Posts published in December, 2013

College Recruiters Do Not Visit Low Income Schools

By Larry Gordon

The Webb Schools, a private high school in Claremont, is a magnet for college recruiters from around the country and the world. This fall, 113 Ivy League and other schools sent representatives to the campus — more than the 106 students in the senior class.

At Jefferson High School, a low-income public school with 280 seniors in South Los Angeles, eight recruiters from local universities showed up.

Recruiters’ visits often are an important first contact for students to discover campuses far beyond their hometowns and for the colleges to discover talented applicants. Students may be left behind in the competition for college entrance and financial aid when admissions officials skip their campuses, counselors and education experts said.

Los Angeles Times

Non- Economic Benefits Of College

Peter Ewell blogs for AAC&U’s Liberal Education Nation: Increasing the proportion of young citizens with a college credential has become a major national goal, and the need to do so is prominent in today’s political rhetoric.  The case for doing so is almost always economic—higher personal incomes, increased tax revenues, and greater worker productivity.  The resulting “commodification of college” rankles many of us because, raised as scholars, we tend to see higher learning as more broadly beneficial.  More importantly, the narrowly economic argument about rates of return leads many observers to misleadingly label college majors such as English or anthropology as “dead ends” and advise students to avoid them.  Even if one sticks with a purely economic argument, statements like this about the “worth” of traditional liberal arts and sciences majors are overblown at best.  But there also are other concrete benefits of completing a college degree that go far beyond these strictly economic benefits.

Source: Carnegie Foundation

Males Lag Far Behind Females In Ca. College Attainment

Young women of all ethnic groups have higher levels of educational attainment than their male counterparts and yet, Latina and Black women still lag far behind White and Asian/Pacific Islander women in college preparation and graduation rates. These statistics are unacceptable. We have to do something about it.

Did you know…

  • An average of one Latino and Black man graduates from the CSU for every two Latina and Black women?
  • For every 100 black women who graduate from the UC, only 46 men do so?
  • Only 329 Black men and 728 Black women graduated from the entire CSU system in 2011 from the original 2005 entering cohort of 3,008 Black men and women?
  • Only 198 Black men and 430 Black women graduated from the entire UC system in 2011 from the original 2005 entering cohort of 895?
  • The gap in college enrollment among Latino men and Latina women has grown wider since 1994?

California must address the growing inequity in college enrollment and degree completion, across both race and gender.  This is not just a problem for men, or Blacks or Latinos; this imbalance affects all Californians.  We all benefit when all of our young people have access to a college education and the tools to succeed and make our economy stronger. Let’s work together in the new year so we can finally stop talking about these gaps.



Michele Siqueiros

Executive Director


This analysis is an addendum to the Campaign for College Opportunity reports on The State of Latinos in Higher Education in California and The State of Blacks in Higher Education in California – we recommend reviewing this addendum in conjunction with those earlier reports. 



Completion Rates Not A Valid Way To Evaluate MOOCS

MOOC COMPLETION RATES ARE THE WRONG METRIC, argues New America’s Kevin Carey. How these figures are calculated skews them down in comparison to institutional completion rates. More at EdCentral on the potential these courses holds for students. Excerpt below:

These populations are exclusive of one another. That means that nearly 60 percent of the people the New York Times  study reported as not finishing the course never tried to finish it in any meaningful way. A quarter of the people in the denominator never even logged on. – See more at:

Legacy And Connections Not As Important In College Admissions

With many top colleges receiving an unprecedented high number of applications, Eric Greenberg, Founder and President of the New York City-based Greenberg Educational Group, a college advisory, test prep and tutoring service, says that some of the “old rules” of college admissions have changed and it is important for aspiring college students to understand the “new reality” of the application process.

The perception that college applicants who are legacies, know a board member, or have the right business connections hold a “ticket” to that college is no longer a reality. The demand for prestigious colleges is so high, that it’s harder for students to leverage these connections compared to how it was done in previous decades.

“The new reality of college admissions is that market forces of supply and demand have made the ‘political’ spots harder to come by,” said Eric Greenberg. “Elite private schools are typically focusing more than before on the student’s application, passion for the school and if he/she is a reciprocal fit for the college.”

In addition to high grades and SAT/ACT scores, elite private colleges look more at the individual – his or her extracurricular activities, community service, summer activities and the essay, which more than ever, says Greenberg, is a crucial way for college admissions officers get to know the candidate’s character and personality.

For more information on the Greenberg Educational Group

Please call 212.787.6800 or email:

Corequisites May Help College Completion

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.

Outline Of New College Ready Assessments For Common Core

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 Assessmentsdistills 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.

State Increase Post-secondary Funding For 2014

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)

Broader Definition Of College Success Needed

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.

Source:Completion Matters

Urban Charter School Growth May Help College Readiness

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