May 1: Education News We're Reading This Week


May 1, 2015Here are the best articles from education news this week.

The Washington Post asks why the number of black male teachers is dwindling, considering more than half of public school students are children of color. Poor working conditions and dysfunctional administration are the leading factors contributing to this lack of diversity, according to a new study by Harvard researchers.

Federal student loan counseling for soon-to-be college students is unnecessarily complicated, claims President Obama and the nonprofit TG in this article from The New York Times. The required practice is often digital, but some are trying to personalize the multi-faceted process.

The Hechinger Report warns of college “bait and switch,” the terrifying practice in which colleges attract potential students with financial aid but reduce their contribution after a few years. Low-income upperclassmen face a difficult choice when confronted with this enormous obstacle.

A new Iowa bill attempts to redefine the role of professors and students as customers. NPR writes that though it is unlikely to pass, the Republican legislation asks good questions about debt, value and worth at U.S. universities.

The Huffington Post asks why few high school graduates desire to teach. ACT data shows that 5% of the 1.85 million students surveyed in 2014 were uninterested in pursuing a degree in the field.

Redesigning America’s Community Colleges, a new book by Columbia University education researchers, calls for simplification of the country’s two-year schools. Fueled by the “paradox of choice”—in which too many options causes confusion—the suggestion is that streamlining the approach would lead to higher graduation and transfer rates for those seeking a bachelor’s degree.

Student-centered, game-based learning is at the heart of DragonBox, an algebra app for preschoolers created by Jean-Baptiste Huynh. Greg Toppo sat down with Huynh to learn more about the efficient and fun application that teaches math to four-year-olds.

A new Equal Opportunity Schools initiative helps more underrepresented students take college-level courses, as reported by Education Week. College Board, Google, International Baccalaureate, Tableau and the Cooke Foundation are all working together on the $100 million venture.

Seminole State College announced this week that four of their students were selected as Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholars, a national record.

Education Dive published this piece on Vassar College’s work to increase economic diversity on campus—a practice that won the school the inaugural Cooke Prize for Equity in Educational Excellence.