Higher Education News

Burlington College Will Close, Citing Longstanding Financial Woes

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 16, 2016 - 10:19am
The Vermont college "has struggled under the crushing weight of the debt incurred" in a controversial 2010 purchase, an official said.
Categories: Higher Education News

Supreme Court Declines to Rule on Religious Colleges' Contraception Case

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 16, 2016 - 10:10am
The court sent the case, involving the inclusion of contraception in the colleges' health-insurance plans, to a lower court for resolution.
Categories: Higher Education News

Expanding Opportunity: One Child at a Time

U.S. Department of Education Blog - May 16, 2016 - 10:05am

One of the most cost-effective ways to increase equity in education and expand opportunity to our nation’s children is to invest in high-quality preschool for our youngest learners – and not just some of them, but all of them. Federal- and state-led efforts over the past seven-and-a-half years have helped our country make progress toward this goal. In 2009, only 38 states offered children access to state-funded preschool, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama called for all children to have access to high-quality, state-supported preschool. Since the President’s announcement, all but four states offer preschool to young children and nearly 40 states and Washington, D.C., have invested more than an additional $1.5 billion in support of preschool.

Despite these promising developments, a new report from NIEER shows that thousands of children from low- and middle-income families in communities across the country still do not have access to quality preschool.

Indeed, NIEER’s analysis shows that access to high-quality preschool in the United States remains low and unequal. In fact, according to the new NIEER report, three states with large populations of minority children – California, Florida, and Texas – have among the largest programs but the weakest quality standards for preschools. Florida and Texas also funded preschool for fewer children in 2014-2015, as compared to the previous year.

Thankfully, other states did just the opposite. States such as Missouri, Michigan, and New York raised enrollment and quality. New York, in particular, substantially increased funding for state preschool and, thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio, instituted a plan to provide preschool education to all 4-year-olds in New York City regardless of their socio-economic status.

At the U.S. Department of Education, we place a high priority on increasing access and quality in early education for all children to receive the strong start they deserve. A major contributor to quality is an adequate supply of dedicated, talented, diverse, and well-prepared teachers who can provide nurturing care and facilitate learning and growth. Recruiting the teaching force our families and children need requires that we pay our preschool teachers a salary that is competitive, recognizes the importance of their work, and is on par with other public school educators.

We need support on this issue at every level. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which the President signed in December, provides multiple opportunities for states and schools to use federal funding for early education. However, the new report from NIEER rightly suggests that any new investments in preschool shouldn’t be used for expanding access alone; they must be leveraged to increase the quality of these programs as well. At the federal level, we take this finding very seriously, and it’s reflected in our programs, including the Preschool Development Grants, which were recently codified in our new education law.

Congress must fund the opportunities they’ve outlined in ESSA and do even more. Congress should fund the President’s proposal for voluntary, universal high-quality preschool outlined in his fiscal year 2017 budget proposal, which would create a more robust federal-state partnership for achieving this goal. Only then can we move aggressively toward stamping out inequality in early childhood education and expanding opportunity, one child at a time.

John B. King, Jr., is U.S. Secretary of Education.

Categories: Higher Education News

How Bias Training Works in One Campus Police Department

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 16, 2016 - 2:55am
Earlier this year, Michigan State University began a series of mandatory workshops for police officers to confront issues of fairness.
Categories: Higher Education News

The Life of ‘The Party Decides’

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 16, 2016 - 2:55am
Four political-science professors contemplate the improbable rise and fall of an obscure academic text in the time of Trump.
Categories: Higher Education News

Video: Owning the K-12 Challenge

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 16, 2016 - 2:55am
Nancy L. Zimpher, chancellor of the SUNY system, says it's time to rethink how public universities prepare tomorrow’s educators.
Categories: Higher Education News

Private Colleges' Tuition-Discount Rate Hits All-Time High

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 15, 2016 - 10:01pm
An annual survey doesn't paint a pretty picture of financial health.
Categories: Higher Education News

Required for All New Students: Dialogue 101

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 15, 2016 - 4:30pm
Freshmen and transfers at the University of Oklahoma must take five hours of training designed to help them have respectful conversations about race.
Categories: Higher Education News

At Elon, Living Differently Together

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 15, 2016 - 4:30pm
The university encourages undergraduates to live on campus for all four years as a way of helping them build relationships with peers who don’t share similar backgrounds.
Categories: Higher Education News

Demand Surges for Diversity Consultants

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 15, 2016 - 4:30pm
Whether confronting crises or merely maintaining the calm, the firms bring an impartial voice to issues involving race and gender.
Categories: Higher Education News

Are Colleges’ Diversity Efforts Putting Students in ‘Silos’?

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 15, 2016 - 4:30pm
Student-life administrators stress that designated cultural spaces play a vital role in making campuses inclusive. At the same time, they say, colleges must build environments where diverse groups of students can have difficult conversations.
Categories: Higher Education News

The Latino Agenda Is the National Agenda

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 15, 2016 - 4:30pm
Steps to improve the performance of students in this population will help students over all.
Categories: Higher Education News

Why We Need a ‘Scholarship of Belonging’

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 15, 2016 - 4:30pm
Universities are in a defining moment, where they must themselves embrace the values they hope to see reflected in society.
Categories: Higher Education News

How the Teacher’s Race Affects the Teaching of Race

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 15, 2016 - 4:30pm
Two professors, one white and one Indian, consider a dilemma: If you’re white, students assume you have no experience with race. But if you’re not white, you have no authority to teach about it.
Categories: Higher Education News

Want Students With Drive and Grit? Look in Community Colleges

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 15, 2016 - 4:30pm
If universities are truly invested in creating new types of knowledge, they must look beyond their peer institutions when recruiting graduate students.
Categories: Higher Education News

Glitches at a Conference Illustrate the Challenges Immigrant Families Face

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 15, 2016 - 4:30pm
How would English speakers feel if a quarter of their audience walked out because of a comprehension problem?
Categories: Higher Education News

For the Nation’s Health, Medical Schools Must Become More Diverse

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 15, 2016 - 4:30pm
Despite decades of effort, diversity in medicine has not kept up with the growing diversity of the population.
Categories: Higher Education News

Forum: What Does a Genuine Commitment to Diversity Look Like?

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 15, 2016 - 4:30pm
We asked a group of commentators 
to answer the question. Here’s what they told us.
Categories: Higher Education News

Auditing Diversity

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 15, 2016 - 4:30pm
Assessments can force officials to be introspective about their commitment to diversity and pinpoint which efforts to tackle first.
Categories: Higher Education News

How Do You Create a Diversity Agenda?

Chronicle of Higher Education - May 15, 2016 - 4:30pm
Many plans fail to connect different parts of a campus, but some colleges have found ways to broaden the conversation.
Categories: Higher Education News

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