March 11: Education News We're Reading This Week


March 11, 2016—Here’s our weekly roundup of the biggest news you may have missed. Free community college and our “True Merit” report are becoming anchors in discussions on higher education reform.


Elementary and Secondary Education:

  • “Poor students who grew up in areas with high income inequality are significantly more likely to drop out of high school than students who grew up in areas with less inequality,” states The Wall Street Journal in a summary of a recent Brookings report.

  • President Barack Obama made statements supporting the Federal Communication Commission’s ConnectAll initiative, reports The New York Times. The FCC hopes to increase the number of homes with broadband access, a significant step in closing the homework gap.


Higher Education:

  • “The goal of giving high-achieving, low-income students a better shot at being accepted by colleges is of course worth pursuing,” writes The Los Angeles Times. The article cites our “True Merit” report in its recommendations for leveling the playing field.

  • Identifying the additional efforts that low-income students make to be competitive with wealthier peers is “key” in admissions decisions, The New York Times notes.

  • “A narrow 51 percent majority agreed, ‘The government should provide free public college education because a post-secondary degree is now so essential to success.’” That’s one interesting statistic highlighted in The Atlantic’s summary on a recent poll measuring Americans’ opinions on educational access

  • Ivy Tech Community College President Tom Snyder describes the successful elements of the Tennessee Promise for a “blueprint” to other state free community college programs in The Huffington Post.


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • Harold Levy, our executive director, announced the establishment of a new nonprofit aimed at transparency in edtech pricing to attendees at SXSWedu. The Hechinger Report has the details.

  • After attending the Inter Ivy League First-Generation College Student Conference at Harvard University, Cooke Scholar Sagar Chapagain encourages campus leaders to continue strengthening outreach for low-income, first-generation students in The Cornell Daily Sun.

  • The Ledger-Enquirer commemorates the accomplishments of Principal Marvin Crumbs, one of 100 school leaders who joined us for our recent Closing the Excellence Gap Summit. “Nearly one-fourth of Columbus High’s 1,281 students come from families who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, but the school’s graduation and college readiness rate are 100 percent.”

  • Cooke Foundation grantee Equal Opportunity Schools is beginning work with the Westerville City School District. Westerville News & Public Opinion says the effort will “help to identify and place low-income students and students of color into Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses.”


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