Jan. 22: Education News We're Reading This Week


Jan. 22, 2016—Here’s our weekly roundup of the biggest news you may have missed. Education advocates are taking action to the improve the admissions process and access for low-income students.


True Merit Highlights:

  • The conversation on our True Merit report has continued both in the news and across social media, including stories from BuzzFeed and Mic.

  • Cooke Scholar Rhiana Gunn-Wright’’s experiences attending prestigious institutions as a student with financial need are profiled in part of a new series exploring issues of inequality from The Chronicle of Higher Education (paywall).

Higher Education:

  • A group of colleges and universities led by the Harvard Graduate School of Education​ say the admissions process should value applicants’ “ethical engagement and contributions.” The Wall Street Journal​ (paywall) details the recommendations of admissions officials, quoting one dean of admissions: “‘I’m horrified by the completely unlevel playing field because there is this entire world of truly talented kids’ who don’t have fair access to good counseling and campus visits, she said.”

  • College access groups tell Inside Higher Ed that changes to the online FAFSA application have led to many challenges for low-income students.

  • The Hechinger Report summarizes a new report on community college transfers: “Nationally, just 36 percent of low-income transfer students complete a B.A. compared with 44 percent of middle and upper income students.”

Elementary and Secondary Education:

  • “Black students are about half as likely as white students to be put on a “gifted” track — even when they have comparable test scores,” reports NPR. When black students are taught by black teachers, they are identified for gifted programs at the same rate as their white peers.

  • Diverse questions whether students of color and students from low-income families are supported by schools, even if they do manage to be identified for gifted programs, stating that “the college access pipeline is not just leaky it is broken.”

  • Earlier this week, teachers across Detroit Public Schools called out sick to protest the dilapidated conditions at many of the city’s schools. The Detroit Free Press includes videos and pictures of the buildings in their coverage of the protests, which have now ended.


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