Friday, June 27, 2014

News You Can Use

Our pile of newspapers and magazines -- paper and digital -- is growing all the time, and we sometimes get the feeling that education news is happening too quickly for us to keep up with it. Here are some items that we think are important to share.
  • Hofstra University, the largest college on Long Island, with approximately 6,800 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate students, has announced that they are implementing a "test optional" admissions policy
    for students applying for admission for fall 2015. This policy will apply to all but international and home-schooled students. Hofstra is joining more than 800 other colleges and universities that no longer require SAT or ACT tests for admission. Recent research has demonstrated that there is no correlation between high standardized test scores and college success; researchers have found that the greatest predictor of college success is a high GPA in high school. You can find lists of other colleges that do not require standardized testing on the website of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, Fairtest.
  • A new group -- the Coalition for Multiple Pathways to a Diploma, led by our colleagues at Advocates for Children of New York -- is looking at New York's dismal high school graduation rates and at ways to improve these numbers. Check out a report by the coalition and a PowerPoint presentation which presents some stark numbers: New York is well in the bottom half of states in graduation rates, with an overall graduation rate throughout the state of 74%, a rate which falls to less than 45% for students with disabilities. 
  • ED, the Magazine of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has an excellent and lengthy examination of two U.S. Supreme Court cases impacting race and education -- Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 decision which outlawed segregation in public schools, and Milliken v. Bradley, a 1974 decision which barred most busing across school district lines to achieve racial integration of public schools and left de facto segregation and sharp differences between inner cities and their more affluent suburbs in place. 

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