November 20: Education News We're Reading This Week

November 20, 2015—Our weekly roundup of the biggest news you might have missed! Gifted education might be getting a boost, but for now talented, low-income students struggle for access to these programs and for college planning pathways.


Elementary and Secondary Education:

  • A piece published by the Education Writers Association describes how zoning laws perpetuate the existence of high-poverty neighborhoods and their struggling schools.

  • Noodle Education delves into the state of gifted education in the United States, recognizing that acceleration and early identification are rare practices. Citing the Cooke Foundation’s “Equal Talents, Unequal Opportunities” report and a recent study by Card and Giuliano, the article concludes that “underprivileged, gifted students may be overlooked during the very process in which advanced students are typically identified.”

  • “Exceptional talent in children can be a source of financial and emotional stress for parents who don’t feel equipped,” says Smithsonian Magazine in an article about the budgeting burdens of raising a gifted child.

  • The ESEA reauthorization has made it through the committee approval process, and Education Week provides an overview of what the proposed Every Child Succeeds Act will contain. The National Association for Gifted Children additionally notes that this version of the bill includes provisions from the TALENT Act that mandate teacher training on supporting gifted students and a requirement for state report cards to include more transparent, disaggregated data on student achievement beyond only “proficient” levels.


Higher Education:

  • The Edvance Foundation uses best practices from the Cooke Foundation’s Community College Transfer Initiative in its proposed design of new partnership pathways between community colleges and private institutions, reports Inside Higher Ed.
  • In The Huffington Post, Jessica Pliska of The Opportunity Network reflects on how an alternative to the Common App proposed by the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success will affect students who are low income or first generation. Pliska points out that differences in knowledge, preparation, and exposure to career-related activities are significant challenges to these students.

  • The Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid is under heavy criticism from lawmakers and investigators. The Chronicle of Higher Education categorizes the accusations as gaps in oversight, inadequate communication, and insufficient action toward safeguarding money.


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • Cooke Scholar Nate Marshall’s new book Wild Hundreds, a poetry collection, received a thoughtful review from NPR.

  • 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.