• Part 2 of the NPR report on simplifying the FAFSA:

    “Here’s the strange part: The Education Department already has the authority to start using prior-prior. So, why hasn’t it?

    One big reason: Money.

    The department says switching to prior-prior would come with a lot of costs. For one thing, using older income would make students seem a little needier.

    It would also increase the number of students who complete the FAFSA and thereby increase the amount of aid given.

    And these costs, the department says, would ultimately have to be approved by Congress.

    Translation: One reason Washington’s not yet using prior-prior, is because it would work.”

    tags: socialclass

  • An important, detailed study of how poor students fared during times of budget cuts and rising tuition in Virginia.

    “Further, the study found, since 2007 the state had made no progress in improving the socioeconomic diversity of its four-year institutions; the large gap in enrollment between poor and wealthy students has remained virtually unchanged.
    Students from low-income families who attend four-year universities were less likely “to remain enrolled, persist through and graduate from those institutions,” compared to students from more affluent families. “

    tags: socialclass

  • Years of deliberation over making the FAFSA more manageable, and still no solutions in sight.

    Many of the comments on this piece are very discouraging in their assumptions that anyone having problems with a cumbersome federal form doesn’t deserve to go to college.

    “The challenge is a real Catch-22: The FAFSA, in its current form, is prohibitively complicated for some students. But shortening it could lead to students having to fill out multiple forms, which would also be prohibitively complicated for some.”

    tags: socialclass

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Social Class Links 02/24/2015

February 23, 2015

  • Paul Krugman on how we cannot educate ourselves into greater equality.

    “But my sense is that there’s a new form of issue-dodging packaged as seriousness on the rise. This time, the evasion involves trying to divert our national discourse about inequality into a discussion of alleged problems with education.

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    And the reason this is an evasion is that whatever serious people may want to believe, soaring inequality isn’t about education; it’s about power.

    Just to be clear: I’m in favor of better education. Education is a friend of mine. And it should be available and affordable for all. But what I keep seeing is people insisting that educational failings are at the root of still-weak job creation, stagnating wages and rising inequality. This sounds serious and thoughtful. But it’s actually a view very much at odds with the evidence, not to mention a way to hide from the real, unavoidably partisan debate.”

    tags: socialclass

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

  • There are some privileged silicon valley parents home schooling their children, and I think that this article misses much of the point. Public school education is not primarily about “social structures that have defined childhood” or accessing information in any particular way. Public education is about educating children together toward self-governance and citizenship, and I’m not clear how we sustain democratic practices when there are so few public institutions within which people from different backgrounds meet and learn from and with one another.

    “There’s something inherently maddening about a privileged group of forward-thinkers removing their children from the social structures that have defined American childhood for more than a century under the presumption that they know better. (And if you want to see how antiauthoritarian distrust can combine malevolently with parental concern, look no further than the Disneyland measles outbreak caused by the anti-vaccine crowd.) I hear you. As a proud recipient of a great public school education, I harbor the same misgivings.”

    tags: socialclass

  • Low -income first graders do “college prep” activities that a teacher made up herself–like first drawing, and then coloring the pennant of the college they want to attend — that they can’t possibly understand and have little to do with actual college life, while upper middle class kids have access to expensive coaching programs in middle school.

    “Barbara Poole is a seventh-grade English teacher at Rachel Carson Middle School in Fairfax County, Va., which is one of the nation’s wealthiest suburbs and home to the perennially top-ranked Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She estimates that 60 percent of her students already know where they want to go to college.

    Ms. Poole was among the first to pilot a middle-school version of Naviance, a college-prep subscription service that high schools offer their students. It’s known for its scattergrams, which reveal the acceptance history of the school’s students to specific colleges by test score and grade-point average. Ms. Poole said the software’s résumé-building feature — it allows students to input extracurricular activities, awards, volunteer work and more — has made her students “more aware” of building that extracurricular record for college.”

    tags: socialclass

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

  • I wish that more teachers would talk about their anger, because I know that they experience it.

    “He tells me I don’t have to buy him food, but I do anyway, because he needs it. He always takes it.

    Why do I do it? Is it because it hurts me to see when my students are hungry, to know that they are wanting? That’s one reason, yes. But another reason I do it is because, deep down, I am ashamed of an educational system that provides such privilege to some students, while willfully and purposefully denying it to others.”

    tags: socialclass

  • Policy shaped by reporters and politicians who have sense of how lower income people live.

    “But if you look at the data, $200,000 is not a normal income, even in a prosperous suburban county like Westchester, N.Y., where 77 percent of married couples are somehow managing to get by on less. In Montgomery County outside Washington, the figure is 72 percent. These figures start to seem normal to politicians only because, when they’re not hanging out with ultra-wealthy donors, they tend to spend time with the sort of pretty-wealthy professionals who use 529 accounts.

    They also start to seem normal to reporters, perhaps because $200,000 is about what a married couple might make if both worked as correspondents for major news organizations. One reads frequently of the plight of living on $200,000 or more a year. Writing for The Fiscal Times in 2010, Karen Hube found that $250,000 “does not a rich family make,” after you consider the cost of buying a home in an affluent suburb with a top school district like Bethesda, Md. (Of course, one option is to not live in Bethesda.) A Wall Street Journal article this September laid out how $400,000 isn’t a lot of money — after you spend it.”

    tags: socialclass

  • Campus sexual assault, elite colleges, privileged students, and “I can’t believe that happened here”.

    ““At a lot of institutions, there’s an intense effort to protect the reputation of the place,” said John D. Foubert, a professor of higher education at Oklahoma State University. “What’s different at really elite institutions is that the students will also do most anything to protect the reputation of the institution, because they think it reflects on them.”

    At many colleges, “people still have the ‘Oh my God, I’m so shocked that it could happen here’ reaction,” said Jane Stapleton, a co-director of the violence prevention program at the University of New Hampshire. People need to understand that no place is immune, she said, “but not use that as an excuse, either.”

    Continue reading the main story
    Sarah O’Brien, now a graduate student at Vanderbilt, was sexually assaulted while she was an undergraduate there, and said there was a powerful element of denial on the campus.”

    tags: socialclass

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

  • The tests are still never designed to evaluate teacher quality and aren’t a reliable (in the statistical use of the term) measures for doing so, so I have mixed feelings about trying to refine their use in teacher evaluation by factoring in poverty.

    But at least they acknowledge poverty.

    “Teacher ranking and evaluation systems are often criticized for favoring teachers in low-poverty, resource-rich schools. In particular, value-added models, which seek to isolate teachers’ impact on students’ test scores, have been scrutinized for their alleged potential to overstate the quality of teachers in well-resourced schools, since outside factors in such communities may create more fertile ground for student improvement. This difference in teacher rankings, in turn, can make it more difficult for struggling schools to attract quality teachers.”

    tags: socialclass

  • “Harvard raised over a billion dollars just last year.”

    How far would that go for one community college?
    RT @deandad: The Harvard Challenge: what just one year of Harvard’s donations could accomplish at a community college https://t.co/BWqFWWx…

    tags: socialclass

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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