December 5, 2014: Education News We're Reading This Week


December 5, 2014—Here is what’s new in education news this week.

Two- and four-year college completion rates are poor, and a new report, “Four-Year Myth” by Complete College America, points out that this costs students. The Chronicle of Higher Education states that students can lose over $15,000 for every extra year at a public two-year school and over $22,000 at a public four-year college.

The Hechinger Report shares the troubling news that, of schools who promised to expand opportunities for low-income students at a White House summit in January, many have gone in the opposite direction. Private universities who took the pledge have actually raised tuition by 5 percent for wealthier students and 10 percent for the poorest families.

“For well-qualified students, getting into a good college isn’t difficult,” says Kevin Carey of The New York Times. However, top schools tend to exaggerate admission rates by including unqualified applicants in their numbers, in an effort to seem more selective. In turn, many qualified applicants feel uncertain they will be accepted at the nation’s best institutions.

Similarly, The Washington Post suggests that by trying to improve their reputations, colleges are wasting our time and money. Many go to costly lengths to score higher on school ranking lists, but put their money in all the wrong places.

The UK-based Pamoja Education has found that high schoolers who take online classes are more prepared for college. Students between ages 16 and 19 were surveyed, many saying the courses helped with time management and coordinating study groups. Read more on Campus Technology.

Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy published an opinion piece this week on Fox News titled “Let’s recruit academically gifted students from poor neighborhoods the same way we seek out star athletes.”

Yesterday our very own College Scholar Chionque Mines introduced President Barack Obama at the White House Summit on College Opportunity. You can watch the video here.

Numerous outlets covered the event and its proposals to improve college opportunity for students, including McClatchy DC and Philanthropy News Digest. You can also read Michelle Obama’s full remarks here.

NATO Review Magazine recently published an article on deterring hybrid warfare by Cooke Graduate Scholar Peter Pindjak, who works for the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

Undergraduate Transfer Scholar Isa Adney posted a great piece about the Foundation on The Huffington Post. She writes: “What the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation did for me had a lot to do with money, but had much more to do with confidence. They invested in me, and in turn, made me believe that maybe I could be more than I ever thought possible.”

Lastly, Jonathan Plucker of the University of Connecticut had some very nice words about the Foundation in his article for Education Week.