Renascence School Education News - private school

Sunday, March 1, 2015

America’s High-Risk, High-Reward Higher Education System

Forbes – Andrew Kelly

“Last month, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) added to a familiar refrain, releasing a new report on how American Millennials lag behind their peers in other countries on measures of literacy, numeracy, and “problem-solving in technology rich environments.” Using data from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), the authors showed that American Millennials ranked at the bottom in both numeracy and problem-solving. Fully 64 percent of Americans scored below the lowest proficiency rating on the numeracy exam, compared to about 1/3 of Millennials in places like Finland, the Netherlands, and Japan. The picture wasn’t much brighter among young workers with bachelors and graduate degrees. On the numeracy exam, American BA holders outscored their peers in only two countries—Italy and Poland. Those with grad degrees outscored counterparts in Italy, Poland, and Spain.”(more)

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Discussion On Higher Education Accountability

Forbes – John Ebersole

“A recent New York Times op-ed, “How to hold colleges accountable,” lists a number of problems with contemporary higher education and offers the solution of greater accountability. While I commend the authors, Jon Cowan and Jim Kessler of the Washington think tank Third Way for their multi-dimensional assessment, their conclusion warrants further discussion, along with acknowledgement of progress already being made. These authors present their concerns under three umbrella headings – quality of instruction, outcome transparency, and financial aid. In looking at each, there is much to applaud. For instance they hit the mark in regard to the uneven quality of teaching and its impact on retention. As MIT president Rafael Reif noted in his 2013 remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, “We have spectacular researchers [at MIT] who are lousy teachers.” Many can relate to Reif’s assessment as they think of the need to endure, the relentless monotone of a brilliant professor reading from notes or dense slides. Yet, how can we be critical when the average classroom instructor has had no formal training or preparation. The fact that 80% of faculty are not using innovative teaching methods (per the cited Gates study) is neither surprising, nor defensible.”(more)

Friday, February 13, 2015

After years of growth, foreign language enrollment declines in N.C. colleges

Triangle Business Journal – Jason deBruyn

“After years of solid growth, enrollment in foreign-language courses in North Carolina has declined…Nationwide, enrollment declined 6.7 percent since 2009 after growing steadily for 20 years….In an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, Rosemary G. Feal, the MLA’s executive director, speculated that several factors could have played a role in the decline, including rising student interest in career-oriented subjects such as business in the wake of the recession. Those studies leave less time for language classes, Feal told the Chronicle. As the business world becomes increasingly global, several surveys have found that employers value job seekers who can speak multiple languages. The growth of the Chinese economy in particular has affected interest in the language. The number of institutions reporting enrollments in Chinese, for example, has more than doubled, from 412 in 1990 to 866 in 2013, and the enrollments in Chinese have more than tripled, from 19,427 in 1990 to 61,055 in 2013, according to MLA. Likewise, while 17 percent of reporting institutions taught Chinese in 1990, 36 percent showed enrollments in Chinese in 2013.”(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)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Students Are Paying More for State Schools

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), students are now paying more of the costs associated with attending public universities in their home states than state governments are, making college even less affordable…The rise in tuition payments come at the same time that more students are attending state schools. Between the 2002-2003 school year and 2011-2012, the number of students enrolled in state schools rose 20%. At the same time, state funding for each student dropped 24%…According to the GAO, the collapse of the financial markets in 2008 played a large role in the decrease of state contributions to higher education…In order to make up the money they were no longer receiving, state schools increased tuition costs. Beginning in the 2007-2008 school year, tuition prices rose 28% over the rate of inflation. However, federal grant aid and other free money has not kept up with the increasing costs associated with attending college…”(more)

The Tao of the liberal arts

The Washington Post – Valerie Strauss / Gerald Greenberg

“In this era when you can’t turn around in the education world without someone talking about science, technology, engineering and math, the liberal arts often get short shrift. Part of the reason is that people don’t fully understand what the liberal arts are and why they remain foundational to a real education. This post helps explain all of that…It doesn’t matter where you get your liberal arts education. What matters is that the school provides a liberal arts education that produces the appropriate result. What is that result? The transfer or creation of knowledge and the cultivation of the habits of the mind so graduates can develop and mature into successful, productive members of society who can appreciate others, experience and embrace the notion of empathy, and come to understand the joys and benefits of lifelong learning…In a world where people will change jobs multiple times in a lifetime and may hold jobs in the future that don’t even exist today, the knowledge they obtain in college and the writing, communicating, critical thinking, and analytic skills they acquire through a strong liberal arts CORE and liberal education will provide the foundation for a successful life, both professionally and personally.”(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)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year’s Tips for College Savings

Forbes – Reyna Gobel

“New Year’s Eve is a time for making resolutions, hopefully ones you plan on keeping. If you made a resolution to put aside money for your children’s college educations, these five tips will help you stay on track.”(more)

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Resolution for 2015: Let’s Turn Higher Education Into an Engine of Upward Mobility

Forbes – Andrew Kelly

“Over the course of 2014, I spent a lot of time mulling over the seeming contradiction between increasing college-going rates among low-income Americans and stagnant social mobility (culminating in a paper for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute released this month). The disconnect is as follows:.”(more)