February 6, 2015: Education News We're Reading This Week


February 6, 2015—Here are the best articles from education news this week.

The New York Times reports that closing the education gap between poor and wealthy U.S. students will have a positive effect on the national economy.

This NPR article assesses the challenges that accompany public online education, using the Florida Virtual School as an example. Small teacher salaries and nonexistent special education curriculum top the list of critiques.

Melissa Korn of The Wall Street Journal has weighed in on the new Pell Institute study titled “Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the United States.” Data unsurprisingly shows that wealthy students’ college completion rates have increased greatly in 40 years, while those for low-income students have been upped from 6 to only 9 percent. Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy also responded to the study—you can read his take on our blog.

Vox has posted these three startling graphs which emphasize the enormity of the income gap for college students. Both starting at a college or university and graduating are less straightforward for those from low-income families, this data shows.

College mentorship for low-income students, students of color, and first-generation college-goersor all of the aboveincreases success rates greatly, writes Garrett Neiman in Forbes.

University of Scranton’s director of multicultural affairs notes that affordability is key if institutions really hope to diversify their campuses.

Mary Jo Madda and Michael Winters mention the Cooke Foundation on this week’s EdSurge podcast, the first edition of its weekly recordings.

College Scholar Sharmen Hettipola posted a reflection of her most recent trip to Sri Lanka, for which she provided 170 students at the Haragama School with supplies for the year. Read more about Sharmen on our blog.

Inside Philanthropy mentions the Cooke and Davidson foundations in an article discussing support for gifted students.

Over the past two days the Cooke Foundation has held a first-of-its-kind summit on closing the excellence gap for high-achieving, low-income students. One attendee, magnet high school principal Dr. Quesha Starks, was featured in Montgomery Advertiser.

Dropout Nation mentions that, according to Cooke Foundation statistics, 3.4 million students in the U.S. are high-achieving and come from poor and minority households.