March 18: Education News We're Reading This Week


March 18, 2016—Here’s our weekly roundup of the biggest news you may have missed. Two new initiatives strive to close the K-12 Excellence Gap in Illinois. Higher education updates focus on supporting socioeconomic diversity at colleges and universities.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • A new report from One Chance Illinois details the underrepresentation of minority and low-income students is the state’s gifted education programs.

  • Illinois is working to close the Excellence Gap by identifying and enrolling these “missing” students in AP and IB courses through a partnership with the Lead Higher Initiative announced this week. (The Cooke Foundation is a philanthropic partner of the Lead Higher Initiative.)

  • Dorothy Counts-Scoggins was the first black student to attend Harding High in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Huffington Post reports that now, “at age 73, she is at the forefront of a debate about whether recently re-segregated Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools should integrate classrooms along socioeconomic lines.”


Higher Education:

  • “If class-based affirmative action is carefully constructed, in order to acknowledge the legacy and ongoing reality of racial discrimination, it can produce both racial and socioeconomic diversity in a way that race-based programs never have,” concludes Richard D. Kahlenberg in Washington Monthly.

  • The Baltimore Sun covers the growing trend of campus food banks for low-income students, noting that “tuition rates have risen, financial aid has fallen, and eligibility rules for college loans have tightened. … At the same time, wages have stagnated.”

  • The New America Foundation releases “Undermining Pell III: The News Keeps Getting Worse for Low-Income Students,” finding that the net price of tuition for lowest-income freshman at some institutions averages over $20,000. Stephen Burd, the author of the report, discusses possible solutions to increase socioeconomic diversity and support in a piece for The Hechinger Report.

  • Thoughtful implementation of campus programs can help first-generation students navigate the college landscape, and The Atlantic shares ideas for successful outcomes.


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • Corey Alderdice, director of the Arkansas School for Mathematics, encourages Arkansas Money and Politics readers to help low-income students identify opportunities like our Young Scholars Program.

  • Cooke Scholar Nathan Miller’s experiences in our Young Scholars Program allowed him to explore his evolving interests and paved his pathway to our $40,000 per year College Scholarship Program. Watch our new video profile featuring Nathan and encourage a talented 7th grader to apply before our April 14, 2016 deadline.

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