October 23: Education News We're Reading This Week

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October 23, 2015—Our weekly roundup of the biggest news you might have missed! This week, we highlight stories from the media’s focus on achievement and access, the Excellence Gap, and gifted education reform.

Promoting Access and Achievement:

  • First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative unveiled the exciting launch of Better Make Room, a website and social media movement to give college-bound Generation Z students a place to share aspirations, support, and be elevated to celebrity status (read our quick recap of the launch here!).
  • The U.S. Department of Education published a resource guide to help educators support undocumented students in high school and college. The guide includes information on the rights of undocumented students, non-citizen financial aid, and information on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) consideration and renewal.
  • State high school graduation rates vary from 61.4 percent in D.C. to 90.5 percent in Iowa. The Los Angeles Times says the graduation gap is about more than just money.
  • A new report from the National Student Clearinghouse shows the gaps in college enrollment and completion that are correlated with a high school’s minority level and income level. Regardless of location or minority level however, the data show that “students from low income schools are 10 to 20 percentage points less likely to enroll in college immediately after graduating from high school.”
  • The Hechinger Report demonstrates that achievement gaps can be exacerbated within schools as well, stating “richer kids get steered to more rigorous math classes and poorer kids get steered to watered-down math classes.”
  • Will a replacement for the Common App fuel social mobility and college access for low-income students? The New York Times is hopeful but skeptical.

Gifted Education Reform:

Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • 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. The College Scholarship Program application is also open through November 3, 2015. In both programs, Cooke Scholars 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.
    Both applications are available here: https://application.jkcf.org
  • 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. Grant amounts will be awarded between $10,000 – $35,000. Learn more about our eligibility requirements and apply now through December 3, 2015.