July 15: Education News We're Reading This Week


July 15, 2016 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. K-12 experts call on schools to improve their communications with minority families regarding programs for high-achieving students. College cost and the complexity of the admissions process can deter many students, but a few groups offer new solutions.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • Access to more rigorous coursework and helping parents understand the college application process are two strategies recommended in The Hechinger Report for helping Hispanic students and their families narrow the achievement gap.

  • The Washington Post discusses the underrepresentation of minority students in gifted programs offered by Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. Without sacrificing standards or expectations, improved outreach and recruitment could help the “many minority, low-income or non-English-speaking families [who] lacked information or were confused or intimidated by the application process.”


Higher Education:

  • School districts may track graduation and college admission rates, but now only a few metropolitan districts have begun looking at their graduates’ summer melt, two-year retention, and completion. U.S. News & World Report describes how the District of Columbia Public Schools has become a leader in data collection, which it uses to advise current students and their families on college choice.

  • Another solution for summer melt is known as “nudging.” Nonprofit Quarterly describes how Ben Castleman, a Cooke Scholar and assistant professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia, “focuses his research on using text messages to simplify information and help students make decisions.”

  • “College costs are out of control,” reads a headline from CNBC. Several education experts weigh in on the contributing factors, such as state disinvestment in public institutions, and the article notes that “lowest-income students are the hardest hit.”

  • “Only about 9 percent of those from the lowest quartile of wealth complete college degrees, whereas about three-quarters from the top quartile do,” says Inside Higher Ed in coverage of college and class divisions.

  • A new report from Demos on the “Rule of 10” is summarized in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The report envisions a system “in which the net cost of college should equate 10 percent of a family’s discretionary income over 10 years, coupled with 10 hours of work per year throughout the duration of a student’s time in college.”


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • GoodCall summarizes our recent issue brief that provides colleges with strategies to better recruit talented, low-income students.

  • Cooke Scholar Jossalyn Jensen received a 2010 Cooke Young Artist Award and went on to complete her master’s program at the Juilliard School with a Graduate Arts Scholarship. Now, reports the Deseret News, Jossalyn is off to attend the Conservatoire de Paris on a Fulbright scholarship.

  • The Berkshire Eagle highlights Cooke Young Scholar Johannes Nightingale’s recent hands-on experiments at Berkshire Community College’s Summer STEM Academy.

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