Education and Poverty News
"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."
"That colleges have little incentive to enroll low-income students is increasingly reflected in their student aid policies. Under the sway of enrollment managers—private consultants who advise institutions on admissions and financial aid policies—many public and private colleges are using their limited institutional aid budgets to attract the students they most desire: the 'best and brightest,' and the wealthiest. They are, in other words, providing merit aid both to high-achieving students who can help them rise in the U.S. News & World Report rankings and to affluent students who can help them increase their revenues."
"A charter school that teaches boys from lower-income neighborhoods from Palmetto to Newtown not just academics but core values is anxious to expand and reach four times as many students."
"Seventeen schools from nine states will start the 2015-16 school year with new hope and support, as recipients of the "Closing the Gap" awards, sponsored by national non-profit College For Every Student. In January, College For Every Student, which helps underserved students get to and through college, ready to enter the 21st century workforce, announced a nationwide search for middle and high schools serving low-income students in need of college readiness support."
"But early education advocates say that much more is needed to reach the commitment Brown and the Legislature made last year to provide preschool for all low-income 4-year-olds. Ted Lempert, president of Children Now, an Oakland-based advocacy organization, said 30,000 more seats are needed and called Brown's revised budget 'distressingly minimal.'"
"Students from low-income families pursuing a college degree will continue having access to a grant program funded in part through lottery gaming in Nebraska."
"The Century Foundation found in 2013 that for every 14 wealthy students at the most elite and selective colleges, there was one low-income student. In short, the wealth gap not only creates inequities among universities, but also among the students they serve."
"Fifty years ago, Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and declared 'it to be the policy of the United States to provide financial assistance to school districts serving areas with concentrations of children from low-income families.' Seems straightforward, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, over the last few decades, Congress has allocated more money to wealthier states to the detriment of low-income children living in other states. As a consequence, students in 32 states and the District of Columbia are cheated out of federal funds every year."
"With a $2 billion budget surplus and a ranking in pre-K access that continually lags other states, Minnesota could find no better time to make the necessary investments to reach its stated goal that all children are school-ready at kindergarten entry."
"Amid state cuts in higher education funding and modest increases in federal grant aid eclipsed by rising tuition, African-American, Latino and low-income students like Stone must borrow to get a degree, according to a new report from liberal think tank Demos."
"Public colleges are becoming increasingly less accessible to low-income and in-state students, instead attempting to lure those in less need with merit aid, according to a new report. While part of the trend stems from schools needing to draw in more revenue in the face of state budget cuts, they're also engaging in a self-perpetuating arms race to recruit high-achieving, wealthier students from out of state by offering them grants and scholarships based on academics rather than financial need, according to an analysis from the New America Foundation."
"While the Nevada Legislature has been grabbing headlines in recent weeks with a series of education reform bills, you might have missed the 'report card' released by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation revealing how Nevada schools are woefully neglecting gifted students from low-income backgrounds. It analyzed state-level policies and actual student performance to evaluate how well each state cultivates the skills of the most academically talented but economically vulnerable students. While no state received an 'A,' Nevada didn’t even measure up by any measure, earning just a 'C' for its policies and an abysmal 'D+' for its student performances. It did, however, at least fare better than Arizona and California."
"Statistically, low-income households lag far behind their wealthier counterparts in terms of computer ownership. In fact, only about 16% of families with incomes less than $30,000 have a computer at home. In response to these statistics, the White House said libraries and schools in those poorer communities are increasing access to the Internet."
"The Pennsylvania House unanimously approved legislation to allow students receiving welfare benefits to enroll in an academic support program for up to two years while completing an associate's or technical education."
"Investors here have gleefully trumpeted technology’s disruption of everything from transportation to entertainment. Now, they have a new target: college admissions. A group of Silicon Valley’s top venture capitalists have been quietly pouring resources into an education nonprofit that boosts the number of low-income students at the nation’s top colleges."
"It’s hard to predict what life will be like a decade from now, but one thing is certain – there will be a much greater need for financial aid to make college affordable for millions of young people. So it’s especially troubling that Congress is considering freezing Pell Grants at the current level until 2025."
"The record U.S. graduation rate masks large gaps among students from low-income families and those with disabilities compared with their peers. There are also wide disparities among states in how well they are tackling the issue."
"The nation’s high school graduation has been climbing steadily for nearly a decade, but the overall trend masks wide differences among states and groups of students. Low-income students, black and Hispanic students and students with disabilities are still far less likely to graduate than average, according to the annual GradNation report released Tuesday by a coalition of groups pushing to raise the national graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020."
"An Ohio college will try to make it easier for low-income and first-generation students to attend college through a new initiative. Antioch College is launching a program called ReinventED Lab + Incubator, the Dayton Daily News. The program’s goal will be to improve access to college for high-risk students and help prepare them for education beyond high school."
"Two of the colleges at the university, Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, will cover the cost of cap and gown for students who demonstrate financial need, starting this commencement season, according to Sydney Goss, director of communications for Columbia College."
"A longtime state program to reduce class sizes in elementary schools with significant numbers of poor students would no longer require fewer students in classrooms under changes senators will vote on Wednesday."
"48 million children across the United States live in low-income or poor families. And, for many of those children, higher education may seem like an impossible dream."