March 25: Education News We're Reading This Week


March 25, 2016—Here’s our weekly roundup of the biggest news you may have missed. The Department of Education (ED) focuses on helping college-ready students access higher education, and solutions to close the K-12 Excellence Gap are shared across digital media.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • “The US leaves some of its most gifted kids behind in education, because they’re poor” headlines a piece in Quartz, going on to state that “this has significant implications not only for the well-being of these disadvantaged students, but also for societal innovation and even America’s GDP.”

  • Dr. Jonathan Plucker, co-author of our “Equal Talents, Unequal Opportunities” report, discusses bridging the Excellence Gap with the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented (TAGT).

  • The Washington Post notes that “the condition of school buildings remains little-mentioned in discussions about closing achievement gaps,” but because funding for construction and renovation are dependent on the wealth of a district’s local taxpayers, “poor communities in far-flung rural places and declining industrial city centers tend to be in a particularly bad situation.”

  • Education Cities and GreatSchools launch the Education Equality Index, an interactive tool to “comparing the performance of students from low-income families at the school level to the average performance of all students at the state level.” The Fordham Institute has details about the project.


Higher Education:

  • The latest ED report discusses the growing national movement to enhance college access and success. Here are three quick facts to know from “Fulfilling the Promise, Serving the Need: Advancing College Opportunity for Low-Income Students”.

  • What approaches motivate low-income students to apply to college? Student panelists recommend increased awareness of scholarship and grant opportunities at ED’s #PellCompletion event. Additionally, College Summit speaks about positive peer pressure with PBS NewsHour.

  • Inside Higher Ed summarizes a new report from The Education Trust: “Public colleges are increasing students’ overall graduation rates, but a study finds the gap between black and white students continues to widen.”


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • Two Cooke Scholars are featured this week: Sofia Medina-Pardo’s story is in the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation Visionary journal, and Karen Cruz shares how she went from Cooke Young Scholar to a Yale graduate on our blog.

  • University of Virginia Magazine profiles Nicole Hurd, founder of College Advising Corps.

  • Executive Director Harold O. Levy has a candid conversation about admissions with the USACollegeChat podcast.

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