News You Should Know

As I’m writing this, it’s Opening Day at Fenway Park and everyone’s allergies seem to be acting up, which must mean it’s finally spring in Boston! Lucky for you, that means fewer complaints from us about the snow and more stories for you to read while enjoying the outdoors!

Education news round-up from the past few weeks below:

Sometimes meeting goals is harder than it sounds. The Lumina Foundation released a report to announce that, sadly, the U.S. will not be reaching Lumina’s Goal 2025 (that 60 percent of Americans will have a high-quality postsecondary credential by 2025). While the higher education attainment rate is increasing, the incremental growth from year to year is not enough to push the current 40 percent rate up by 20 percentage points in the next ten years. Lumina also cautions us to remember that the subgroup rates for postsecondary credentials is still pretty dire: the rate for Hispanic adults is half that of the overall rate at only 20.3 percent, and for African Americans it is at 28.1 percent. The good news is that the rates for these subgroups are still rising, just not quickly enough. As always, there is still work to do.

Supporting our English Language Learners. Over the past several years, the number of English language learner (ELL) students has continued to rise, particularly in western states.  To ensure ELLs are supported, the Education Commission of the States (ECS) released a report with recommendations for state-level ELL policies to support these students. The policies cover finance, identification, educator quality, early learning, and family engagement. ECS cautions that no one change will be the silver bullet that perfects the education experience for ELL students, and that instead it is at the intersection of these five interventions that states can better support their ELL student population.

“Go to college.” Not always as easy as it sounds. A great NPR story came out last month about smart, educated, and driven students from across the country. These particular students, though, are low-income and as a result often “undermatch,” only applying to local schools or not getting the support they need to apply to the schools that would really challenge them. Luckily, this story has a happy ending.

Communication is key. As mentioned above, the Lumina Foundation recently admitted that based on current data trends, the U.S. likely will not meet Goal 2025. But according to high school graduation data, there are plenty of eligible high school graduates who are simply not making it to college. According to Education Dive, the U.S. high school graduation rate was 81 percent in 2013, but at the same time, college enrollment is failing to keep up. It seems like college enrollment and success is a priority across institutions in the U.S., and the article recommends more partnerships between higher education, stated, and the federal government to ensure access for all.