December 17th, 2013
HOW TO SOLVE THE COLLEGE DROPOUT CRISIS
The biggest hindrance to completing college isn’t financial preparedness, but academic preparedness. Half of the students in community colleges need high-school-level courses when they enroll. Notably, half of the students in community colleges and 20 to 30 percent of those in four-year schools need a remedial, high-school-level course when they enroll; having to spend time and money without accumulating credits toward a degree prompts most of them to quit. Complete College America prefers the idea of “corequisites” that combine remedial tutoring, sometimes using software, with college-credit work. The article is in The Atlantic.
December 16th, 2013
From Education First:
In just over a year from now, the vast majority of states are planning to transition to Common Core-aligned assessments. This transition is a crucial step in fully implementing the new standards, as these assessments will measure the extent to which students are mastering the content and skills embedded in the standards-something most current
state assessments simply cannot do.
The push to meet this milestone is pressure-packed. The clock is ticking, and state policymakers are working hard to discern fact from fiction and to keep up with
the rapidly changing landscape so they can understand, communicate and weigh their options effectively.
We’ve been working closely with state leaders, foundations and other organizations to help provide information, analysis and strategic support to facilitate sound decision-making and implementation of high-quality, Common Core-aligned assessments. This
deck–A Primer on Common Core-Aligned Assessments–distills and synthesizes the key
issues involved, and provides the most up-to-date resource on the content, use,
purpose and quality of current state tests and PARCC, SBAC and ACT Aspire.
December 15th, 2013
States Make Turnaround in Higher Ed Funding
A preliminary survey by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) finds 37 states boosted fiscal year 2014 support for public four-year institutions, while only seven made cuts. Topping the list of states recording year-over-year increases was New Hampshire, slated to raise funding for four-year public universities by 28.6% after significant cuts in prior years. (Governing, 12/03/13)
December 12th, 2013
A better measure of success
With current college completion data focusing on full-time students who finish at their first institution, to the exclusion of other student cohorts—including the one in five students who transfer during higher education—this week’s enews explores alternative suggestions and systems for capturing completion data.
December 10th, 2013
Overall charter school enrollment increased by approximately 225,000 students during the 2012-2013 school year and there are now more than 2.3 million students attending these independently run, innovative public schools. Today, one in every 20 public school children in America attends a charter school.
Here are a few more key findings from the report:by NAPC.
- The three communities with the highest charter school market share are: New Orleans where an astounding 79 percent of public school students attend charter schools; Detroit where 51 percent attend charters; and Washington, D.C., where 43 percent of all public school students attend charters.
- In seven school districts, at least 30 percent of public school students attend public charter schools: Detroit and Flint, Mich.; Gary, Ind.; Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.; New Orleans; and Washington, D.C.
- In Los Angeles more than 120,000 students attend public charter schools, which is more students than are served by 99.9 percent of American school districts.
- In 135 American school districts, at least 10 percent of public school students attend charter schools.
- In the five school districts with the most charter school students, enrollment grew by 49,000 total students over the previous school year. Those school districts were: Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Chicago.
- In the five school districts with the largest growth in charter school enrollment, enrollment grew by an average of 35 percent in the 2012-13 school year, adding nearly 14,000 new charter students in those communities. Those school districts were: Hall County, Ga.; San Diego; Duvall County, Fla.; Newark, N.J.; and Hillsborough County, Fla.
- There are 33 new school districts listed in the report this year that have all demonstrated notable charter school market share growth since the 2011-2012 school year. Twenty-eight joined the list of districts with more than 10 percent of their students enrolled in a charter school, and five new districts joined the top 50 total enrollment list.
If you want to learn more, or see if your school district made the list, you can read A Growing Movement: America’s Largest Charter School Communities
December 9th, 2013
Community Colleges Grades
Prospective students in California can now call up a scorecard for a variety of community colleges to see how they rate by such categories as persistence, completion, remediation, average length of time to accumulate 30 credits, and career technical information. Student profiles also are offered by gender, age, and ethnicity/race. This is one of the best summary data tools that I have seen for community colleges.
December 7th, 2013
ARE COLLEGES READY TO ADJUST TO A NEW HIGHER EDUCATION LANDSCAPE?
Moody’s Investors Service on Friday released a report with grim news, particularly for public institutions: In a survey, 28 percent of public institutions, compared with 15 percent the year before, said they expected declines in their net-tuition revenue, increasingly the lifeblood of many institutions. For private institutions, the news was not quite as dire. Nineteen percent expected declines, compared with 18 percent last year, but that finding should come with a caveat: The Moody’s survey included only the institutions the credit-rating company evaluates, which means they are probably among the more financially stable private colleges out there. One has to wonder if American higher education is the proverbial frog in a slowly warming pot of water, not realizing that it’s about to be boiled alive. The post is from The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Bottom Line blog.
December 4th, 2013
Given the long standing and deeply rooted tradition of a high school senor slump for students, the following clip from ECS suggests only minor incremental steps are being taken:
Seven states and the District of Columbia have implemented initiatives for transition-to-college courses in high school: Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, according to this brief. The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) is working with its 16 member states to embrace a college-readiness agenda and has developed model transition courses available online to everyone. Tennessee offers a bridge math course, which this year is expanding to 9,000 students who will then be eligible to take a tuition-free math class for dual credit. Since 2006, California students have been able to take an Early Assessment test; all those deemed college ready are guaranteed enrollment at any California State University and 70 community colleges. Nationwide, the least has been done for students with the greatest needs. (Jobs for the Future)
December 3rd, 2013
FOR-PROFIT CODE OF CONDUCT NOWHERE TO BE FOUND
In 2011 for-profit higher-education companies unveiled plans to develop a voluntary code of conduct—a response to critics who argued for reining in an industry they considered prone to abuses of students. Today hardly any trace of the effort can be found. The Foundation for Educational Success, which was coordinating the effort, no longer exists, said Stephen White, vice president for communications at the Kaplan Higher Education Group, in an e-mail. Mark Spencer, director of corporate communications at the Career Education Corporation, also said the foundation does not exist. Both companies were original members of the foundation
Source: Carnegie Foundation
December 2nd, 2013
States Aren’t So Sure High Schoolers Should Go to College
New laws in Texas and Florida de-emphasize Algebra 2, the math class required for admission to four-year colleges, placement into college-level math at two-year institutions, and an indicator of college readiness under the Common Core standards. Still, the advantage of state requirements that require advanced academics is that they clearly communicate what top colleges want. ECS’ Jennifer Dounay Zinth is quoted in this article. (National Journal, 11/21/13)