Campaign seeks to recruit top students to become teachers

Motoko Rich, New York Times, November 2013

The Department of Education — in partnership with the Advertising Council, Microsoft, State Farm Insurance, Teach for America, the nation’s two largest teachers’ unions and several other educational groups — is unveiling a public service campaign this week aimed at recruiting a new generation of classroom educators. As many as one million teachers could retire in the next four to six years. Hoping to attract young, high-achieving college graduates — particularly in science, math and engineering — the campaign uses video spots and radio announcements that portray teaching as creative, invigorating and meaningful, and as compelling a career as medicine, acting or engineering.

MOOCs Are Largely Reaching Privileged Learners

Steve Kolowich, The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 2013

Most people who take massive open online courses already hold a degree from a traditional institution.

How rating colleges can challenge students

The Monitor’s Editorial Board, Christian Science Monitor, November 2013

This month, the Obama administration kicked off a nationwide listening tour. Its purpose to find ways to rate colleges on a number of measures, especially their “value” to students. The goal is to “shake up” higher education so it better serves low-income students. Another is to push the United States to have the world’s highest percentage of college graduates by 2020.

The Stereotypes About Math That Hold Americans Back

Jo Boaler, The Atlantic, November 2013

We need to change the way we teach math in the U.S., and the new Common Core curriculum standards that are currently being rolled out are a necessary step in the right direction.

U.S. Math, Reading Achievement Edges Up, But Gaps Remain

Catherine Gewertz, Education Week, November 2013

The reading and mathematics achievement of the country’s 8th grade students improved in the last two years, but the performance of 4th graders remains stubbornly mixed, with progress in math, but not in reading, according to national test data.

Encouraging First-Generation College Students

Adrienne Lu, Stateline, October 2013

A new initiative encourages students whose parents are low-income or who didn’t go to college to apply to at least one college or university. Started in 2005, it is funded by philanthropic foundations and coordinated by the American Council on Education, which represents the presidents of U.S. colleges and universities. High schools can customize their college application weeks to meet students’ needs, but all of them schedule time during school hours for seniors to submit applications, often aided by volunteers trained to answer questions.

Meet the Makers

Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, October 2013

Investing in smart schools and kids pays so many more dividends than smart bombs. Education is the only constructive force that’s universal and powerful enough to make a difference in reversing the biggest global threats.

The Myth of 'I'm Bad at Math'

Miles Kimball, Noah Smith, The Atlantic, October 2013

“I’m just not a math person.” We hear it all the time. And we’ve had enough. Because we believe that the idea of “math people” is the most self-destructive idea in America today. The truth is, you probably are a math person, and by thinking otherwise, you are possibly hamstringing your own career. Worse, you may be helping to perpetuate a pernicious myth that is harming underprivileged children—the myth of inborn genetic math ability.

Net Price Rising

Michael Stratford, Inside Higher Ed, October 2013

Even though colleges have slowed the rate at which they raise tuition, the total grant aid available to students has not been able to keep pace with tuition growth. Public four-year institutions, after years of sharp increases, raised in-state tuition by only 2.9 percent this year, the smallest one-year increase in more than 30 years. Private, nonprofit four-year colleges increased their sticker price tag by 3.8 percent, which is slightly lower than recent tuition hikes. In spite of these more modest rates of growth in published tuition prices, the net price of higher education – what families actually end up paying after grants and other aid – is ticking up in all sectors.

As price of college rises, how will higher education evolve to be affordable?

Jeff Selingo on NewsHour, October 2013

A new report shows the cost of college is rising at a slower rate, but that does little good in easing the struggle for affordable higher education, with fewer funds available for student aid and household incomes at a plateau. What options do students face? Ray Suarez talks to Jeff Selingo of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Language-Gap Study Bolsters a Push for Pre-K

Motoko Rich, New York Times, October 2013

Nearly two decades ago, a landmark study found that by age three, the children of wealthier professionals have heard words millions more times than those of less educated parents, giving them a distinct advantage in school and suggesting the need for increased investment in prekindergarten programs. Now, new research by Anne Fernald, a psychologist at Stanford University, has found a language gap as early as 18 months, heightening the policy debate.

Open Season

James Surowiecki, New Yorker, October 2013

In 1965, C.E.O.s at big companies earned, on average, about twenty times as much as their typical employee. These days, they earn about two hundred and seventy times as much. Recently, rules have made companies detail the size and structure of compensation practices, and shareholders today know far more about C.E.O. compensation than ever before. There’s only one problem: even as companies are disclosing more and more, executive pay keeps going up and up.

Here Comes the Neighborhood

David Kirp, New York Times, October 2013

Suburbia beckons many poor and working-class families with the promise of better schools, access to non-dead-end jobs and sanctuary from the looming threat of urban violence. But many suburbanites balk at the prospect of affordable housing in their midst.

The Middle Class Gets Wise

Jonathan Cowan, Jim Kessler, New York Times, October 2013

Faced with unemployment and dim job prospects, Americans made one significant change that should alter their fortunes and those of the middle class for decades: they went back to school.

Are Private Schools Worth It?

Julia Ryan, The Atlantic, October 2013

A new book argues that when controlling for demographic factors, public schools are doing a better job academically than private schools. It seems that private school students have higher scores because they come from more affluent backgrounds, not because the schools they attend are better educational institutions.