High Schoolers in the Golden State and Elsewhere, Ill-Prepared for College
Like all states, California’s prosperity rests on the strength of its workforce. Yet a new report from The Education Trust–West finds the Golden State’s high schools aren’t preparing students to participate in an economy that increasingly demands a college education. Across the five districts studied, college-readiness rates among high school graduates ranged from 24 to 60 percent. In one illustrative district, the course of study provided to about 30 percent of white high school graduates and almost half of Latino graduates failed to prepare them for either college or career.
Similar patterns are found nationwide. Test results from the ACT show that only 66 percent of U.S. test takers overall met the college-readiness benchmark in English, and just 43 percent met the college-readiness benchmark in math. Students of color scored even lower. Among Latinos, 46 percent met the benchmark in English, 27 percent did so in math. For African Americans, 34 percent reached the benchmark in English, 13 percent did so in math.
IN FOCUS Third of college-bound graduates in Alabama need remedial classesBirmingham News
July 10-- According to The Birmingham News analysis, 34.4 percent of 2010 high school graduates who went on to Alabama's public two- and four-year colleges had to take at least one remedial course to bring their English or math skills up.
ASSESSMENT, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND REFORM Cheating on Tests and Other Dumb IdeasEducation Week
July 25-- For one, it appears that cheating is limited to a small percentage of educators. For instance, the best data available suggest that it is a serious concern in 4 to 5 percent of elementary school classrooms. That means that the vast majority of educators are acting ethically, playing by the rules to help all students succeed.
FCAT writing test about to get tougher Orlando Sentinel
July 25-- In Orange County, aware of the coming demands, schools have ramped up writing lessons by encouraging writing in all subjects, not just in language arts classes, said Diane Knight, senior administrator for curriculum services. That means students write about what they observe in science lessons and write their analysis of documents they read in social studies.
TEACHER QUALITY Once Nearly 100%, Teacher Tenure Rate Drops to 58% as Rules TightenThe New York Times
July 27-- Under the city’s new standards, teachers are rated on a four-point scale as highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective, based on students’ tests scores, classroom observations, feedback from parents, and other factors. (Previously, they were simply rated satisfactory or not.)
Recruiting new help to bridge the gapThe News Journal
July 24-- "We trained professionals and recent graduates with content knowledge who show promise and want to teach in higher-needs classrooms," said Tamara Brown, site manager of the Delaware Teaching Fellows.
PRACTICE, POLICY, AND ED THOUGHT Eating our Seed Corn Daily KOS
July 25-- It’s like a farmer eating his seed corn. And as anyone who makes a living tilling soil will explain, farmers who do that don’t last very long. Neither do nations.
America, behold your future Kansas City Star
July 24-- By the time you read this, Democrats and Republicans might have reached some sort of compromise to raise the debt ceiling. And to do the deal, they will almost certainly have turned a cold shoulder to the needs of low-income children - that is, to kids whose future labor and tax-paying productivity will one day determine the prosperity or the poverty of the nation as a whole.
HIGHER ED The Most Insane Cut Huffington Post
July 25-- But here's what's truly insane: the tendency of policymakers to shortchange the people who have the least, but -- because of their growing numbers -- could contribute far more to our rebounding economy and to our national goal of once again leading the world in college completion.
Brown signs California Dream Act Los Angeles Times
July 26-- "The debate is very clear: shrivel public service, shrink back, retrench, retreat from higher education, from schools, from the investment in people; or make the investment," Brown said. "This is one piece of a very important mosaic, which is a California that works for everyone."
The Education Trust provides Equity Express weekly to our partners engaged in closing the gaps in opportunity and achievement. Some media outlets' sites require readers to register to view the full articles, and some articles include reader comments. The Education Trust does not necessarily endorse either the articles or these comments.