Posts published on August 21, 2013

As Price Of College Rises, So Does Federal Student Support

With college costs continuing to rise, new federal data show that 71% of all undergraduate students received some type of financial aid in 2011-12, up from 66% four years earlier. Forty-two percent of students received federal grants, up from 28%, and 40% received federal loans, up from 35%. Meanwhile, 15% received state grants and 20% received a grant from their college — figures that have remained flat since 2007-08. (Boston Globe, 08/19/13)

New Common Core standards are right for California

By Michael W. Kirst
Professor emeritus at Stanford University, President of the State Board of Education.

It is perhaps the worst-kept secret in public education: Too many students leave school with a diploma in their hands, but without the knowledge in their heads they need to start college or pursue a meaningful career.

We pay a steep price for the skills gap. More than 72 percent of our graduating students go to postsecondary institutions, but many are funneled into remedial, non-credit classes. Employers spend time and money training new workers. But it’s students who suffer most, finding themselves unprepared for the challenging world outside the classroom. The Common Core State Standards represent a big part of what California — and 44 other states — are doing to address the problem.

But adopting the standards, as the State Board of Education did in 2010, was the easy part. The challenge is bringing these standards to life in our schools, work that will require significant effort from every part of our education system – and key decisions from everyone from the statehouse to the schoolhouse. Academic content standards are simply a list of the things we want students to know and be able to do, like drawing the yard lines on a football field. We put the goal line in the right place, at career and college readiness. And we’ve set out, step by step, the progress each student needs to make in each grade and subject to get there.

San Francisco Chronicle