Feb. 19: Education News We're Reading This Week


Feb. 19, 2016 – Here’s our weekly roundup of the biggest news you may have missed. While new questions emerge for affirmative action practices, advocates at the K-12 and higher education levels examine additional strategies to support diversity.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • “Right now, there exists an almost ironclad link between a child’s ZIP code and her chances of success,” Harvard University economics professor Roland Fryer tells U.S. News & World ­Report in an article exploring inequality and education.

  • The New York City Department of Education is intent on balancing diversity in its schools. According to The New York Times, a new initiative allows “a group of principals to set aside a percentage of seats for low-income families, English-language learners or students engaged with the child welfare system.”

  • The flawed implementation of technology in the classroom is widening the opportunity gap, but EdSurge recommends five ways to reverse the trend.

Higher Education:

  • Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, The Chronicle of Higher Education explains that while the anticipated ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin is not likely to be affected, the severity of changes to affirmative action is up for speculation.

  • Elite college admissions need an overhaul, says The Atlantic. The article recommends adding faculty members as advisers to the admissions office and encouraging more creative thinking and problem-solving skills for students.

  • Understanding how first-generation, minority, and low-income students gather information and make decisions about higher education is critical for institutions. Education Dive notes that planning resources for educational outcomes should also be a priority.

  • Noting the confusion of the financial aid system, the latest report from the New America Foundation proposes (and is titled) “Starting from Scratch.” Among other recommendations, the report’s authors would change “the allocation of federal higher education funding from a voucher program to a formula-funded grant program, eliminating federal loans, Pell Grants, and tuition tax credits altogether.”


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • “If our country truly values equality, it’s time the school system reworks itself to reflect that,” states Long Beach Union Weekly in a column discussing “True Merit” findings.

  • Cooke Scholar Ismael Castaneda is profiled in Orange Magazine, highlighting his mentorship to other first-generation and Latino students.

  • Noodle Education describes how the Cooke Foundation and other nonprofit organizations are supporting transfer pathways for community college students to complete four-year degrees.

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