Oct. 21: Education News We're Reading This Week


October 21, 2016 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. Media outlets offer different takes on national graduation rates, and colleges consider a variety of ways to support underserved students.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • A new report from The Century Foundation finds that since 2007, “the number of districts pursuing socioeconomic diversity has more than doubled, as has the sophistication of those plans.” The report details strategies for successful integration design and implementation.

  • The White House announces that high school graduation rates reached an all-time high of 83.2 percent during the 2014-15 school year. Although the graduation gap for low-income students has been narrowing over the past four years, it remains below the overall average at 76.1 percent. Additionally, Education Week casts some doubts about the amount of progress the numbers capture.

  • School districts are being required to improve efforts to identify and help students who are experiencing homelessness. The 74 Million reports that these students struggle to graduate even more than their other low-income peers, and the availability of support services varies widely.


Higher Education:

  • “The growing number of food pantries on college campuses may well be taken as yet another sign that a college education in general is just too expensive,” writes NPR.

  • The ASPIRE act would require colleges and universities with low percentages of low-income students to increase enrollment and improve outcomes for such students. The bill is expected to be considered as part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act next year, according to University Business.

  • The “first-generation” label “can be both empowering and unifying” for students who are first in their families to attend college, The Atlantic reports.


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • Cooke Young Scholar Hector Martinez speaks to the Valley Morning Star about his passion for advanced math and his goals to solve the Riemann Hypothesis and attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Alma-Delia Renteria summarizes three major obstacles keeping high-achieving students with financial need from applying to selective institutions in her LA Comadre blog.

  • We were honored to receive the Arts Philanthropy Award from the Arts Council of Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Times has details on the award reception, and Board Member Stuart Haney describes Jack Kent Cooke’s philanthropic vision in a video produced by Fairfax County Channel 16.


Cooke Foundation Scholarship & Grant Opportunities:

  • We are now accepting applications for our College Scholarship Program. High-achieving high school seniors should apply now for this generous award. The foundation provides recipients with up to $40,000 per year toward their degree, in addition to college advising and opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding.

  • The deadline for our Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship application is this Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016 at noon EDT. Community college students who are determined to complete their bachelor’s degree can apply now for up to $40,000 per year, along with opportunities for study abroad, internship stipends, graduate school funding and more.

  • Submit your proposal for a Good Neighbor Grant. Selected grantees in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area will receive a one-time grant of between $10,000 and $35,000 to support the establishment of new programs or the enhancement of existing initiatives that support high potential, low-income students.