News You Should Know: May Round-Up

Our monthly news roundup continues below with May’s highlights.

  • It’s free? Sign me up! Students in Tennessee have new incentives to go to college: it’s free.  Last month, Governor Haslam promised free tuition at Tennessee community colleges to high school graduates within the state. The benefits of even a two-year diploma in Tennessee are worth the extra time in school: a Tennessee resident holding a diploma from a two-year college makes over 50 percent more than someone with only a high school diploma.
  • Not up to par on college readiness. Last month, the National Assessment Governing Board released new scores on the Nation’s Report Card…and it was not good news.  The National Assessment of Educational Progress exam’s results found that of 12th grade students tested, less than 40 percent had the math or reading skills necessary for entry-level college courses.
  • I can’t be in 50 places at once. The size of school improvement offices within most State education agencies are small compared to the volume of schools needing extra attention. In response to this dilemma, we released a follow-up to the Lead Partner Playbook focusing specifically on strategies for states to attract, recruit, and develop Lead Partners for school turnaround.
  • How Children Are Driven Away from Success…was not the name of Paul Tough’s recent book. But in an article by Tough in the New York Times Magazine last month, he highlighted the graduation gap, based on income, that is an unfortunate predictor for some students of their chances of graduating from college with a four-year degree.  The article follows Vanessa Brewer, a Texan with a knack for academics who finds herself unprepared after enrolling at UT-Austin. Luckily, she is able to persist with the help of faculty members who saw the benefits in helping students “figure out college.”
  • I have two quarters in my pocket. Last month, Mass Insight partners Joshua Boger and Rick Burnes scribed an op-ed in the Boston Globe encouraging the business community to invest in education, because the costs of students failing to succeed greatly outweigh the costs of bringing increased funding and capacity to the education world.