Renascence School Education News - private school

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New SAT, New Problems

The Atlantic – James S. Murphy

“In his announcement last spring that a new version of the SAT would be launched in 2016, The College Board President David Coleman drew on a favorite buzzword: opportunity. In his speech, Coleman finally acknowledged the common criticism that the current SAT has little to do with the work students do in high school and will do in college. He promised that the redesigned test would be more in tune with what happens in the classroom. “No longer will the SAT stand apart from the work of teachers in their classrooms,” he said. The preview last week of 94 sample questions—half of which were previously released—from the redesigned test helps reveal whether the new SAT will deliver on its promise. Early indicators are not encouraging. The new test will correspond with the Common Core Standards—the controversial math and reading benchmarks whose design and implementation Coleman happened to spearhead before taking over the College Board. That means the new SAT could have the opposite of its intended effect, at least in the near term, closing opportunities for students who aren’t yet well-versed in the standards. Kids who lack access to in-person test preparation from tutors like me—who are trained to analyze the new test material and develop strategies for raising scores—could also suffer. The most vulnerable students are those who live in low-income areas or don’t speak English as a first language.”(more)

A Quiet Revolution in Helping Lift the Burden of Student Debt

The New York Times – Kevin Carey

“Has the student loan crisis already been solved? This might seem an absurd question. Student loan debt is at a record high of $1.1 trillion, and the average undergraduate who borrows to attend school graduates nearly $30,000 in debt. Almost 20 percent of student borrowers are in default. Yet a couple of little-noticed legislative tweaks to a small, obscure loan repayment program — revisions made under two very different presidents — appear to have created the conditions for far-reaching changes in how a college education is bought and paid for. The result may make it much easier for students to get out from under their debts. The first changes happened in September 2007, when Congress passed a major overhaul of the federal college financial aid system. Most of the news coverage at the time focused on the fact that government subsidies would shift from private banks that offered loans to Pell Grants for low-income students. But the bill that President George W. Bush later signed contained another modest change in the law that would later gather significance.”(more)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Youths Must Be Trained For High-Tech Jobs

The Hartford Courant – Bruce Dixon

“The Obama administration has emphasized the critical need to prepare American students for future job opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM. The president is right to make STEM a national priority. Yet he must be careful to also back critical efforts by industry to develop the next generation of high-tech workers. Our leaders must not only support STEM education, but those who create jobs and drive growth in a technology-based economy. Even as the economy is still recovering, workers with a background in STEM subjects are in high demand. Between 2000 and 2010, high-tech jobs grew three times faster than opportunities in other fields. There are now 2.8 STEM jobs for every unemployed person in Connecticut, and by 2018, the state will have an astonishing 116,000 positions to fill.”(more)

Helping students ‘climb the mountain’ of higher education

The Deseret News – Morgan Jacobsen

“SALT LAKE CITY — Fewer than half of Utah’s college freshmen graduate within six years of consecutive enrollment, many of them falling from the ranks before their sophomore year. Institutions measure this as retention, or the percentage of students who come back each year. But beneath the numbers lies a problem of student persistence — individual effort toward college completion — that challenges every college and university in the state. The numbers reveal a sobering trend. Last year, 86 percent of high school graduates said they intended to graduate from college, but only 40 percent of them who didn’t leave for a church mission or military service enrolled, according to a recent Utah Foundation report. And currently, only 47 percent of college students end up graduating within 6 years.”(more)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Want more kids in college? Check school counselor caseloads

The Seattle Times – Robin Respaut

“The job of high school guidance counselor is a catch-all: Part graduation-credits overseer, testing administrator, shrink and higher-education shepherd. Seem like too much to do well? New research agrees. So while President Obama talks about getting more students into community college, and Washington state does its part with College Bound Scholarships, the people actually tasked with guiding kids in this direction — high school counselors — are spread much too thin. The result: Many states essentially expect students to “just figure it out,” says the Education Commission of the States, a think tank tracking education policy.”(more)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Don’t Believe the Hype: There’s Still a Student Loan Crisis

Time – Mitchell D. Weiss

“When it comes to student debt, it’s not fair to blame students for being in over their heads.”(more)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

What to Watch For In 2015, Higher Education Edition

Forbes – Andrew Kelly

“As a busy year in higher education policy draws to a close, it’s time to look forward to 2015. What should higher ed leaders and wonks be paying attention to in the new year? Here are three things I’ll be watching:.”(more)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

College science classes, where failure rates soar

The Sacramento Bee – Richard Perez-Peaa

“Multiple studies have shown that students fare better with a more active approach to learning, using some of the tools being adopted here at Davis, while in traditional classes, students often learn less than their teachers think. The University of Colorado, a national leader in the overhaul of teaching science, tested thousands of students over several years, before and after they each took an introductory physics class, and reported in 2008 that students in transformed classes had improved their scores by about 50 percent more than those in traditional classes.”(more)

Colleges see promise in salary guarantees for graduates

USA Today – Associated Press

“When it came time to pick a college, Abby Slusher leaned toward a private school near her southeastern Michigan home for the small campus and class sizes. Her mother pushed Adrian College for another reason: A new program guaranteeing every graduate would make more than $37,000 or get some or all student loans reimbursed.”(more)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Preparing Students for College Begins Earlier Than Most Parents Expect

The Huffington Post – Brian G. Osborne, Ed.D.

“…the college admissions journey for our students didn’t start this year, or even in high school. In New Rochelle, we offer opportunities for children to visit colleges while they’re still in elementary school. Children from Columbus School recently visited Iona College. A counselor gave kids and their parents a tour of the campus, answered questions, and discussed the courses to take in high school to best prepare for higher learning. Our district also does early work in middle school to support college readiness…Another critical way to get students college ready is by offering world language beginning in elementary school. There is a great deal of evidence showing the cognitive and social benefits of bilingualism…Educators must recognize each step in a child’s educational journey leads to college readiness – not just the final few. The graduating class of 2027 is preparing right now.”(more)