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Gates Foundation moves to implement new strategy to support ‘networks for school improvement’

Ed Source – Louis Freedberg

“Following a speech last October in which Bill Gates announced a major shift in the education priorities and strategy of his foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is moving to implement its plan to invest the biggest share of its education philanthropy dollars in education networks that come up with their own “locally driven solutions” to improve student achievement.” (more)

This Accelerator Empowers Low-Income Students to Jump the College-to-Career Divide

Ed Surge – Aimée Eubanks Davis

” Only one in four of the 1.2 million low-income or first-generation college enrollees each year will graduate and land a strong first job or enter grad school. African American young people, like Jalil, are twice as likely to end up unemployed even with their Bachelor’s degree. The causes stem from a lack of access to career skills, mindsets, experiences and networks. Certain invisible privileges often come to students from more affluent backgrounds—from parents who can help their children put together compelling resumes, to a sibling who’s gone through the interview process just a few years before, to a family friend who works at a thriving company and will make a connection. But for students without such privileges, these stepping stones are absent, and they’re left trying to jump a gap that other young folks quietly glide across.”(more)

Reaching 90% Grad Rate Unlikely Without an Acute Focus on Low-Income, Minority Kids, Report Finds

The 71 Million – Mark Keierleber

“As the national high school graduation rate continues to rise — it hit a record 83.2 percent last year — the leaders of a campaign to raise that number to 90 percent by 2020 said Wednesday they fear the country will not meet that goal. Hitting that ambitious target would require a far more intense focus on minority and low-income students, who continue to lag behind. “We’ve got to be real about what the barriers are to success for students,” said John Gomperts, president and CEO of the America’s Promise Alliance.”(more)

OPINION: The simple steps that encourage young learners to break equity barriers

The Hechinger Report – Philip W.V. Hickman and Stephen M. Smith

“The class of 2028 will, no doubt, have a maze of postsecondary options to help them unlock their dreams and ambitions. Yet while the connection between education and aspiration is intuitive to many, it’s not necessarily so for children — particularly for those who come from low-income households or families with no college education. Students from low-income families enroll in college (immediately after high school) at a rate 30 percentage points lower than that for students from high-income families — and that gap has persisted since 1990. And it’s not for lack of aspirations. The Educational Policy Improvement Center notes that 93 percent of middle-school students aspire to attend college, and yet only 44 percent of those students actually enroll. There is a gap between what students aspire to achieve and what they accomplish.”(more)

Parents Can’t Wait For Traditional Schools To Fix Themselves. That’s Why We Choose Charters

The Huffington Post – Ana Beatriz Cholo

“Last year I joined the California Charter Schools Association. Our mission is simple: to make sure that more parents have the right to choose a high quality public school for their kids. Unfortunately, we spend a lot of time fighting political battles, just to protect parents’ right to demand better. There is so much rhetoric out there demonizing the concept of school choice and the families who rely on it. I don’t get too caught up in the rhetoric, probably because my personal experiences tell the real story of school choice: my mom lying to get me into a better school, my own desperate dash to find an affordable home in a strong school district, the struggling Chicago parents who prayed that their children would win the “lottery” and attend a great high school.”(more)

Summer Reading Tips To Prevent ‘Summer Brain Drain’

The Huffington Post – Stephanie Dua and Keith Meacham

“Summer’s here, and even though school is out, experts recommend that even the youngest children should practice their reading every day. According to the National Summer Learning Association, many children lose ground over the summer. The research shows that low-income students are at particular risk. While gaps in student achievement remain relatively constant during the school year between low and middle income students, those gaps widen significantly during the summer. Some children lose two-to-three months in reading. As moms, educators and the creators of Learn With Homer, the #1 Learn to Read program, we spend our days thinking about how to make literacy learning fun and effective for young children. Here we’d like to offer a few simple tips to keep kids learning even in these lazy days of summer:”(more)