Education and Poverty News
"Marva Collins, a legendary educator known for fostering expectations of excellence for children raised in the poor neighborhoods of Chicago, died last week at age 78. But her legacy lives on, both in the children and the teachers whose lives she touched while she was the founder—and heart and soul—of Westside Preparatory Academy."
"To reduce the burden of those loans, Eggers founded nonprofit ScholarMatch in 2010. He took inspiration from crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, envisioning a website where donors would be able to read students’ stories and support them financially. The organization has made good on that promise. By this fall, it will have paid out nearly $1 million in scholarships."
"Up to 150 students from low-income families could attend the University of Delaware without racking up student debt thanks to a $3 million grant from the Give Something Back Foundation."
"The gap in academic achievement among 37 Northeast Pennsylvania school districts widened. Just two school districts outperformed 35 others across Northeast Pennsylvania in Times-Shamrock Newspapers’ 15th annual analysis of academic performance. Last year, four stood above the rest."
"Minnesota is taking aim at social and institutional forces that put the least-experienced and least-qualified teachers in the state's neediest schools. Majority-white schools in Minnesota have half as many nontenured teachers as schools with large numbers of black, Asian, Hispanic or American Indian students, according to the Department of Education. Low-income, low-performing and especially charter schools also have high percentages of early-career teachers and those who are not fully licensed."
"A federal program for the country's neediest college students is witnessing a troubling trend: an influx of students with fewer resources to pay for school. In its latest report on the Pell Grant program, the Education Department said nearly three-quarters of the 8.6 million students who received the federal grant to attend college last year reported having no savings or other cash on hand. That compares to 60 percent of federal grant recipients five years earlier."
"This week, the GE Foundation released a solutions-driven white paper, titled 'The Skills Gap and the New Economy: Implications for Low-Income Students,' that outlines strategic steps needed to help low-income students succeed in college and career. According to the white paper, 'Right now millions of young people are struggling to find good jobs and to launch successful careers, while thousands of companies are unable to expand and innovate because they cannot fill critical positions.'"
"With few school lunches easily accessible during the summer season, a number of non-profits across the U.S. are providing more meals for low-income children. The Barry Farm Recreation Center is one of many hosting sites across the country. As a venue with an open site policy, meals at the center can go to any kids under the age of 18 who want them."
" Under a new state metric to determine whether public school students are economically disadvantaged, far fewer Massachusetts students will be counted as living in poverty, according to state data. For years Massachusetts has used students’ eligibility for free or reduced lunch to measure if students qualified as “low-income.” Now, Massachusetts will scrap that method and instead deem students “economically disadvantaged” only if the student participates in one or more specific state-administered social welfare programs: food stamps, foster care, medicaid or transitional assistance for families with dependent children."
"On Monday, the Lumina Foundation came out with a guidebook of strategies for college administrators to improve financial support and completion success for low-income students. Titled 'Beyond Financial Aid,' the publication presents six key strategies to better serve disadvantaged students and highlights promising approaches being used by colleges and universities."
"A new analysis of a decade of state testing data by the Daily Herald and WBEZ reveals that a school's low-income level is a frustratingly accurate predictor of achievement. The results are clear. Schools with the fewest low-income students score the highest on average."
"Massachusetts has scrapped a decades-old method for defining low-income students in public schools, resulting in a dramatic decline in the number considered to be living in poverty, according to a Globe review of state data. Now, less than half of Boston school students are regarded as being from impoverished homes, compared with the previous figure of about three-quarters."
"A Pennsylvania state commission has proposed a funding formula that would send more tax dollars to school districts that serve high numbers of needy children, including those who are poor or who are learning English as a second language. Advocates welcomed the commission’s unanimous recommendations as a first step toward fixing Pennsylvania’s school funding system, which is the most inequitable in the nation, according to federal data."
"Students whose parents have an income of less than $30,000 may receive a financial aid package to cover 111% of tuition and fees at the University of Minnesota next year, according to a budget proposal presented by University President Eric Kaler at a Board of Regents meeting on June 11, 2015."
"New research has now identified how specific patterns of cortisol activity may relate to the cognitive abilities of children in poverty. The study also outlines how greater instability in family environments, including harsh and insensitive caregiving in the context of poverty, may predict these different types of cortisol activity in children."
"The education savings account law eliminates a number of provisions that have traditionally constrained voucher programs. In other states, it’s usually only low-income families, families with disabled students or students in failing schools who can receive the money. In Nevada, everyone can claim state cash, from the richest parents to the poorest. Proponents argue it will help families on all ends of the economic spectrum, but will be felt most by low-income families, who have traditionally been excluded from private schools due to cost."
"About 73 percent of students from low-income families earned a high school diploma in 2013 compared to 88 percent from middle- and high-income families, according to a study conducted by Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University."
" As one of 200 participants in the Shelby County Summer Leadership Camp, she’s building solar-powered robots, learning leadership skills and making new friends. The Memphis camp, serving mostly low-income students in grades 5-8, provides fun hands-on activities focused on science, technology, engineering and math, while also incorporating reading and writing into daily leadership classes."
"Florida’s main teachers union said Monday it will not drop its legal fight against the state’s largest private school voucher program despite a judge throwing out the group’s lawsuit."
"Most students attending private schools on scholarships from Alabama's new school-choice program are from low-income families, but only 30 percent would otherwise be attending a public school dubbed as failing, according to annual reports filed with the state."
"Low-income high school graduates may be less likely to continue on to earn a college degree than students from families with more money, according to a recent study."
"At a time when academics and lawmakers are embracing the importance of preschool education more than ever, a new study from University of Maryland’s Melissa Kearney and Wellesley College’s Phillip Levine finds that toddlers may achieve many of the same educational benefits by tuning into Sesame Street."
"There is a constant rallying cry in education circles: Why don’t we have more teachers of color? The answer is simple – it’s not a degree likely to pay off, assuming the student can even make it to graduation."
"By the time children in Michigan reach third grade, 40 percent of them aren't reading at proficiency, according to statistics from the Michigan League of Public Policy. In 2013, 80 percent of fourth-graders from low-income families "did not demonstrate proficiency" on a national test."
"That’s the idea behind America Needs You, a program for low-income, high-achieving, first-generation college students that aims to increase graduation rates in underserved communities. The program started in New York in 2009, expanded to New Jersey in 2012 and added Illinois this year."