The Bakersfield Californian’s editorial board expresses that digital schools must be California’s future. In doing so, it cites an analysis from Digital Learning Now!, a project of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, and the Alliance for Excellent Education, which looks at which states are taking new approaches … and which states were lagging behind. The nation’s top laggard was California, a finding that belies the state’s reputation … for innovation.
For an Indiana school district, it’s out with textbooks and in with laptops, writes the New York Times.
Las Vegas schools hope new iPad program will boost test scores, reports the Las Vegas Sun (via Education Week).
In 2008, more than two of five (42 percent) first-year college students were living at, near, or below poverty—a 4 percentage point increase from 2000. Most startling is the fact that among non-White females in their first year of college, more than half, including seven of 10 Black females, were from a poverty background. –Institute for Higher Educational Policy (IHEP)
Education has overtaken other hot-button topics including immigration and the economy as the top issue facing Texas, according to an independent poll released Tuesday. –Austin American-Statesman
Just 13 percent of high school seniors who took the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress, called the Nation's Report Card, showed a solid grasp of U.S. History. Results released Tuesday showed the two other grades didn't perform much better, with just 22 percent of fourth-grade students and 18 percent of eighth-graders demonstrating proficiency. –National Assessment of Educational Progress
Today, TheOregonian reported on college enrollment rates in rural parts of Oregon. Eighteen percent of Oregon's rural adults have college degrees, compared with about 31 percent of urban adults, which mirrors national percentages. However, the story discuses a recent shift in college enrollment patterns:
In 2003, about 65 percent of the nation's rural high school graduates attended college, compared with 75 percent of urban and suburban students, federal research shows. By 2008, an OUS report shows, Oregon had narrowed that gap, with 52 percent of rural students attending college, compared with 58 percent for urban. The Oregonian found an even smaller gap in 2009 graduates. The percents enrolling in college were 59 urban, 62 suburban, 58 small town and 60 rural. A larger share of small-town and rural students, however, chose the state's 17 community colleges over its seven public universities. Data was not available for graduates attending out-of-state or private colleges.
According to the story, more rural students are choosing college because high schools are offering more guidance and rigorous classes to prepare students for college. Another reason is that jobs are scarce in economically distressed rural counties.
Check out this student interview with Felipe Pena, a senior at Stanfield High School. He says graduating from high school will be his “biggest accomplishment” yet and has a goal to finish with a 3.5 GPA. His parents are agricultural workers and his girlfriend and teachers are encouraging him to go to school after he graduates. He would like to attend Perry Technical Institute in Yakima, WA to train to be an electrician but has some fears about succeeding there.
On March 8, I traveled to Massachusetts to hear President Obama and Melinda Gates speak to students at TechBoston Academy, a 6-12 grade school founded in 2002 with the support of the Gates Foundation. According to TechAcademy’s web site, the Obama administration chose the school, “because it blends technology into the classroom, offers rigorous academic programs, and urges students to take courses at local colleges.”
It is also important to note that about 90 percent of the school’s student population is eligible for free or reduced lunch and 90 percent are minority students. Through the hard work of the teachers and the community, TechBoston students are graduating from high school at rates of 85 percent or above and are attending 2- or 4-year colleges at rates of 93 percent or above—percentages that exceed state and national averages.
The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 82 percent of America's schools could fail to meet education goals set by No Child Left Behind this year. -U.S. Department of Education
In 1988, 57% of middle and high school students said it was very likely they would go to college. By 1997, this level had increased to 67%. Today, 75% say it is very likely they will go to college. On average, teachers predict that 63% of their students will graduate high school ready for college without the need for remedial coursework, and that 51% of their students will graduate from college. -MetLife
Los Angeles has increased the average size of its ninth-grade English and math classes to 34 from 20. Eleventh- and 12th-grade classes in those two subjects have risen, on average, to 43 students. -New York Times
The Washington Post editorial board discusses the lack of diversity at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia. Meanwhile, CBS News focuses on how young black males face difficulties in obtaining an adequate education. The story highlights a group of black males at the California Academy of Mathematics and Science in South Los Angeles that call themselves the "Nerd Herd" and are determined to earn a college degree. Check out the video below:
Philadelphia reaches a new milestone, with the majority of public school students meeting state standards in reading and math.
Ninety percent of Washington’s 12th graders passed the statewide reading and writing tests before graduating but a much lower percentage of 10th and 11th graders scored well on the math exam, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.