May 6: Education News We're Reading This Week


May 6, 2016–Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. Funding issues and inequalities from kindergarten through college were the major focuses of conversations this week.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • The third and final installment of NPR’s School Money series questions current school funding policies and disparities both among and between states, concluding: “The achievement gap between this nation’s wealthiest and poorest students is growing dramatically, not shrinking. Something’s not working.”

  • The Education Writers Association held its annual conference this week, focusing on “The Quest for Quality and Equity”. EdSurge provides a summary of topics and sessions that examined inequalities in both K-12 and higher education.


Higher Education:

  • “Abigail Fisher’s lawyer says Texas shouldn’t consider race, because it has the top 10% rule set up to increase diversity at state schools. Is that rule really working?” The Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal podcast explains the contention over admissions policies at the state’s public universities, and also explores how socioeconomic status can influence the decision process for students.

  • The second half of Tina Rosenberg’s college equity coverage in The New York Times quotes Executive Director Harold O. Levy and weaves in the findings of our “True Merit” report. The story says that the “vast majority of colleges” don’t actively recruit low-income students and support them through need-blind admissions and financial aid practices.

  • Commentary in The Chronicle of Higher Education suggests ideas for making public universities more affordable and a new guide from the Institute for Higher Education Policy lists updated data collection metrics for providing the public with more detailed information on an institution’s performance, efficiency, and equity.

  • While college costs have risen, the endowments at 56 private colleges have grown to above $1 billion. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) describes why some congressional lawmakers are discussing taxing these endowments as “discontent over a growing gap between higher education’s haves and have-nots.”


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • President Barack Obama recognized Cooke Scholar Regina Ledesma’s achievements at the APAICS Annual Awards Gala Dinner. A video of his speech is available on The White House’s YouTube channel.

  • Nominated by Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has earned the 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. “Hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, the 11th annual event honors leading philanthropists from each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges as well as the statewide foundation,” describes NOVA.

  • In The Hill, Executive Director Harold O. Levy explains how diversity in college admissions could be maintained even if the Supreme Court ends affirmative action.

  • Cooke Scholar Huma Safeed writes about research and activism for the Oxford University Press blog, and new College Scholarship Program recipients are announced in local coverage by the Miami Herald and Oregon’s NBC5.

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