Study: Poor children are now the majority in American public schools in South, West

Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post, October 2013

A majority of students in public schools throughout the American South and West are low-income for the first time in at least four decades.

Talking directly to toddlers strengthens their language skills, Stanford research shows

Bjorn Carey, Stanford Report, October 2013

New research from Stanford psychologists reveals that the amount parents speak directly to their toddler can make an incredible difference in the child's language proficiency and vocabulary.

School Poverty - More Than Race - Affects Students' College-Going, Study Finds

Sarah D. Sparks, Education Week, October 2013

High-poverty schools sent significantly fewer graduates to college in 2012 than higher-income schools, regardless of the schools' geographic location or racial makeup, according to a new study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Yet in the longterm, more students may be making it to college than previously realized.

Inequality Is a Choice

Joseph Stiglitz, New York Times, October 2013

It’s well known by now that income and wealth inequality in most rich countries, especially the United States, have soared in recent decades and, tragically, worsened even more since the Great Recession. But what about the rest of the world? Is the gap between countries narrowing, as rising economic powers like China and India have lifted hundreds of millions of people from poverty? And within poor and middle-income countries, is inequality getting worse or better? Are we moving toward a more fair world, or a more unjust one?

College's Identity Crisis

Frank Bruni, New York Times, October 2013

Is a college degree’s worth best measured by the income its recipient makes 5 or 10 years down the road? Is college primarily a catapult to wealth? These were questions implicitly raised by President Obama’s recent proposal that the federal government look at graduates’ earnings when rating schools in an effort to steer students toward the best ones.

Profit or Progress?

Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, October 2013

A national group of faculty leaders on Wednesday launched the first of three reports that will shine a critical spotlight at the influence of private funds on higher education. The effort is not intended to stifle the rate of change of technology in higher education, members say, but rather to broaden the conversation about the companies fueling it. In its first report, titled “The ‘Promises’ of Online Higher Education: Profits,” the Campaign for the Future of Higher Education tracks federal policy changes through the 1990s and 2000s -- in particular the allocation of financial aid for for-profit institutions -- that have enabled online education providers and their private-sector backers to flourish. The remaining two releases, planned for the next two weeks, will look at affordability and access.

Wealth inequality is only getting worse

David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times, October 2013

Other nations have taken steps to address wealth inequality. The United States, for its part, has been content to let the problem grow.

Foundation launches $50-million project to support minority boys

Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, October 2013

California's largest healthcare foundation Wednesday announced a $50-million initiative to support minority boys and young men, saying the odds against their succeeding in school and in future careers were staggering. The California Endowment said the seven-year project would aim to boost attendance 30% in targeted schools, reduce by half the number of those suspended, train campus police on the effect of trauma on students, establish conflict-resolution programs in 10 communities, develop 1,000 youth leaders and make sure all eligible children have health coverage.

Racial Equity 50 Years After King's Speech

Michael Rebell, Education Week, October 2013

We are closer to racial equity in both achievement and opportunity than we were 50 years ago, but much further from reaching Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of equal educational opportunity than we should and could be.

Higher Education's Payoff

Megan Rogers, Inside Higher Ed, October 2013

When the College Board released a report on higher education’s payoff in 2010, some critics questioned whether the organization was overstating the benefits that accrue to individuals and society from going to college. Since that time, those critics have become part of a much larger chorus, with pundits and politicians alike asking whether too many people are going to college. So, for the latest installment of its report, “Education Pays,” the College Board issued a second report specifically to explain its analysis. The College Board chastises those who question the value of higher education by perpetuating anecdotal stories about student debt and unemployment. The board concludes that while higher education may not be a boon for all, “on average and for most students, college is an excellent financial investment.”

Financial Literacy, Beyond the Classroom

Richard H. Thaler, New York Times, October 2013

Even if we grade on a very generous curve, many Americans flunk when it comes to financial literacy. This is particularly troubling given the inherent complexity of our modern economy. Whether in taking out a student loan, buying a house or saving for retirement, people are being asked to make decisions that are difficult even if they have graduate training in finance and economics.

Rich People Just Care Less

Daniel Goleman, New York Times, October 2013

Since the 1970s, the gap between the rich and everyone else has skyrocketed. Income inequality is at its highest level in a century. Apart from the financial inequities, I fear the expansion of an entirely different gap, caused by the inability to see oneself in a less advantaged person’s shoes.

Key Factors in Urban Minority Male High School Success Detailed in New Study

Ronald Roach, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, October 2013

In a large-scale study of Black and Latino male high school and college students from New York City, a University of Pennsylvania research team found that consistently high expectations expressed by parents and other family members are among the major factors students in the study attributed to their academic success and college readiness.

Why are there still so few women in science?

Eileen Pollack, New York Times Magazine, October 2013

Only one-fifth of physics Ph.D.’s in this country are awarded to women, and only about half of those women are American; of all the physics professors in the United States, only 14 percent are women. The numbers of black and Hispanic scientists are even lower; in a typical year, 13 African-Americans and 20 Latinos of either sex receive Ph.D.’s in physics. The reasons for those shortages are hardly mysterious — many minority students attend secondary schools that leave them too far behind to catch up in science, and the effects of prejudice at every stage of their education are well documented. But what could still be keeping women out of the STEM fields (“STEM” being the current shorthand for “science, technology, engineering and mathematics”), which offer so much in the way of job prospects, prestige, intellectual stimulation and income?

America's Wasteful Higher Education Spending, In a Chart

Jordan Weissmann, The Atlantic, September 2013

We spend more of our economy on higher education than almost any other developed country, and achieve some of the worst results.