Daily News Roundup, April 23, 2012

Perspectives: News You Can Use
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Some of the News Fit to Print

ABOUT HIGHER ED

CALL TO ACTION AGAIN
ORLANDO -- Community colleges have their work cut out for them. America’s social mobility and economic prosperity depend to a large degree on their success, and the colleges must do a much better job of meeting this challenge – all while facing money problems and preserving their missions. This message comes from the sector itself, through a new report from a commission convened by the American Association of Community Colleges. Serving on the Commission are Carnegie Senior Managing Partner Bernadine Chuck Fong and Carnegie Board members Kati Haycock from Education Trust and Richard Rhodes, president of Austin Community College.
The article is in Inside Higher Ed.

ARE COLLEGE ENTRANTS OVERDIAGNOSED AS UNDERPREPARED?
Judith Scott Clayton writes for The New York Times Economix blog: In education as in medicine, the logic behind early detection seems unassailable: colleges want to catch the underprepared early, so students can get help before they begin to struggle. But in both fields, evidence is beginning to accumulate that early detection and treatment, in some cases, may harm the healthy more than it helps those truly ailing. While remediation rates have risen slightly over time — to 22 percent of all first-time first-year students in 2003-4 from 18 percent in 1995-96, according to Department of Education statistics — the increases have been striking for students with strong high school grades.

ED DEPT SEEKS TO BRING TEST-BASED ASSESSMENT TO TEACHER PREP PROGRAMS
The Obama administration wants to expand the use of standardized test scores as an accountability tool from K-12 into higher education. The Education Department just tried — and failed — to persuade a group of negotiators to agree to regulations that would rate colleges of education in large part on how K-12 students being taught by their graduates perform on standardized tests. As part of this scheme, financial aid to students in these programs would not be based entirely on need but, rather, would also be linked to test scores. The post is from The Washington Post’s The Answer Sheet blog.

CALIFORNIA COLLEGES STRUGGLE TO INCREASE DIVERSITY UNDER RACE-BLIND ADMISSIONS
BERKELEY, Calif. — Fifteen years ago, California voters were asked: Should colleges consider a student’s race when they decide who gets in and who doesn’t With an emphatic “no,” they made California the first state to ban the use of race and ethnicity in public university admissions, as well as hiring and contracting. Since then, California’s most selective public colleges and graduate schools have struggled to assemble student bodies that reflect the state’s demographic mix. Universities around the country could soon face the same challenge. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to revisit the thorny issue of affirmative action less than a decade after it endorsed the use of race as a factor in college admissions. The article is in The Washington Post.

1 IN 2 GRADS ARE JOBLESS OR UNDEREMPLOYED
A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge, and many face loan debt. While there's strong demand in science, education and health fields, arts and humanities flounder. Median wages for those with bachelor's degrees are down from 2000. The article is in the Boston Globe.

ABOUT K-12

ADVOCATES WORRY IMPLEMENTATION COULD DERAIL COMMON CORE
The Common Core standards face what experts say is their biggest challenge yet: translation from expectations to instruction in classrooms. To some critics, they represent a step down from some states' top-notch standards, or an overemphasis on skills at the expense of content. The standards' backers see them as a distillation of what students need to master to thrive in college and work, and as a way to improve teaching. The article is in Education Week.
 

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