What We're Reading - April 2015

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

reading-bannerAs a national network, Gateway to College works with a wide variety of school districts, colleges, and community partners from around the country. The national office understands that our programs face a complexity of issues, from local education policy to national trends in dual enrollment. As a group, we try to stay aware of these trends and issues through direct interaction with programs and partners, and in what we read.

Each month, the GtCNN Blog will feature a sampling of stories, trends, and videos that we’re reading and discussing in the national office. We invite you to share any stories that you feel we should be following. You can comment on our blog, or email Glenn Fee, our Director of Communications and Marketing, at gfee@gatewaytocollege.org.

Stories from our field that help inform our work

“Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States”, Annie E. Casey Foundation, February 2015.

  • Paper supports the use of the Supplemental Policy Measure (SPM), from the U.S. Census Bureau, as a more accurate measure of child poverty and the effects of safety net programs and tax policies on families.
  • The child poverty rates among Latinos (29 percent) and African Americans (29 percent) were approximately three times that of whites (10 percent), using the SPM. Poverty rates for American Indian children (26 percent) and Asian and Pacific Islander children (16 percent) also are significantly higher than the rate for white children.
  • Poverty rates by state vary dramatically, and the SPM measures poverty levels with and without government intervention.

“How a state where community colleges have been an afterthought is turning that around, Hechinger Report, March 6.

  • Three year graduation rate for students in Massachusetts community colleges ranks 30th, a low number for a state that prides itself in educational achievement.
  • Massachusetts has historically sent a higher number of its high school graduates to private institutions over public universities. For the first time, that number has shifted in favor of public institutions.
  • 69 percent of employers surveyed by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education say they’re having trouble finding workers with the skills they need.
  • Presidents of the 15 Massachusetts community colleges, nonprofit advocates, and business leaders see the current climate as an opportunity.

“Our Communities Must Become Education Collectives”, Education Northwest, March 10.

  • Blog post by Jerry Colonna, member of the state’s Board of Education.
  • Encourages Oregon communities to adopt a Collective Impact approach to education – “We have to strengthen communities as part of improving schools.”

“Next Phase for Gates’ Completion Agenda”, Inside Higher Ed, March 11.

  • Gates lays out a strategy “reboot”, with a focus on four priorities - data and information, finance and financial aid, college readiness, and innovation and scale.
  • Data piece will take precedent. Paper describes plan to “create a national data infrastructure that enables consistent collection and reporting of key performance metrics for all students in all institutions that are essential for promoting the change needed to reform the higher education system to produce more career-relevant credentials.”
  • Ten states will be emphasized in this work - California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

“Goldman Sachs Commits $2 Million to LaGuardia Community College”, The New York Times, March 11.

  • Gift represents one of the largest in nation’s history to a community college, and doubles the endowment at LaGuardia.
  • Goldman Sachs CEO – “Community college is a real accelerator to the middle class, and I can’t think of anything the country needs more than that.”

“A ‘promising’ way to help low-income students to and through college”, Hechinger Report, March 25.

  • Gap in college enrollment between richest and poorest students remains where in was in the 1970s, when the Pell Grant program was created.
  • Two researchers—Robert Kelchen of Seton Hall and Sara Goldrick-Rab of the University of Wisconsin at Madison—propose a pilot program guaranteeing the maximum Pell Grant to low-income eighth-graders who complete high school and enroll in college.

“Lawmakers try and try again to expand dual enrollment”, Ed Source, March 31.

  • Focus on three proposed bills in California to expand dual enrollment opportunities for students.

Stories with a Gateway to College focus or mention

“Program can be gateway to both diploma, degree”, Newton (IA) Daily News, March 6.

  • Newton Community School District approves MOU with DMACC.
  • DMACC now has agreements with Des Moines, Newtown, Knoxville, Norwalk and Carlisle Public Schools.
  • Ahmed Agyeman, associate director of program development at DMACC, hopes the college can also get agreements soon with the Ames, Saydel, Southeast Polk, Northeast Polk and West Des Moines districts.
  • Article describes challenges that Gateway helps some students overcome.
  • Mention of support from the WalMart and Gates Foundations.

“JKCF Vice President to Become President of Gateway to College National Network”, Jack Kent Cook Foundation website, March 9.

  • Announcement of Emily Froimson being named as GtCNN president.

“St. Paul works to reengage dropouts”, Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 12.

  • Star Tribune details new GtC program at St. Paul College.
  • Quote from Valeria Silver, St. Paul School District Superintendent.
  • Mention of the support from Edna McConnell ClarkSocial Innovation Fund, and Travelers Foundation.

“The Opportunity Summit was a defining moment in my life”, Opportunity Nation Blog, March 19.

  • Jahath Harriott, Gateway to College student at Massasoit Community College, describes his experience at the Opportunity Summit in Washington D.C.

Videos about Gateway to College:

  • Julius DeFour, Gateway to College Academic Success Coach at Spokane Community College, featured in a video produced by Spokane Public Schools.
  • South Texas College GtC students produce a hip hop video in support of their Gateway to College experience.
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