Posts published in October, 2009
According to the Department of Labor jobs for community college graduates will grow at double the national average over the next decade. This is faster job growth than for 4 year graduates. Some fields like computer support, nursing, and green jobs are examples of this trend for community colleges. But community college completion rates are low- around 25 to 35% , so it is unclear whether the supply of graduates will materalize. Their are waitng lists for courses in many 2 year colleges ,along with student aid cutbacks. Student services are being slashed, and financial incentives encourage colleges to enroll students but not completion.
Achieving the Dream, a national initiative to improve student success in community colleges, recently released a policy brief entitled Setting Up Success in Developmental Education: How State Policy Can Help Community Colleges to Improve Student Outcomes. Remediation is well in excess of 60% of students in community colleges, so the need for new state policy is urgent.
In the report, Michael Collins describes how fifteen Achieving the Dream states are focusing on four key policies to improve outcomes for developmental students:
· Prevention Strategies
· Assessment and Placement
· Implementation and Evaluation of Program Innovation, and
· Performance Measurement and Incentives
The full report is available at: http://www.jff.org/publications/education/setting-success-developmental-education-/839
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF THE GREAT AMERICAN SCHOOL SYSTEM:
In THE DEATH AND LIFE OF THE GREAT AMERICAN SCHOOL SYSTEM, award-winning author, public intellectual, and former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch critiques a lifetime’s worth of school reforms and reveals the simple—yet difficult—truth about how we can create actual change in public schools. Evaluating broadly popular ideas for restructuring schools, she explains why they have had no positive impact on the quality of American education. Throughout the book, Ravitch reconsiders the evolution of her own views on key issues and reveals her skepticism regarding charter schools, Teach for America, ethnocentric and religious schools, philanthropists who are trying to control school reform, and using business models for school planning. Drawing on over forty years of research and observation on education, Ravitch also offers prescriptions for improving our schools. A passionate plea to promote the survival of public education, The Death and Life of the Great American School System represents a radical change of heart from one of America’s best-known education experts. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of our schools in this country.
The federal Institute For Educational Sciences has a very useful and careful synthesis of how to help students enter and be successful in college. It is authored by five leading scholars who use explicit criteria for weighing the scientific evidence for various programs and practices. It is the most comprehensive research synthesis I have seen. The results are organized around 5 key themes such as : surround students with adults and peers who build and support college aspirations. Programs like Upward Bound and Talent search are evaluated based on the quality of research for each intervention.
You can down load it at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee