States and Job Training

Why some states are making short-term training free, By Sophie Quinton, May 3, 2017, Stateline: “Community colleges are known for their associate degree programs. But these days, many community colleges award more certificates than degrees. Certificates typically take less than two years to complete and promise to prepare students for entry-level jobs in fields such as medical insurance coding or welding. Now Kentucky and Indiana have created scholarships that would make some certificates tuition-free. The new grants draw inspiration from the free college idea pushed by Democrats like former President Barack Obama and embraced by Oregon, Tennessee and New York. But they’re less focused on reducing soaring tuition prices and more focused on training students for jobs that are sitting open…”

Community Colleges and Federal Student Loans

The surprising number of community college students without access to federal student loans, By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, July 1, 2016, Washington Post: “A growing number of community colleges are exiting the federal student loan program, leaving nearly a million students without access to low-cost options to pay for school, according to a new study from the Institute for College Access and Success.  The advocacy group found that nearly 1 in 10 community college students in 32 states have no access to federal student loans. Nearly half of these students are in California or North Carolina. In eight states, including Alaska, Alabama and Louisiana, more than 20 percent of students attend schools that have opted out of the federal government’s student loan program…”

State Community College Affordability

The student debt crisis at state community colleges, By Sophie Quinton, May 10, 2016, Stateline: “Community colleges charge lower tuition than just about anywhere else. They’re open to everyone. They offer the kind of technical training employers want. And they can serve as an affordable steppingstone to a four-year degree. As President Barack Obama said in the fall: ‘They’re at the heart of the American Dream.’  But while plenty of community college students graduate with a degree that leads to a better job, or to a four-year college, many community college students drop out. And a growing number of students are taking on debt they cannot repay…”

Colleges and Low-Income Students

  • Are colleges doing enough to support low-income students?, By Lucy Schouten, March 24, 2016, Christian Science Monitor: “Breaking the cycle of poverty can start with admission to college, but it doesn’t end with just getting in.  A report by the US Department of Education describes practical strategies for the federal government, states, and the institutions themselves to help with recruiting – and graduating – students from low-income backgrounds…”
  • A new approach to increasing low-income college grads, By Amy Scott, March 24, 2016, Marketplace: “Just over a decade ago, low-income students at Georgia State University graduated at barely half the rate of other students. Today that gap is closed, thanks to initiatives like more intensive advising and grants of as little as $300 to cover unmet financial need.  Meanwhile, the ASAP program at City University of New York nearly doubled completion rates for community college students, by giving them more academic support…”
  • Do financial aid policies make paying for college harder for some?, By Corey Fedde, March 18, 2016, Christian Science Monitor: “College is getting more expensive – especially for low income students.  On Tuesday, a study released findings that low income students face significant challenges meeting the financial requirements to attend many private universities and an increasing number of public universities, despite financial aid.  The study was the third report in a multi-year series from The New America Foundation’s Education Policy Program. Together, the studies suggest the issue is getting worse…”

College Students and Food Insecurity

Colleges beginning to address the issue of student hunger, By Bill Schackner, March 7, 2016, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Matt Armento’s first trip to the food pantry on the Community College of Allegheny County’s South Campus was as a sophomore volunteering to hand out pasta, canned goods and fruit to other students just scraping by. Honors students at CCAC South had decided that their service project would be to staff the pantry during its soft opening last fall. An honors student himself, Mr. Armento was there to join them. But in reality, he was facing the same financial pressures that had brought his peers there for assistance. So when the pantry held its grand opening this semester, he came back — this time as a recipient…”

Free College Tuition

Tennessee looks to prevent ‘sticker shock’ in higher ed by offering first two years free, By Nicole Shepherd, June 24, 2014, Deseret News: “As student loan debt reaches a national high of $1.2 trillion, Tennessee has responded by offering free tuition for low-income students attending community colleges. Concern has surfaced among educators and economists that the increase in the cost for higher education is leading new high school graduates to question whether a college education is worth the cost.’Financial aid was supposed to reduce the influence of existing family financial resources on college attainment, but those resources are now a stronger determinant than ever of children’s college prospects,’ wrote Sara Goldrick-Rab, professor of education policy and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. . .”

Early College Programs

  • Pathway from poverty: Pioneering program helps low-income children get degrees, IBM jobs, By Celia Baker and Mercedes White, February 9, 2013, Deseret News: “By the time Trudon Exter walks through the metal detectors at the front doors of Brooklyn’s Paul Robeson High School, he’s been commuting for more than two hours. To get to school by 8 a.m. from his home in Queens, he rides two buses and a subway through some of New York City’s toughest neighborhoods. Trudon, 14, is a little small for his age and carries an enormous backpack stuffed with school supplies, snacks and a change of clothes for gym class. There are fleeting moments when he wishes he was back in Queens in his neighborhood school’s ninth-grade class with his old friends and not in Brooklyn. But some of his friends have already given up on high school. As he walks the three blocks between the subway and the school he sees kids about his age stumbling out of the neighborhood’s abandoned row houses. He wants something better. To help kids like Trudon reach their goals, a college in New York City has teamed up with IBM to create an innovative program that fuses high school and community college under one roof…”
  • A path forward: Finishing high school with college degree, By Benjamin Wood, February 9, 2013, Deseret News: “In May, Travis Butterfield will earn his associate degree from Salt Lake Community College with credits to spare, a milestone on his path to a planned career in reconstructive surgery. Assuming, of course, that he graduates from high school first. ‘I still need to finish high school gym,’ he said. ‘It’s the only thing holding me back from graduating.’ Butterfield is a senior at ITINERIS Early College High School, a charter school located on the Jordan campus of Salt Lake Community College. There, Butterfield and his classmates split their time between courses at ITINERIS and college classes across the parking lot at the college, earning their way to a high school diploma and an associate degree simultaneously…”
  • Talented teens get a head start on college life, By Mará Rose Williams, February 10, 2013, Kansas City Star: “Danielle Doerr spent her morning studying calculus and conducting nanostructure research here on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University. Now, in the afternoon, she sits in the lobby of her dorm wearing headphones, soaking up lectures on quantum physics and neuroscience by Massachusett Institute of Technology professors…”

College Graduation Gap – Kentucky

College graduation gap widens for low-income Kentuckians, By Linda B. Blackford, July 9, 2012, Lexington Herald-Leader: “More Kentuckians are getting college degrees, but a troubling trend has emerged in who receives them. According to a new report, the gap between graduation rates for low-income college students and moderate- to high-income students jumped 8 percentage points between 2008 and 2010. In those two years, the graduation rate of low-income Kentucky students fell from 46 percent to 35 percent, according to an annual accountability report from the Council on Postsecondary Education. In comparison, the graduation rate of moderate- to high-income students dropped four percentage points, from 57 percent to 53 percent. The gap between graduation rates for rich and poor students increased from 10 percentage points to 18. The gap is connected to a bad economy, higher tuition rates and less state aid, and it’s a big problem, according to one expert on the economy and higher education. . .”

Public Colleges and Job Training

Where the jobs are, the training may not be, By Catherine Rampell, March 1, 2012, New York Times: “As state funding has dwindled, public colleges have raised tuition and are now resorting to even more desperate measures – cutting training for jobs the economy needs most. Technical, engineering and health care expertise are among the few skills in huge demand even in today’s lackluster job market. They are also, unfortunately, some of the most expensive subjects to teach. As a result, state colleges in Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Colorado, Michigan, Florida and Texas have eliminated entire engineering and computer science departments. At one community college in North Carolina – a state with a severe nursing shortage – nursing program applicants so outnumber available slots that there is a waiting list just to get on the waiting list. This squeeze is one result of the states’ 25-year withdrawal from higher education. During and immediately after the last few recessions, states slashed financing for colleges. Then when the economy recovered, most states never fully restored the money that had been cut. The recent recession has amplified the problem…”

Community Colleges and Student Achievement

A very rough road for community college students, By Carla Rivera, February 21, 2012, Los Angeles Times: “Foster Washington knows the odds are against him. The Los Angeles Southwest College student is a 20-year-old from a tough neighborhood in Watts where, he says, there was little encouragement or preparation for college. Recent studies suggest that students such as Washington are the least likely to stay in school, get a degree or transfer to a four-year university, hampering their future job prospects. But Washington is determined to be the first college graduate in his family of 12 siblings. Southwest, part of the nine-campus Los Angeles Community College District, is trying to fulfill his goal through new programs focused on intensive tutoring, faculty training and helping students adjust to college life…”

Community College Dropout Rates

  • Study: Community college dropout rate costly, By Paul Takahashi, October 20, 2011, Las Vegas Sun: “Dropping out of school carries a high cost – and it’s not just to the student. A new report analyzing spending on community college dropouts nationally found that failing to graduate cost taxpayers nearly $4 billion at the federal, state and local levels over a five-year period. In Nevada, the cost of funding community college students who dropped out after one year was estimated at $8.8 million between 2004 and 2009, according to the report released Thursday by the American Institutes for Research – a Washington, D.C. – based nonprofit, nonpartisan research group…”
  • High cost of first-year community college dropouts, By Nanette Asimov, October 20, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle: “Like making a bad bet in Vegas, taxpayers gamble hundreds of millions of dollars a year on community college students who quit as freshmen – many in California. A new study shows that from 2004 to 2009, Americans spent nearly $4 billion on full-time students who dropped out after one year and didn’t transfer. California’s first-year dropouts benefited from $480 million in tax-funded grants and allocations in that time – more than any other state – says the study, ‘The Hidden Costs of Community Colleges,’ from the nonpartisan American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C…”

Community College Enrollment – Michigan

Community colleges taking hits in Michigan, By David Jesse, September 30, 2011, Detroit Free Press: “Fewer students are enrolling and others are taking lighter class loads at Michigan’s community colleges, the result of federal worker retraining money drying up and health care reform that expanded a student exception to insurance rules. Federal health care law now allows part-time students to stay on their parents’ health insurance policies, which could account for a decline in credit hours as students look to save money by paring class loads. Enrollment at Michigan’s 28 community colleges is down 4% compared to last fall, and the number of credit hours taken is down 6%. Falling credit hours is a bigger deal to school officials than enrollment, because tuition revenue is based on classes taken and not enrollment…”

State Aid to Community Colleges

As enrollments soar and state aid vanishes, community colleges reconsider their role, By David Harrison, april 11, 2011, Stateline.org: “Jud Hicks got the email late one evening in January. The following day, it said, the state House of Representatives would release a budget proposal cutting off all state money to four community colleges. One of those was Frank Phillips College, a small school in the Panhandle town of Borger, where Hicks has been the president since early this year. ‘We had no idea,’ he recalls. ‘You had students saying, what do I do? I guess my grades won’t transfer.’ News reports suggested that without state funding, the four community colleges would have no choice but to close. In Borger, a windy plains town of 13,000 people, where oil refineries and chemical plants are the main employers, that would be a devastating outcome. But the impact would be felt well beyond Borger. If Frank Phillips College were to close, the residents of a 9,300 square-mile area – roughly the size of New Hampshire – would be left without a single college or university. That scenario no longer seems likely…”

Michigan Education System

Decade of change: Education system deals with fewer students, more poverty, less control, By Julie Mack, January 5, 2011, Kalamazoo Gazette: “Michigan educators found they had some learning of their own to do in the past decade, and the subject was ‘change.’ People leading both the K-12 systems and the colleges find themselves in very different places at the start of 2011 than they did 10 years ago, working through an unprecedented transformational period. Districts statewide have about 200,000 fewer students – but more children from impoverished homes – as the economy took its toll and competition with charter schools and choice plans offered parents other options. And the federal and state governments claimed more of a role in decision-making, leaving fewer things for local districts to control. Meanwhile, public universities and, especially, community colleges, enjoyed tremendous growth despite a gradual decline in state assistance – made up by nearly doubling tuition during the decade. But as state officials look to education to pull Michigan from its economic doldrums, they can point to some success…”

Homeless College Students

Homeless – and going to college, By Randy Furst, December 28, 2010, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: “When he isn’t attending classes, chances are Christopher Sparks, 32, is hunkered over a computer in the library at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC). He’s in his second year there, majoring in computer support and administrative network. Sparks does not study at home because he does not have one. He sleeps at the Salvation Army’s Harbor Light homeless shelter on the edge of downtown Minneapolis. His bed is a mat on the floor with 80 other men. ‘I hate it, but I have to survive,’ he said. ‘I wouldn’t wish this situation on my worst enemy.’ College officials and advocates for the poor say the economic downturn has spawned a phenomenon they’re only beginning to measure and understand: college students with no stable housing, who sometimes show up at homeless shelters…”

Graduation Rates at Community Colleges – California

Community colleges not preparing California’s future workforce, study says, By Carla Rivera, October 20, 2010, Los Angeles Times: “Seventy percent of students seeking degrees at California’s community colleges did not manage to attain them or transfer to four-year universities within six years, according to a new study that suggests that many two-year colleges are failing to prepare the state’s future workforce. Conducted by the Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy at Cal State Sacramento, the report, released Tuesday, found that most students who failed to obtain a degree or transfer in six years eventually dropped out; only 15% were still enrolled. In addition, only about 40% of the 250,000 students the researchers tracked between 2003 and 2009 had earned at least 30 college credits, the minimum needed to provide an economic boost in jobs that require some college experience…”

American Community Survey

  • Saying no to ‘I do,’ with the economy in mind, By Erik Eckholm, September 28, 2010, New York Times: “The United States crossed an important marital threshold in 2009, with the number of young adults who have never married surpassing, for the first time in more than a century, the number who were married. A long-term decline in marriage accelerated during the severe recession, according to new data from the Census Bureau, with more couples postponing marriage and often choosing to cohabit without tying the knot…”
  • D.C., suburbs show disturbing increases in childhood poverty, By Carol Morello and Dan Keating, September 29, 2010, Washington Post: “Three out of 10 children in the nation’s capital were living in poverty last year, with the number of poor African American children rising at a breathtaking rate, according to census statistics released Tuesday. Among black children in the city, childhood poverty shot up to 43 percent, from 36 percent in 2008 and 31 percent in 2007. That was a much sharper increase than the two percentage-point jump, to 36 percent, among poor black children nationwide last year…”
  • Census figures in region show poor getting poorer, By Alfred Lubrano and Dylan Purcell, September 29, 2010, Philadelphia Inquirer: “The poor got poorer and the well-off didn’t get any better in the Philadelphia region in 2009, according to U.S. census figures released Tuesday. Philadelphia retained its unwanted position as the poorest among the country’s 10 largest cities, with a poverty rate of 25 percent. Making a bad situation worse, the number of children in poverty under age 18 in the city fell to one in three…”
  • Census says recession woes less severe here, By Gary Rotstein, September 29, 2010, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “The economic downturn has not spared the Pittsburgh region, but household data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Tuesday offered additional evidence that the hardships have been less severe than for the nation as a whole. The poverty rate within the seven-county metropolitan area worsened from 12.2 percent in 2008 to 12.3 percent in 2009, according to the American Community Survey, compared with a more drastic change from 13.3 percent to 14.3 percent for the U.S. overall. Pennsylvania had a poverty rate of 12.5 percent last year, compared with 12.3 percent in 2008…”
  • Mass. buoyed in recession, data indicate, By Maria Sacchetti, September 29, 2010, Boston Globe: “Massachusetts appeared to weather the recession better than other states last year, according to census figures released yesterday, with stable poverty rates and stagnant annual income. But analysts disagree about whether the figures reflect a strong economy or instead mask more serious troubles statewide…”
  • Census shows recession hit broad swath of R.I., By Paul Edward Parker and Paul Davis, September 29, 2010, Providence Journal: “New U.S. Census data show that the deep recession hit Rhode Islanders from all walks of life hard in 2009, as unemployment reached a record high 12.7 percent during the biggest economic slowdown since the Great Depression. More Rhode Island families lived in poverty. More grandparents provided inexpensive childcare for their grandchildren. More workers joined carpools to save money on the daily commute. No groups escaped. Even couples planning families put off the births of their children until better times…”
  • In hard times, more Middle TN families share a roof, By Chris Echegaray, September 29, 2010, The Tennessean: “The recession refilled a Brentwood couple’s empty nest – a common effect according to newly released census data. Linda and Carlos Reyes’ two adult children came back home last year because of the poor economy. Their son was moving between his parents’ Brentwood home and Alabama, where his wife had just lost her job as a teacher. The daughter, to save money on gas, often would stay with her parents, and still does…”
  • Census snapshot shows bleak picture for many Oklahomans amid recession, By Paul Monies, September 29, 2010, The Oklahoman: “More children had health insurance coverage last year even as the number of adults without coverage remained flat in Oklahoma, according to Census Bureau estimates released Tuesday. Meanwhile, poverty rates increased, and median household income declined last year as Oklahoma continued to feel the effects of a recession that began in late 2007. The share of households on food stamps in the state rose to 12.1 percent last year, up from 10.9 percent in 2008…”
  • Number of poor in Tulsa, Oklahoma rises, By Curtis Killman, September 29, 2010, Tulsa World: “The percentage of people living in poverty increased in the state and Tulsa from 2008 to 2009, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released Tuesday. Nearly one in five Tulsans reported incomes in 2009 below the poverty level. The estimated 19.5 percent of Tulsans with poverty-level incomes in 2009 reversed a two-year decline in the number of poor in the city, according to Census Bureau statistics…”
  • Poverty on rise in Lincoln; researchers say survey may be misleading, By Mark Andersen, September 28, 2010, Lincoln Journal Star: “The number of Lincoln households earning less than $10,000 last year increased 52 percent from 2008, according to census survey data released Tuesday. That jump may mark a dramatic increase in Lincoln poverty, but then again, other dramatic swings in the survey suggest its findings should be regarded with caution…”
  • In tough economic times, Coloradans go back to school, census stats show, By David Olinger, September 29, 2010, Denver Post: “In hard times, college enrollment programs can experience great times – particularly those that teach specific job skills. While Colorado residents suffered wage cuts and job losses during a national recession, the number of them paying to go to college grew, according to census survey data released Tuesday. In Denver, enrollment in college and graduate schools jumped by nearly 10,000 students in one year, to about 47,000 citywide, the 2009 American Community Survey estimated. Leading the boom was Community College of Denver, a job-oriented school whose student population nearly doubled in two years…”
  • Sacramento area incomes drop 6%, to lowest level in a decade, By Phillip Reese, September 29, 2010, Sacramento Bee: “State worker furloughs, an anemic construction industry and widespread layoffs last year pushed Sacramento-area household incomes to their lowest level in at least a decade, census figures released Tuesday show. The region’s median household income – the figure in the middle of a ranked list of household incomes – was $57,361 during 2009, down 6 percent from 2008, after adjusting for inflation. That’s a bigger fall than the statewide drop of 3 percent…”
  • New data offers proof: The recession hurts, By Jeannie Kever, September 28, 2010, Houston Chronicle: “Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Household income is down. Poverty levels are up. People who still have jobs are working fewer hours. Census data released Tuesday confirmed what most Americans already knew. ‘It is very clear how extensive the economic difficulties are,’ said Steve Murdock, the former state demographer who now is on the faculty at Rice University. ‘Health insurance. Job hours worked. Poverty rates. Income. Those are all in the wrong direction in terms of what we’d like to see for America.’ The trends held true at all levels in the 2009 American Community Survey data, which offers a snapshot of the nation’s economic and demographic status. The first results from the 2010 Census will be released later this year…”
  • More people living in poverty in Austin, survey finds, By Juan Castillo, September 28, 2010, Austin-American Statesman: “Nearly 1 out of every 5 Austinites lived in poverty in 2009, an increase from the previous year, the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday. Among the most striking increases in poverty rates were among Austin’s children. According to figures from the bureau’s American Community Survey, 27 percent of related children under 18 and 31.5 percent of related children under 5 lived in poverty in 2009 – 5 percent and 6 percent increases, respectively, from 2008…”
  • 1 in 5 Tampa Bay area kids live in poverty, census says, By Kevin Wiatrowski, September 29, 2010, Tampa Tribune: “The latest government estimates, released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau, show the number of people living in poverty has been growing steadily since 2006 in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties. Children have been hit the hardest in the Bay area, where about one in five people younger than 18 live in poverty, according to census estimates. Seniors, on the other had, remain insulated from the region’s growing poverty. In the Tampa Bay area, fewer than 10 percent have fallen into poverty, while fewer than 1 percent, on average, lack health insurance, Census figures show…”
  • Census snapshot of South Florida: Poverty up, wealth down, By Douglas Hanks, September 29, 2010, Miami Herald: “Housing values crashed. Renting became more popular. Much of the population slipped a rung down the wealth ladder. And Miami seems to be booming. A deluge of Census data released Tuesday crystalized some of the trends under way as South Florida reckons with a wrenching economic downturn, a tepid recovery and a transformed real estate market. One side effect: Thousands of cheap urban condos built during the boom are now attracting renters and bargain hunters. The city of Miami, the center of the nation’s condo building binge, saw its population surge 25 percent this year to about 433,000, according to the numbers…”

Access to Community Colleges and For-Profit Colleges

  • Community colleges cutting back on open access, By Tamar Lewin, June 23, 2010, New York Times: “When Giovanny Villalta tried to register for winter-term classes at Mount San Antonio College here, he hit the wall. ‘I was assigned a late registration slot, and by the time I was allowed to register, everything was full,’ Mr. Villalta said. ‘Biology, full. Anatomy, full. Physics, full. Psychology, full. History of Asia, full. Any history class that would count toward transferring to a four-year U.C. campus, full.’ So Mr. Villalta, who had been a high school athlete, ended up taking track – and nothing else. ‘It was pretty frustrating,’ he said. ‘You feel like you’re wasting time, and your life’s just going by.’ In this economy, community colleges are widely seen as the solution to many problems. Displaced workers are registering in droves to earn credentials that might get them back in the game. Strapped parents, daunted by the cost of four-year universities, are encouraging their children to spend two years at the local community college…”
  • For-profit colleges find new market niche, By Tamar Lewin, June 23, 2010, New York Times: “Kaplan University has an offer for California community college students who cannot get a seat in a class they need: under a memorandum of understanding with the chancellor of the community college system, they can take the online version at Kaplan, with a 42 percent tuition discount. The opportunity would not come cheap. Kaplan charges $216 a credit with the discount, compared with $26 a credit at California’s community colleges. Supporters of for-profit education say the offer underscores how Kaplan and other profit-making colleges can help accommodate the mushrooming demand for higher education. The number of California students choosing for-profit schools has been increasing rapidly, state officials say. At the same time, government officials have become increasingly concerned that students at for-profit colleges are far more likely than those at public institutions to take out large loans – and default on them…”

Racial and Socio-economic Achievement Gaps

  • Why aren’t there more Deidre Greens?, By Susan Troller, December 2, 2009, Capital Times: “Deidre Green got off to a rough start with a bad case of infant jaundice that overwhelmed her mother. She went to live with her grandmother, who showered her with attention that likely changed the arc of her life. ‘I suppose I got pretty spoiled,’ the UW-Madison freshman says with a laugh. ‘My grandma played with me all the time – she did puzzles with me, read to me. She always told me I was smart, so when I got to school, that was what I expected. It was what she expected, too.’ For Green, a variety of serendipitous factors – her own talent and hard work, supportive mentors in and out of school, a core group of good friends and key opportunities – helped her excel in Madison public schools. An educational pioneer in her family, she intends to also do well in college and then go to law school…”
  • Report: Minorities, low-income students lag in college success, By Daniel de Vise, December 3, 2009, Washington Post: “A new report, billed as one of the most comprehensive studies to date of how low-income and minority students fare in college, shows a wide gap in graduation rates at public four-year colleges nationwide and ‘alarming’ disparities in success at community colleges. The analysis, released Thursday, provides a statistical starting point for 24 public higher education systems that pledged two years ago to halve the achievement gap in college access and completion by 2015. Together, the systems represent two-fifths of all undergraduate students in four-year public colleges…”
  • Skills gulf near impassable for poor children, By Adele Horin, December 3, 2009, Sydney Morning Herald: “Children from poor families have fallen so far behind their peers by the age of six in language development and other measures they are in danger of never catching up, a study has shown. Researchers tracked 5000 four-year-olds and 5000 infants for two years and found stark differences in the cognitive development of children from different socio-economic backgrounds. The differences were evident by age four. As well, there were marked differences in the health of children from different backgrounds, with the most disadvantaged likely to have poorer general health, sleep problems, and ‘illnesses with wheezes.’ Dr Jan Nicholson, associate professor of psychology at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, said the results were worse than expected for cognitive development. The findings will be presented to the Growing Up in Australia conference this week…”
  • How the economy is failing students, By J. Patrick Coolican and Emily Richmond, December 2, 2009, Las Vegas Sun: “The Clark County School District has always struggled with its sky-high population of poor children. The number of homeless students is expected to reach 8,000 by the end of the academic year, a 30 percent increase. And a full 44 percent of the district’s students receive free or reduced-price lunches, a commonly used indicator of childhood poverty. Family poverty, in turn, is correlated with lagging student achievement. Now, the deep recession threatens to make this problem worse, and do so for years to come. According to a study from two economists at the University of California, Davis, a parent’s job loss can increase by 15 percent the likelihood that a student will repeat a grade. This short-term damage, which is particularly acute in families where the breadwinner has just a high school degree, matches up with other data showing the negative long-term effects of poverty on student achievement…”

Funding for Community Colleges

  • UW-Madison profs help shape bold initiative for community colleges, By Todd Finkelmeyer, July 20, 2009, Capital Times: “A report released in May and co-authored by UW-Madison professors Sara Goldrick-Rab and Douglas Harris argued that community colleges are in need of significant government investment if the United States is to help more of its people get a formal education and better compete with others from around the globe for the best jobs…”
  • Community colleges’ new clout, By Derrick Z. Jackson, July 18, 2009, Boston Globe: “For decades, American presidents lauded the working stiffs and immigrants who fill our community colleges, but then stiffed them during budget time. That ended this week when President Obama made one of his most welcome proposals of his first year, a $12 billion, 10-year plan to boost community colleges…”