July 8: Education News We're Reading This Week


July 8, 2016 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. New reports illustrate that public schools are segregated by race and income. In higher ed, strategies to boost diversity and affordability are discussed.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • “The way we fund schools in the United States creates incentives for communities to segregate along socioeconomic lines in order to preserve local wealth,” states EdBuild. Its new data visual displays 180 of these so-called “island districts.”

  • Chalkbeat criticizes the lack of racial diversity in Indianapolis magnet schools, even describing one location as “a rare haven of excellence carved out primarily to attract the children of white, wealthy families.”

  • One in five households with school-age children do not have internet access, which can restrict a student’s ability to complete homework assignments. Ed Tech Magazine describes strategies used by different school districts to bridge the digital divide.

  • “Neuroscience tells us that the brains of kids regularly facing significant trauma or toxic stress are wired for survival and likely to erupt at the smallest provocation,” notes The Atlantic in its coverage of promising programs helping vulnerable students succeed in high school and beyond.


Higher Education:

  • “Research shows that that sense of belonging really matters, influencing students’ academic as well as social experience of college,” writes The Chronicle of Education (paywall). “So elite colleges must make a real effort to help students from less-advantaged backgrounds feel at home.” The article highlights Cooke Scholar Victoria Davidjohn’s positive experience as a first-generation student at Princeton University as an example of such support.

  • A new bill proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives would ignore the Senate’s attempt to restore year-round Pell grant eligibility, reports Inside Higher Ed.

  • An opinion piece in The Hechinger Report says tax exemption for a college’s endowment gains should be tied to its performance in economic mobility as an incentive for institutions to “enroll, educate, and graduate more students from disadvantaged economic backgrounds.”

  • Two publications offer recommendations for promoting diversity on campus. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education advises institutions to focus on quality learning, praise institutional success with caution, consider hiring practices, and recruit smartly from the local community. The Washington Post suggests randomly assigning all freshman roommates, as research has shown that “students who lived with a member of another race showed significant gains in the comfort levels they exhibited around different groups.”

Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • “At this point,” says Cooke Scholar Isla Martinez-Iglesias, “I just stopped doubting that the impossible was possible.” A new recipient of our Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, Isla’s accomplishments and ambitions are celebrated in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

  • “When I became a part of the scholar community, my passion for education grew stronger,” reflects Cooke Scholar Gabby Nicholas on our blog. Gabby describes how new experiences throughout her academic journey influenced her career decision.

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