November 13: Education News We're Reading This Week

November 12, 2015—Our weekly roundup of the biggest news you might have missed! As the HEA turns 50, we highlight new initiatives to promote college access and other education policy updates.

Elementary and Secondary Education:

  • Have the House and Senate reached an agreement on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization? It’s not official, but Education Week‘s sources are confirming the news.
  • At the White House’s Next Generation High School Summit, our grantee Equal Opportunity Schools announced a new Lead Higher initiative to help one state become the first in the U.S. to fully reflect its diversity in the advanced placement and international baccalaureate courses taken in its K-12 schools.

  • Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City’s public school students will be able to take the SAT for free during school hours, an initiative that The New York Post commends for addressing inequality.
  • In San Francisco parents are voicing frustration about decisions that eliminated middle school honors programs and paused the gifted student identification process. SFGate covers the major points of contention at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

  • The U.S. Department of Education awards Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development (CTD), a long-time partner of the Cooke Foundation, a $1.2 million Javits Gifted and Talented Education Program grant, which the center will use to identify gifted and academically advanced students from economically disadvantaged families. Read more about how CTD is working to close the Excellence Gap.

Higher Education:

  • Marking the 50th anniversary of the Higher Education Act (HEA), The Chronicle of Higher Education questions whether the act has been successful at removing the barriers to college access.

  • Cooke Foundation grantee College Summit is using the power of peer pressure for good. TakePart describes how the organization is empowering its students to talk to other teenagers about higher education.

  • Duke has announced a new program to support incoming first-generation freshman students and those from disadvantaged high schools, reports Inside Higher Ed.

  • Scientific American expresses concern about an overreliance on standardized test scores in colege admissions, suggesting that including more measures of creativity and other non-cognitive skills “may also broaden the cultural diversity of the student body.”

  • Student protests across the country made headlines this week, stemming from issues of alleged racism at the University of Missouri. BuzzFeed summarizes the series of events that led to resignations of the university system’s president, Tim Wolfe, and chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin.

Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • The Cornell Asian Pacific Islander Student Union shares an interview with Cooke Scholar Sagar Chapagain, and The Tribune features Cooke Scholar Ariana Rosario’s academic achievements.
  • ABC News shares a new STEM challenge from the Ingenuity Project at Baltimore Polytechnical Institute, a grant recipient of the foundation, which asks students to create devices for under $20 to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay.
  • The Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship application is open! Community college students who wish to continue their studies at a four-year institution in fall 2016 can apply now through December 15, 2015. Cooke Scholars will receive up to $40,000 for each year – plus college planning support, ongoing advising, and the opportunities for study abroad and internship stipends. They also become eligible for a $50,000 per year Cooke Graduate Scholarship. Click here to learn more and apply.

  • Our Good Neighbor Grants program is accepting proposals from nonprofit organizations in the Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland areas that are helping students with significant financial need reach their full potential through education. The Cooke Foundation will award grants between $10,000 – $35,000. Learn about our eligibility requirements, and apply now through December 3, 2015.