June 17: Education News We're Reading This Week


June 17, 2016 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. Low-performing schools, homelessness, and food insecurity are some of the obstacles low-income students encounter through their K-12 education. Higher ed experts attempt to tackle low graduation rates, soaring college cost, and student loans.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • Drawing insights from the success of high-performing, high-poverty schools, Edutopia explains important questions and actions that other education leaders can consider to promote student achievement.

  • “More than 1 million public school students in the United States have no room to call their own, no desk to do their homework, no bed to rely on at night,” writes NPR in its summary of a new report on student homelessness by Civic Enterprises. As the number of homeless students has doubled in the past decade, the challenges of identifying and supporting students with insecure housing persist.

  • Noting that over 80 percent of children eligible for federally funded summer meals programs do not participate, the National Association of State Boards of Education recommends strategies to expand implementation.


Higher Education:

  • The Washington Post speculates on some of the implications that ending affirmative action would have if the Supreme Court does so in its upcoming ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. As the admissions cycle for fall 2017 is now beginning, “colleges will be forced to scramble to comply” to any major changes.

  • Some community colleges and universities have begun offering small tuition rebates to full-time students who graduate on time and maintain a certain GPA. EdCentral reviewed outcomes and determines that these programs do not support low-income students through the moments they are struggling financially, and suggests that micro-grants for tuition and fees are more effective in boosting graduation rates.

  • Achieving the Dream announces its OER Degree Initiative includes 38 community colleges in 13 states, that will build entire degree programs using open educational resources (OER). EdSurge reports that the goals include reducing financial burdens for students and increasing their engagement with course materials, as well are making the OER courses available to non-participating institutions to use.

  • “Does student debt derail young people from the American dream of owning a home? That depends on which headline you click,” says MarketWatch. The student loans system is not just complicated to understand but also complicated to restructure, as Diverse: Issues In Higher Education observes in the “lively exchanges” of a recent Capitol Hill briefing.


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • The Cooke Foundation announces this year’s College Scholarship Program recipients! Overcoming the odds and achieving excellence despite financial need, these 85 high school graduates will each receive up to $40,000 per year, plus academic advising, opportunities for internship stipends and studying abroad, and networking with the Cooke Scholar community.

  • Cooke Scholar Daniel Leon-Davis reflects on the Orlando tragedy in Fusion: “LGBT communities are often forced to use nightclubs as our safe haven, and Pulse was mine.”

  • Recognizing and channeling feelings of self-doubt may be the first step to success, writes Cooke Scholar Isa Adney in Success Magazine.