Tomorrow, thousands of New York City students are slated to take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHAST), which determines whether they will be admitted to elite public schools such as Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx School of Science.
As Kyle Spencer of the New York Times reported in a recent story, many Asian American students have excelled at the exam, which is the sole determinant of admissions, while black and Latino students, on the whole, have not. At Stuyvesant High School, according to a recent report put out by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Community Service Society of New York, just 1 percent of students are black and 2 percent Latino in a city where the public schools are 27 percent black and 40 percent Latino.READ MORE
Diane Ravitch, a historian of education, is a fierce critic of charter schools. In her newest work, however, Ravitch suggests a path for reforming the charter sector, rather than opposing it outright. In fact, there are charter schools already embodying many of Ravitch’s ideals. She would do well to acknowledge their specific successes if she is serious about influencing the direction of charter schools moving forward.READ MORE
Are charter schools the answer to improving education or do they lead to another problem, creating racially segregated public schools? TCF senior fellow Richard Kahlenberg joined Carol Haddad, Vice-Chair of School Board of Jefferson County Public Schools, Andre Perry, the dean of urban education at Davenport University, Sanford Johnson, deputy director of Mississippi First, and Robert Reece, a PhD student at Duke University on Al Jazeera America’s “The Stream” to discuss integration at charter schools.
At The Chronicle of Higher Education, Stephen J. Handel quotes TCF senior fellow Richard D. Kahlenberg on the low number of students who transfer from 2-year to 4-year degree programs. "Some look at these numbers and suggest community colleges should downplay the idea of transfer," Kahlenberg says, "but it makes more sense to improve and strengthen transfer paths."
TCF's Greg Anrig, Vice President of Policy and Programs, quoted in The New York Times Magazine on the use of tablets in classrooms. Anrig identifies relationships among people in the school as being of primary importance: “None of these studies identify technology as decisive.”
“A device that enhances such interactions is good,” Anrig says. “But kids focused on the device, isolated, cuts into that.”
CBS Philadelphia covers the Century Foundation's report Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Strengthening Community Colleges and Restoring the American Dream:
Community colleges enroll about 44% of the nation’s college population and are in great danger of becoming separate and unequal institutions, according to a new report by the Century Foundation. At some colleges ‘almost two-thirds of the students are black, Hispanic or members of other groups typically considered underrepresented in higher education’.
In order to deal with the “increasing racial and economic isolation of students,” major changes are recommended, such as additional funding for the neediest students the way the federal Title I program works for elementary and high schools.
Most K-12 education reforms are about trying to make "separate but equal" schools for rich and poor work well. The results of these efforts have been discouraging. The Century Foundation looks at ways to integrate public schools by economic status through public school choice. At the higher education level, we examine ways to open the doors of selective and non-selective institutions to students of modest means.
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