Segregation Now

Nikole Hannah-Jones, ProPublica, April 2014

Tuscaloosa’s school resegregation—among the most extensive in the country—is a story of city financial interests, secret meetings, and angry public votes. It is a story shaped by racial politics and a consuming fear of white flight. It was facilitated, to some extent, by the city’s black elites. And it was blessed by a U.S. Department of Justice no longer committed to fighting for the civil-rights aims it had once championed.

Growing income inequality threatens American education

Greg J. Duncan, and Richard J. Murnane, Phi Delta Kappan, March 2014

The first of two articles in consecutive months describes the origins and nature of growing income inequality, and some of its consequences for American children. It documents the increased family income inequality that’s occurred over the past 40 years and shows that the increased income disparity has been more than matched by an expanding gap between the amounts of money that low- and high-income parents spend on enrichment activities for their children.

Just Right Inequality

Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times, March 2014

Anemic economic growth and the gutting of middle class jobs have given new impetus to a debate over “optimal inequality,” a concept dating back at least six decades to a legendary speech given in 1954 at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association by Simon Kuznets, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, who asked, “Does inequality in the distribution of income increase or decrease in the course of a country’s economic growth?”

Hispanics Struggle To Graduate: An Issue of School Choice?

Jairo Ramos, NPR, March 2014

Hispanic students are significantly more likely than African-Americans or whites to be the first in their families to graduate from college.

Fixing Inequality Won't Hurt the Economy

Matthew O'Brien, The Atlantic, March 2014

Inequality is a choice, but it's not one we have to make to grow. Redistribution might actually increase growth, at least within limits. That's the conclusion of a new paper from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that looks at how inequality and redistribution affect how much and how long the economy grows.

College, the Great Unleveler

Suzanne Mettler, New York Times, March 2014

When the G.I. Bill of Rights of 1944 made colleges accessible to veterans regardless of socioeconomic background, Robert Maynard Hutchins, the president of the University of Chicago, worried that it would transform elite institutions into “educational hobo jungles.” But the G.I. Bill was only the first of several federal student aid laws that, along with increasing state investment in public universities and colleges, transformed American higher education over the course of three decades from a bastion of privilege into a path toward the American dream.

Colorblind Notion Aside, Colleges Grapple With Racial Tension

Tanzina Vega, New York Times, February 2014

In the news media and in popular culture, the notion persists that millennials — born after the overt racial debates and divisions that shaped their parents’ lives — are growing up in a colorblind society in which interracial friendships and marriages are commonplace and racism is largely a relic. But interviews with dozens of students, professors and administrators at the University of Michigan and elsewhere indicate that the reality is far more complicated, and that racial tensions are playing out in new ways among young adults.

Community Colleges Nourish Both Students and Society, Report Says

Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 2014

Community-college graduates receive nearly $5 in benefits for every dollar they spend on their education, while the return to taxpayers is almost six to one, according to a report scheduled for release on Tuesday that measures not only graduates' higher earning power but also their healthier lifestyles.

Is college still worth it? Pew research says yes

Don Lee, Los Angeles Times, February 2014

High unemployment has left many Americans questioning whether the soaring cost of college makes it a good bargain for today's young adults. But there's strong evidence that a four-year degree pays off -- and in some ways that may be even more so for the current generation.

For-Profit Wage Gap

Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, January 2014

Community college students who transfer to for-profit institutions tend to earn less over the next decade than do their peers who transfer to public or private colleges.

Great English teachers improve students' math scores

The Hechinger Report, January 2014

Better English teachers not only boost a student’s reading and writing performance in the short term, but they also raise their students math and English achievement in future years. That’s according to a working paper, “Learning that Lasts: Unpacking Variation in Teachers’ Effects on Students’ Long-Term Knowledge,” by a team of Stanford University and University of Virginia researchers including Benjamin Master, Susanna Loeb and James Wyckoff.

The Great Debate: Is College Still Worth It?

Ricardo Azziz, Huffington Post, January 2014

What Do We Actually Know About the Value of a College Education? Public opinion notwithstanding, the data is consistent and convincing. The answer on a number of dimensions is pretty resounding and it is, "Yes, it's worth it."

Oxfam: 85 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of the world

Graeme Wearden, The Guardian, January 2014

The world's wealthiest people aren't known for travelling by bus, but if they fancied a change of scene then the richest 85 people on the globe – who between them control as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population put together – could squeeze onto a single double-decker.

What Happens When the Poor Receive a Stipend?

Moises Velasquez-Manoff, New York Times, January 2014

Growing up poor has long been associated with reduced educational attainment and lower lifetime earnings. Some evidence also suggests a higher risk of depression, substance abuse and other diseases in adulthood. Even for those who manage to overcome humble beginnings, early-life poverty may leave a lasting mark, accelerating aging and increasing the risk of degenerative disease in adulthood.

Pledges for Low-Income Students

Michael Stratford, Inside Higher Ed, January 2014

The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled more than 100 commitments from colleges and universities and millions of dollars in philanthropic donations aimed at helping more low-income students attend and complete college.