April 24, 2015

5:00 PM | Donald Trump's Fake College Keeps Causing Trouble
Pretend GOP Presidential Candidate Donald Trump has run into a lot of trouble over a seminar/career development/college/marketing project he ran for awhile called Trump University. Back in 2010 New York State demanded that he stop using the word “university” to describe what he was running. The “use of the word ‘university’ by your corporation is misleading and violates New York Education Law and the Rules of the Board of Regents,” said Joseph Frey, the […]

April 23, 2015

3:37 PM | We Don't Need No Regulation (Actually We Totally Do)
Libertarian gadfly Tyler Cowan, along with George Mason University colleague Alex Tabarrok, recently wrote an interesting think piece over at Cato. They argue that today we don’t really need government regulation anymore because, basically, the glory of the Internet means that everyone now has equal access to information. As they put it: Market institutions are rapidly evolving to a situation where very often the buyer and the seller have roughly equal knowledge. Technological […]

April 22, 2015

10:31 PM | Where's Most of the Money in Higher Education?
The vast disparity in wealth in the United States applies to more than individuals and their private fortunes. It’s also true of American higher education. It turns out that one-third of all the money in American higher education is controlled by just 10 colleges. That’s it. According to this CNN piece: The wealth gap between the nation’s 40 richest colleges and universities and the rest is getting wider. That’s thanks to strong investment returns and a tremendous […]
5:34 PM | Are the Common Core Tests Turning Out to be a Big Success or a Resounding Failure?
Muslim Alkurdi, 18, of Albuquerque High School, joins hundreds of classmates in Albuquerque, N.M, Monday, March 2, 2015, as students staged a walkout to protest a new standardized test they say isn’t an accurate measurement of their education. Students frustrated over the new exam walked out of schools across the state Monday in protest as the new exam was being given. The backlash came as millions of U.S. students start taking more rigorous exams aligned with Common Core standards. AP […]
5:28 PM | Hillary Clinton Should Acknowledge That Tuition Tax Breaks Don't Work
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to students and faculty during a campaign stop at New Hampshire Technical Institute, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Concord, N.H. AP Photo/Jim Cole As Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign gets underway, let’s hope she does not make the mistake that other Democratic contenders have made in the past and propose to increase spending on student aid that is delivered through the tax code. Tuition tax credit programs, like […]
1:32 PM | Review of "Designing the New American University"
Since Michael Crow became the president of Arizona State University in 2002, he has worked to reorganize and grow the institution into his vision of a `New American University.’ ASU has grown to over 80,000 students during his time as president through a commitment to admit all students who meet a relatively modest set of academic qualifications. At the same time, the university has embarked upon a number of significant academic reorganizations that have gotten rid of many traditional […]

April 21, 2015

2:15 PM | Three Lessons the Ed Dept Should Learn from the Corinthian Case
The U.S. Department of Education deserves a lot of credit for taking action against Corinthian Colleges over its deceptive job placement rates. It’s clear that the company has long misled students into enrolling, and then left them worse off than before – overloaded with debt and without the training they need to get jobs that will help them repay their loans. It’s very encouraging that the Education Department – which I have long criticized for its lack of oversight and […]
2:10 PM | Libraries or Prisons? Why New Orleans Needs a Better Question
New Orleans Parish voters can approve a new property tax that amounts to a finger in the dike of our struggling library system, on May 2. Voters can also on that day approve a tax that continues to feed the beast of the prison industrial complex (which by the way hasn’t made us safer). The city’s Bureau of Governmental Research would advise you to put the brakes on funding for the libraries. Here’s their reasoning: NOLA’s proposed $2.5 million property tax isn’t […]

April 20, 2015

3:51 PM | Community Colleges Raise Alarm on Graduation Pledge
Graduates line up for their procession before the Berkshire Community College commencement ceremony at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass. on Friday, May 30, 2014. AP Photo/The Berkshire Eagle, Stephanie Zollshan SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Community colleges are slowly increasing the number of graduates they’re turning out, according to a panel of experts who also warned that falling enrollment and funding problems could derail this progress. Researchers and college leaders told the American […]
2:51 PM | How Fixing a Parent Loan Program Hurt Black Students
Source: Changes in financial aid and student enrollment at historically Black colleges and universities after the tightening of PLUS credit standards, U.S. Department of Education The number of black students enrolled at four-year universities and colleges across the United States declined in 2012-13, a year after the federal government tightened credit standards for issuing loans to parents. The declines for blacks were greater than for students of other races and ethnicities, according to a […]

April 17, 2015

7:35 PM | The 'Self Esteem' Strategy to Improve Community College Completion
So America’s community college are working on a new strategy to improve graduation rates. It’s pretty… interesting. According to this piece at the Chronicle of Higher Education: A project known as Connect2Complete provides low-income students who are in remedial classes with peer mentors, many of whom have been through the program themselves. During the first few weeks of the semester, the students, mentors, and instructors participate in a service-learning project that is […]
4:32 PM | Senate Proposes a New Education Technology Program in No Child Left Behind, with Teacher Training a Priority
Legislation headed for debate on the U.S. Senate floor would create a new program to provide the nation’s schools with more money for technology and for training to make the most of it. The program has a nickname, I-TECH, but it’s not yet known how much money will be dedicated for it - or if it will make it as written into whatever version of the legislation eventually becomes law. The program is included in the bill that the Senate committee responsible for education approved on […]

April 16, 2015

4:05 PM | Sure, More Education Will Reduce Inequality (A Tiny Bit)
A recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal entered a long and contentious debate about the economic impacts of college. Would more Americans earning further credentials beyond high school reduce the well-known problem of American inequality? The piece answers this question with a resounding yes. This is technically true. More education would reduce inequality, but only by a very, very small amount. According to the article: Education remains the chief American institution that promotes […]
3:06 PM | The For-Profit College Job Placement Rate Scandal Revisited
Now that the U.S. Department of Education has taken decisive action against Corinthian Colleges for cooking the books on its job placement rates, I thought that it was worth revisiting a series of posts we ran on our retired blog Higher Ed Watch in 2011 warning of an emerging “for-profit college job placement rate scandal.” I hope these posts are helpful reminders that this is not just a problem at Corinthian Colleges but throughout the for-profit higher education industry. “A […]

April 15, 2015

8:25 PM | Our Adjunct Professors Are on Welfare
In the last 20 years or so, even as college tuition keeps rising, schools are not spending more money on professors. What they are spending money on is a matter of debate but they’re increasingly relying on adjunct professors, teachers who are paid only by the classes they teach, and who don’t receive the generous benefits provided to full professors. But how bad is the problem? Colleges often suggest that, yes, they use adjunct professors, but there’s nothing inherently […]
3:34 PM | A Conference in Arizona Emerges as a Power-Player in Education Technology
Pop quiz: Define equity. That question, posed to an educator, will probably spark a conversation about the uneven learning outcomes for disadvantaged students. But the word ‘equity’ means something very different to venture capitalists who invest in education technology. This dynamic was on display last week in the halls and lobby of the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. The ASU+GSV Summit, an annual education technology conference, was the place to be and be seen. […]

April 14, 2015

3:24 PM | Test Case New Orleans: Will Charters Choose Community Over Union Busting?
Tiana Nobile, co-president of the new United Educators Morris Jeff teachers union, starts the day with her kindergarten class on October 28, 2014. Teachers at Morris Jeff Community School in New Orleans voted to unionize last year, making them the first to do so in a city that has had virtually no union representation since Hurricane Katrina. (Photo: Alex Neason) Don’t call it a comeback. But unions are beginning to take root once again in the New Orleans “portfolio […]

April 13, 2015

5:26 PM | Demanding Divestment of Fossil-Fuel Investments, Protesters Block Harvard President's Office
Students camped out Sunday night outside the president's office at Harvard University. (Mallory Noe-Payne/WGBH). Students woke up Monday morning on the ground outside of Harvard University's oldest building. They had spent the night there, protesting the university's choice to invest part of its endowment in fossil-fuel companies. Students and climate change activists will gather in Harvard Yard in Cambridge all this week, demanding that nation's oldest -- and the world's wealthiest -- […]
5:19 PM | Room and Board Charges Rising Faster Than Inflation
American students, and their parents, have been complaining about the rising price of college since the 1980s, when schools began hiking annual tuition charges well above the rate of inflation. But rarely do we hear politicians or student groups railing against the sticker prices of college food and dorm rooms. They should be. Room and board fees, which average over $9000 a year, generally exceed tuition at public universities.  And they account for more than a quarter of the annual bill […]

April 10, 2015

8:35 PM | ESEA Compromise Includes a Few Steps Forward for Early Learning
Earlier this week, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) released their compromise to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). You can find a good summary of the bill at Education Week’s Politics K-12. There are provisions to like and plenty to not like, but generally, it rolls back federal oversight of PreK-12 education. While the bill does not include a separate title for early education or a dedicated funding stream for high-quality pre-K, there […]
5:00 PM | Online Education Works Great, if Only Totally Different People Signed Up
I’m a skeptic of many technology initiatives in education. In particular, I find the idea of college transmitted over the Internet to be a fad at best, and a scam at worse. But as far as the learning goes, it turns out people online do pretty well. In fact, almost just as well as in real college. That’s according to a report out by Derek Wu. a research analyst at Ithaka S+R. In a literature review of research of online education he concludes something interesting: The three […]
3:00 AM | Online Courses Might Offer a Path to More Degrees - and to Reducing the Carbon Footprint
Students walk to and from classes on the campus of Arizona State University. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin SCOTTSDALE, Arizona - Older students who don’t want the full on-campus experience - and the costs associated with it - might be served effectively through high-quality online college degree programs, according to a new report. And that might reduce the carbon footprint, too, saving money for both college and student. The typical student pursuing an online degree through Arizona State […]

April 09, 2015

5:23 PM | How to Get Free College: Start Demanding It
As college tuition keeps increasing, publications occasionally put out pieces about how to get free public college. It often looks like a progressive pipe dream but as many journalists, myself included, often argue, it’s entirely affordable and would help this country greatly. The Nation, in its latest 150th anniversary edition, has an article about how to do this: just look at other countries: Tuition at public colleges should be free. You may say that’s impossible, but, as […]
3:46 PM | How Schools Can Lower Suspension Rates and Raise Graduation Rates
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Having racked up multiple absences and missed assignments, a high school sophomore showed up in his English class last year, hopeful for another chance. “Where have you been?” his teacher asked. “You can’t pass this class if you don’t show up.” Without warning, the young man exploded. “Shut the f— up,” the 16-year-old shouted. “You think you’re better than me? Who the f— do you think you are?” […]

April 08, 2015

10:17 PM | The University of Florida's Online Bait and Switch
Florida’s flagship state university has an innovative new admissions program: force people to study online as their only chance for admission into the school. According to an article in the Washington Post: Some 3,100 students accepted as freshman by the University of Florida for the fall got a big surprise along with their congratulations notices: They were told that the acceptance was contingent on their agreement to spend their first year taking classes online as part of a new […]
Editor's Pick
10:10 PM | Why is 'High Quality' So Elusive in Mississippi's Child Care Centers?
JACKSON, Miss. — After 25 years as a commercial lender for a large bank in Indiana, Glenn Farmer’s future suddenly looked uncertain. His company was going through a restructuring that would phase out his department. Instead of looking for a new finance job, Farmer made an unexpected career move: He took over his parents’ preschool business and revamped it top to bottom. “A lot of people thought I was crazy,” Farmer said on a recent morning at Education Depot, his […]
10:00 PM | In Brazil, Fast-Growing Universities Mirror U.S. Wealth Divide
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Her face and bare arms painted with the words “medicina” and “UFRJ” — her major and the acronym, in Portuguese, of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro — Ana Carolina and some classmates stand on the busy Rua Visconde de Pirajá in Rio’s sunny Ipanema district and ask for spare change. The money isn’t for tuition; UFRJ doesn’t charge any. It’s for beer. Spurred on by upperclassmen, she and her […]
7:31 PM | The Power of One-on-One Tutoring in Early Literacy
Before coming into work this morning I made a stop at the Center City Public Charter School Shaw campus, like I do most Mondays. Down in the school’s basement is a small room with approximately 12 desks; the walls are covered with maps, colorful posters, and student worksheets. There are carts full of books and a shelf lined with about 50 student folders. Source: Reading Partners This is the school’s designated Reading Partners “reading center,” where kindergarten […]
7:25 PM | What do Rhode Island, Ohio and Colorado Have in Common? Hint: A Partner for Blended Learning
Swiftly transforming a school to a successful digital learning model requires more than good intentions and a can-do spirit. Teacher training, budget planning and crafting a solid instructional plan for the classroom are critical prerequisites, pioneers in blended learning say. Another piece of the puzzle: local community support. Expect to see that boots-on-the-ground outreach in Colorado soon. Last week, leaders in that state announced a new partnership that blended-learning advocates say […]
5:14 PM | Which College Will Replace Washington University as the Least Socioeconomically Diverse in the Country?
For years, Washington University in St. Louis has held the dubious distinction of being the least socioeconomically diverse college in the country. That’s about to change. In January, the university announced a plan to double the proportion of Pell Grant recipients that it enrolls by 2020. Under the plan, Wash U. will spend at least $25 million a year for five years to increase the share of students receiving Pell Grants, federal grants that go to students from families making less than […]
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