

  • Cooke Scholar Yasmine Arrington published a piece in The Huffington Post about the importance of education and mentorship in supporting students with incarcerated parents.

  • The Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship application deadline is four days away! Community college students who wish to continue their studies at a four-year institution in fall 2016 can apply now through Dec. 15, 2015. Cooke Scholars will receive up to $40,000 for each year – plus college planning support, ongoing advising, and the opportunities for study abroad and internship stipends. They also become eligible for a $50,000 per year Cooke Graduate Scholarship. Click here to learn more and apply.