Demographics & Diversity
Aside from instruction, research is a primary output of major universities. While some research centers are listed here, this isn’t a comprehensive list of all sources relevant to demographics and diversity in education. Check out what university-sponsored think tanks, research centers and consortiums might be near you, for they may have examined educational issues and collected data specific to your coverage area and readership.
Covering demographics and diversity in the P-12 school system requires a careful review of the history so reporters understand the totality of the landscape.
Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 made school segregation unconstitutional. But excellent reporting and research throughout the country shows that, in the past six decades, division among racial groups in our educational systems not only hasn’t been remedied — in many places, it has gotten worse.
To appropriately cover demographics and diversity in higher education, it’s important to first understand some of the background on this topic.
How and if colleges should factor race — and more specifically, race as it speaks to educational inequity — into their admissions processes is a perennial debate.
A college degree is widely considered one of the most reliable paths toward upward economic mobiilty. But for minority students, that promise often falls short. That’s in part because student debt exacerbates existing racial wealth gaps.
For a window into America’s future, you need only look through the classroom door. To ensure its members are prepared to cover students from all backgrounds, the Education Writers Association has produced a Reporter Guide for Inclusive Coverage in conjunction with Bias Busters creator Joe Grimm.
Latino and black students who took and passed Advanced Placement exams in California outscored their peers in other parts of the country.
Over the summer The Staten Island Advance published a three-part series about an arts residency program that tasked professional artists to teach elementary school students to teach them theater and music – arts instruction that otherwise didn’t exist at PS 57, a largely low-income school in the New York borough. Reporter Lauren Steussy followed the kids, teachers and parents of the school as they took in the sights and sounds of a campus suddenly abuzz with the stomps and squeaks of performing arts.
In the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated much of southeastern Louisiana, New Orleans and its surrounding areas have seen an influx of Hispanic immigrants who are establishing permanent roots, with many being among the first to aid in the city’s rebuilding efforts.
Andy Grimm of The Times-Picayune reported last week:
The Education Writers Association, the national professional organization for journalists who cover education, is thrilled to announce that its annual conference will take place from Sunday, May 1, through Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in the historic city of Boston.
Co-hosted by Boston University’s College of Communication and School of Education, EWA’s 69th National Seminar will examine a wide array of timely topics in education — from early childhood through career — while expanding and sharpening participants’ skills in reporting and storytelling.
Fewer Hispanic 18- and 19-year-olds are disconnected from school and jobs than before the Great Recession, a new Pew Research Center analysis of federal data shows.
The percentage of Hispanic youth who are unemployed and not enrolled in school is the lowest it has been in 10 years, with a dramatic drop from 21 percent in 2009 to 16 percent in 2014.
A decade after the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, the city continues its struggle to recover. Most of the local public schools were replaced by (public) charter schools in the wake of the storm. This dramatic shift in the city’s public education “system” is firmly in the national spotlight as an ongoing experiment in school choice and reform.
The 53.5 million K-12 students heading to the classrooms in America’s public, charter and private schools this fall are more racially diverse than ever before, according to a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center.
Researchers find evidence of systematic biases in teachers’ expectations for the educational attainment of black students. Specifically, non-black teachers have significantly lower educational expectations for black students than black teachers do when evaluating the same students. We cannot determine whether the black teachers are too optimistic, the non-black teachers are too pessimistic, or some combination of the two.
Down in Florida, the Tampa Bay Times investigated what happened when a local school board drops integration as a priority, and why Pinellas County has become the worst place in the state to be a black K-12 student (at least in terms of academic outcomes).
This summer, native Spanish-speaking immigrant students in Los Angeles participated in a five-week pilot program testing a new algebra curriculum aligned with the Common Core.
Imagine taking an English class with a teacher who struggles with writing and grammar.
That’s the type of instruction many students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools were getting in Spanish class, where teachers with Hispanic last names who spoke Spanish well enough to get by were being thrust into a role they weren’t trained for, according to recent articles by Christina Veiga of the Miami Herald.
While it may seem that every back-to-school story has been written, the well is far from dry. Are you following the blogs teachers in your district write? Have you amassed the data sets you’ll need to write that deep dive explaining why so many local high school graduates land in remedial classes when they first enter college?
No? It’s OK. You’re not alone.
2015 Latino Education Seminar Agenda
Más allá de las estadísticas: Reportando sobre la educación de los latinos
Esta es una agenda preliminar y puede cambiar.
Jueves, 17 de septiembre
Bienvenida y Presentaciones
Retrato de la población estudiantil latina
In a new study evaluating the college application habits of recent high school graduates in Texas, researchers found that academically talented Hispanic and black students were likely to pass up a chance at an Ivy League education and apply to colleges closer to home.
Education writing is famous for its alphabet soup of acronyms and obscure terms, but it could just as well be faulted for trafficking buzzwords in search of clear definitions.
Ideas like grit, motivation, fitting in and learning from one’s mistakes, often summarized as noncognitive factors, are just some of the concepts floated more frequently these days. A new paper released this week seeks to provide clarity to this fast-growing discipline within the world of how students learn.
Schools that that teach low-income students a notoriously demanding curriculum are almost twice as likely to see those students enroll in college, a new report shows.
This news comes on the heels of growing research suggesting that challenging assessments, which are a staple of the International Baccalaureate program featured in the report, help students develop a deeper understanding of key subjects like math and history. That “deeper learning,” in turn, may lead to more college opportunities.
“The spread of charter schools throughout the East Bay and California is often viewed as a blessing or curse, depending on whom you ask,” a recent Contra Costa Times article begins.
But among Latinos in the area, it would appear to be the former, according to the newspaper’s analysis of charter school demographics in Oakland, California, where charter schools have seen their enrollment nearly triple over the past decade.
For the first time in more than two decades, a team of American high school students won the International Mathematical Olympiad, a feat that drew comparisons to the U.S. Hockey team’s “Miracle on Ice” in 1980.
For education reporters, coming up with fresh angles for back-to-school stories is an annual challenge. Two veteran education journalists—Steve Drummond (NPR) and Beth Hawkins (MinnPost)—share smart tips for digging deep, and keeping ahead of the curve on the latest trends. We discuss new ways of approaching the first day of school, ideas for unique profiles, strategies for data projects and how to make the most of your publication’s multimedia resources.
It’s been a hugely busy week for education reporters on Capitol Hill, as the Senate plowed its way through the Every Child Achieves Act, one of the leading contenders to replace No Child Left Behind as the nation’s framework for funding public schools.
The Senate approved passage of the bill Thursday with 81-17 vote.
Hay casi 12 millones de latinos matriculados en las escuelas públicas en los de Estados Unidos y la cifra sigue creciendo: Se proyecta que aumentará a 15.6 millones durante la próxima década. Sin embargo, estas cifras no nos presentan la historia completa sobre la educación de los estudiantes latinos. Cada día es más importante entender las estadísticas y reportar lo que realmente está pasando en los salones de clase, y esta labor es especialmente importante para los periodistas que trabajan en los medios de comunicación en español.
Latino students might shun Advanced Placement courses if the only students they see in them are mostly affluent whites.
That’s essentially what Jeremy Goldman, head of counseling at a Baltimore high school told NBC last week in an article about the College Board’s new campaign to boost the number of minority high school students enrolled in AP classes.
Nikole Hannah-Jones’ examination of school segregation – a piece she wrote for ProPublica — won this year’s Hechinger Grand Prize in EWA’s annual education reporting contest. Hannah-Jones joined the staff of The New York Times Magazine in May. We asked her to share some of her thoughts and ideas gleaned during her reporting of the project.
Does an Arizona law banning Mexican-American studies curriculum in public schools intentionally discriminate against Hispanics? That’s the question a federal appeals court has claimed warrants a trial.
Laptops chimed as students played a game designed to teach them the basics of geometry inside a fourth grade classroom at the Cesar E. Chavez Multicultural Academic Center on the south side of Chicago. Large paper mobiles of various geometric shapes hung from the ceiling and a list of classroom jobs for each student was posted on the wall.
With the Supreme Court set to take another look at a controversial affirmative action case in Texas college admissions, some worry what a second decision from the nation’s highest court will have on college-bound minorities.
It was quietly proud grandfather and Vietnam War Veteran James Dent who grabbed reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones’ attention in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
For St. Louis reporter Tim Lloyd, it was an African-American middle-school teacher unnerved when a white driver pulled up beside him at a stoplight and pointed his fingers at him in a shooting gun motion.
Spanish professor Luis Fernando Restrepo wanted his children to be bilingual. But living in Arkansas — where Spanish classes aren’t offered until junior high — there wasn’t much institutional support for this endeavor.
More Latinos are earning degrees in science, technology, engineering and math fields; yet more are needed, a new report by Excelencia in Education claims.
According to the study, “Finding Your Workforce: Latinos in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math,” Latinos earning credentials in STEM increased to 9 percent in 2013 from 8 percent in 2010.
Four East Coast cities and one in California made the list of the top five metropolitan areas with the most educated Latino population in a recent National Journal analysis.
Urban education leaders crammed a marathon of Chicago’s public education woes and wonders into a 45-minute session (more akin to a 5K race) at the Education Writers Association’s recent National Seminar in Chicago.
Sara Ray Stoelinga, the director of the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute, joined colleague Timothy Knowles for a breakfast panel titled “10 Lessons to Take Home From Chicago” at the EWA event.
An elective course designed to motivate Hispanic students to finish high school and go to college will be piloted in six Broward County, Florida high schools this fall.
Scott Travis of the Sun Sentinel reports the class, Latinos in Action, will focus on four major areas:
Two new national reports paint a grim picture of unfair and inequitable funding of public education across states, with schools serving the highest proportion of impoverished students most often on the losing end.
Fathers often get a bad rap, especially the dads and guardians who occupy the lower rungs of the economic ladder.
It may be nestled near the middle in a list of the Top 100 Colleges for Hispanics, but Montclair State University in New Jersey received front cover-worthy recognition in the latest edition of the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine.
The shift from high school to college or the workforce is harrowing enough, but for the 6 million students diagnosed with a disability, the stakes are higher and the transition all the more challenging.
Fewer Latinos are dropping out of high school, and more are heading for college.
With graduation season well underway, these are a few educational highlights mentioned in a Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends article Tuesday. The Pew article used data from 2000 and 2013 to examine national trends.
Latinos older than age 5 are speaking English better now than the same demographic group did in 2000, a new Pew Research Center study shows. Among those driving the statistics are the U.S.-born and those who have completed a high-school education.
According to the study — an analysis of 2013 U.S. Census Bureau data — 33.2 million Hispanics in the United States speak English proficiently, a record high.
At a speech in December, Janet Yellen, the chair of the Federal Reserve, took the United States to task for the way it funds schools.
“Public education spending is often lower for students in lower-income households than for students in higher-income households,” she told the audience at the Conference on Economic Opportunity and Inequality, in Boston.
Need a state or national statistic? There’s likely a federal data set for that. From fairly intuitive and interactive widgets to dense spreadsheets — and hundreds of data summaries in between — the U.S. Department of Education’s various research programs are a gold mine for reporters on the hunt for facts and figures.
According to the majority of Latino voters in California, mandatory standardized tests in schools are valuable to improving public education across the state.
“I don’t see color” isn’t always a good approach to addressing race — at least according to a report released this week by the Center for Collaborative Education and the Annenberg Institute that evaluates the reasons for low academic performance among black and Latino males in Boston Public Schools.
When comparing 9-month-old babies of various ethnicities, a new study finds there aren’t many differences in infants’ abilities to recognize words and gestures or manipulate objects. By age 2, however, gaps start to emerge.
Latino and black students in Montgomery County, Md., told school district officials they are sometimes perceived as “academically inferior” and want change under the district’s next leader. The speech by a group of seven minority students was given at a community gathering hosted by the Montgomery County Education Forum amid the district’s search for a new superintendent.
Huguenot High School in Richmond, Va. recently made local headlines when leaders issued a long-overdue apology for luring Latino students to the cafeteria in 2013, searching their bags and threatening deportation if they didn’t comply.
But that’s in the past — though perhaps not quite forgiven and forgotten – and school leaders are trying to move on.
At schools around the globe, girls outscore boys, and bored students are better test-takers than their more motivated peers. These topsy-turvy observations are the latest findings in a report from the Washington-based Brookings Institution, research that is part of a long-running series that aims to put a finger on the pulse of academics in the United States and abroad.
Afterschool programs can do more than reinforce academic lessons taught in the classroom or introduce new skills kids don’t have time to learn during school hours.
Chicago Public Schools has announced the debut of a new interdisciplinary Latino and Latin American Studies curriculum that will be taught to students in kindergarten through 10th grade.
The new curriculum includes complete units and lessons across a range of disciplines, Melissa Sanchez reports for Catalyst Chicago.
New figures released this week show that for the second year in a row, Latino students accounted for only 7 percent of those who were accepted to New York City’s elite public high schools.
The superintendent of Richmond Public Schools in Virginia issued a public apology Monday for a two-year-old incident in which Latino students were searched and threatened with deportation.
If you’re writing about gender equity issues related to student opportunity and achievement, you won’t want to miss Wednesday’s journalists-only webinar. Attendees will receive exclusive embargoed access to a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, based on the most recent PISA assessment.
Top journo tweets from #EWAChoice’s fourth Saturday session.
Top tweets from #EWAChoice’s third Saturday session.
Top tweets from reporters about the second Saturday session of #EWAChoice.
Top tweets from #EWAChoice’s fourth panel.
Top tweets from “Eye on Denver” — the second session at #EWAChoice
Top Tweets from #EWAChoice’s first session
A petition addressed to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña is asking the administration to end the use of metal detectors in schools, claiming the added security measures unnecessarily treat black and Latino students like criminals.
A bill that would make it easier for undocumented immigrants to obtain teaching licenses in Nevada will soon make its way to the state’s Assembly floor, various news outlets reported this week.
Latino children and their white peers have similar access to technology, a new study finds, but a digital divide persists: how parents use digital tools to advance children’s early learning.
When it comes to giving high-school diplomas to Latino males, Alaska does it best. Nevada has some work to do.
According to a report released today by the Schott Foundation for Public Education – which focuses on the graduation rates of black and Latino males — graduation rates among Latino males have risen from 59 to 65 percent since 2009-10. The gap between whites and Latinos has also decreased 5 percentage points since that time.
Latino and black students in the Dallas Independent School District lead the nation in the number of students who pass Advanced Placement exams. A recent story by KERA News explores the reasons for this, uncovering a unique approach that’s worth sharing.
A non-profit Hispanic group in Palm Beach County, Fla. has asked the school district for a role in helping select the next superintendent — a person they say should have a proven track record of improving graduation rates among minority students.
In Texas, Senate Hispanic Caucus leaders aim to make education a priority for the 84th Legislative Session, which started Jan. 13 and runs through June 1.
Their agenda, announced Monday, includes education along with health care, immigration, civic engagement and economic opportunity, the El Paso Times reported.
The report, released last week, is comprised of more than 20 fact sheets profiling the state of Latinos in education across the pipeline.
The United States has a gifted and talented student problem: Mainly, too few of the nation’s students score high on domestic and international assessments, and those that do are disproportionately well-off, Asian-American or white.
The Condition of Latinos in Education: 2015 Factbook
Excelencia in Education
Excelencia in Education
Excelencia in Education is committed to using data to inform public policy and institutional practice to achieve our mission of accelerating student success for Latinos in higher education. We know college success does not begin at the college gates. Every educational experience from early childhood to high school and into the workforce influences the potential for college success.
When Schools Close: Effects on Displaced Students in Chicago Public Schools
University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research
This report reveals that eight in 10 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students displaced by school closings transferred to schools ranking in the bottom half of system schools on standardized tests. However, because most displaced students transferred from one low-performing school to another, the move did not, on average, significantly affect student achievement.
The report demonstrates that the success of a school closing policy hinges on the quality of the receiving schools that accept the displaced students.
The District of Columbia Public Schools could soon be making a large investment in the education of Latino and black males, who comprise 43 percent of the district’s student population and who historically tend to fall behind in reading and math, and have lower attendance and graduation rates.
Today is a federal holiday, which means offices and schools are closed in Washington, D.C., as well as many other parts of the country. But it’s not an automatic day off for all students.
Last year, severe weather forced education officials to make some tough decisions about the academic calendar.
Here’s a look at my post on this issue from 2014.
The chair of the Alliance for Hispanic Education dedicated more than 1,000 words to an op-ed Monday explaining why he, as an educator and Christian, supports the Common Core State Standards.
School districts aren’t allowed to discriminate based on a student’s race, color or national origin. And, in case there was any question about English-language learners, the Obama administration released a 40-page reminder in the form of guidelines Wednesday that they’re not to be discriminated against either.
As many as 3.7 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States are eligible for the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which sets aside the threat of deportation and grants work privileges to eligible residents. Among the several conditions necessary to qualify for DACA approval is a high-school degree or its equivalent. That’s where schools enter the picture.
Education and health recently appeared on one line in an NBC article listing the top “5 Issues Latinos Will Watch in 2015.”
Experts often find it difficult to separate the two, because the success of so many children depends on their health, Suzanne Gamboa writes.
Student participation in Mexican-American studies can be linked to better outcomes on state standardized tests and increased chances of earning a high school diploma, according to a recent report by the University of Arizona.
The university researchers’ findings, published in the December 2014 edition of the American Educational Research Journal, reveal students’ chances of completing high school increased nearly 10 percent.
What if a kid’s first Bible came with a little money for college? Churches across America are taking this approach to promote education among the youngest demographic of Hispanics.
Being born in the United States does not guarantee proficiency in English. Maybe you knew this, maybe you didn’t. But it was new to me. Here’s what I learned.
Latino students who attend Western Nevada College are visiting schools to promote the benefits of higher education, presenting themselves as role models for students they hope to see follow in their footsteps.
If tough school discipline measures are meant to maintain stability in the classroom, then a new definition of stable might be in order: A new study argues high use of suspensions and expulsions brings down all students – even the ones who behave well.
A researcher with the Albert Shanker Institute flagged the study, which was published this month in the American Sociological Review. Here’s more on the paper from the Shanker Institute scholar Esther Quintero:
Just like journalists need to know the important questions to ask on the education beat, parents do, too.
That’s the spirit behind a joint initiative by The Dallas Morning News, Al Día — it’s Spanish publication — and Southern Methodist University to get Hispanic parents involved in their children’s education.
Ready for Fall? Near-Term Effects of Voluntary Summer Learning Programs on Low-Income Students’ Learning Opportunities and Outcomes
Prior research has determined that low-income students lose more ground over the summer than their higher-income peers. Prior research has also shown that some summer learning programs can stem this loss, but we do not know whether large, district-run, voluntary programs can improve students’ outcomes. To fill this gap, The Wallace Foundation launched the National Summer Learning Study in 2011. This five-year study offers the first-ever assessment of the effectiveness of large-scale, voluntary, district-run, summer learning programs serving low-income elementary students.
It wasn’t long ago unaccompanied immigrant children crossing the Texas border made the headlines of every major news network in the country — stories often accompanied by haunting pictures of children huddled together in holding facilities or sleeping on the floor.
So what ever happened to all those children? The Pew Research Center revealed the answer in a new report Thursday.
Children are “Too Small To Fail” — the name of one organization that’s teamed up to focus on improving early learning results among Hispanic children.
School districts in Texas’ Bexar County are offering more options for parents to further their education in order to get more involved in their children’s, including after-hours classes in learning English as a second language or preparing to a GED.
A $50-million incentive may help Marian University in Indianapolis boost its Latino student population.
At least, that’s what school officials are hoping.
Nearly 10 percent of K-12 students in the United States are not native English speakers. That’s 4.4 million children enrolled in school who have been identified as English language learners.
According to U.S. Department of Education projections, for the first time, black, Hispanic, Asian and other non-white students made up just over 50 percent of public school students. And that share is expected to increase in the coming years.
As millions of immigrants waited for President Barack Obama to shed light on their future Thursday, educators, too, had a stake in the conversation.
Fewer than half of Hispanic students who took the ACT this year met the college readiness benchmarks in math or science, but those who actually expressed interest in STEM fared better on the college admissions exam.
Last fall at EWA’s Higher Education Seminar, we examined the challenges of military personnel making the transition from soldiers to students. Given today’s holiday, it seemed like a good time to re-share this post about the panel discussion, held at Northeastern University in Boston.
Far more students seeking higher education degrees are part-time, older than the traditional 18-22 set and well into their careers. And colleges have been flagged for their lagging efforts to address the unique needs of these mature students.
“For decades, whenever you mention the word ‘education’ next to the word ‘Latino,’ the news that follows or the information that follows is not the most encouraging.”
Ever since my second week living in the District of Columbia, when I found myself alone on a commuter train the conductor had apparently deemed malfunctioning while I was lost in my music, I like to keep all five senses focused on my surroundings.
But on Monday, I decided to give the headphones another try. I’d heard good things about the podcast “This American Life” and decided to download the latest episode from Oct. 17 – “Is This Working?”
How are cultural and racial biases influencing classroom instruction and student learning? What does this mean for teachers and students, particularly in high-minority, urban school settings? What should education reporters know about cultural bias as it relates to their reporting on students, teachers, and schools?
Associate Professor Dorinda Carter Andrews, Michigan State University
16 Key Indicators Produce an Overall Opportunity Score and Grade for All 50 States, Washington DC & Over 2,900 Counties
The Opportunity Index is an annual composite measure at the state and county levels of economic, educational and civic factors that expand opportunity.
A record-low high school dropout rate among American teens in 2013 was driven, partly, by improvements among Hispanic and black students, according to the Pew Research Center.
DALLAS – The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) boosted student enrollment in college-level math, science and English courses by more than 50,000 in the 2013-14 school year. Based on the most recent data from the College Board, NMSI’s College Readiness Program—working in just 566 schools—also raised the number of Advanced Placement* qualifying exam scores by more than 18,500 exams, representing more than 13,000 additional students who are better prepared for college after this past school year.
Follow-Up Friday: Adopting New Rules for School Discipline, Embracing Hispanic Heritage Helps Students
Earlier this week, my EWA colleague Mikhail Zinshteyn looked at California’s recent revisions to campus discipline policy, as state lawmakers voted to prohibit K-12 schools from using “willful defiance” as a device for meting out suspensions and expulsions of students.
Can celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month lead to decreased underage drinking, substance use and high school dropout rates among Latino youth?
It might be a start.
A study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reveals Latino adolescents who actively embrace their family’s native culture stand a greater chance of avoiding these risk behaviors.
When investigative reporter Mc Nelly Torres got a parking ticket on a college campus, her first thought wasn’t for her wallet. Instead, her mind raced toward story ideas: Could there be a database of all previous offenses? What’s the most ticketed spot on campus? Which officers give out the most citations?
Fourteen-year-old Mariana of Chihuahua, Mexico, was kidnapped by 20 men dressed as police officers just days before she was to celebrate her passage to womanhood at her quinceañera. For two days, they held her captive while her parents struggled to pay the $8,000 they had demanded for Mariana’s ransom. Upon her release, Mariana’s family escaped to the United States, leaving everything behind.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t believe everything you read.” Or see. Or hear.
But this sage counsel often falls on deaf ears. Research shows it takes more effort to question the plausibility and source of a message than simply to accept it as true.
Who are English language learners?
Some would argue there’s no consistent answer.
Robert Linquanti, the bilingual project director for English Learner Evaluation and Accountability Support at WestEd, presented on the topic at the EWA Spanish-Language Media Convening in Dallas earlier this month.
Gains and Gaps: Changing Inequality in U.S. College Entry and Completion
Martha J. Bailey, Susan M. Dynarski
We describe changes over time in inequality in postsecondary education using nearly seventy years of data from the U.S. Census and the 1979 and 1997 National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth. We find growing gaps between children from high- and low-income families in college entry, persistence, and graduation. Rates of college completion increased by only four percentage points for low-income cohorts born around 1980 relative to cohorts born in the early 1960s, but by 18 percentage points for corresponding cohorts who grew up in high-income families.
EWA is in Dallas today and tomorrow for our annual Higher Education Seminar. This year’s theme: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Covering the College Student Experience. Reporters from across the country are gathering at Southern Methodist University, where they’ll have a chance to dig deeper into the hottest topics on the higher education beat.
For the past two and a half years, I have had the honor of writing the Latino Ed Beat blog and working with the talented staff at the Education Writers Association.
I have always believed that with education, comes power. This is especially true for the Latino community. My passion for writing about the issues facing Latino students was born out of my own Mexican American background on my mother’s side.
In a month dominated by news reports of racial tension, a significant milepost in American race relations garnered less attention: For the first time in this country’s history, white students will this year no longer comprise a majority of the nation’s schoolchildren.
In the wake of confrontations following the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., local schools are shuttered this week. In addition to concerns about lost learning time, educators have a more urgent worry: making sure students who typically rely on school meals don’t go hungry.
The small number of Latino and black students admitted to the elite high schools of the New York City public school system has been a source of frustration among civil rights leaders, families and other advocates for years.
The Education Writers Association will host a seminar on Thursday, Sept. 4, in Dallas entitled “From Preescholar to Postsecundaria: Covering Latino Education.”
The seminar targets Spanish-language reporters and editors, and other journalists interested in covering Latino issues, though sessions will be held primarily in English.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the “Dream Act” last year allowing some undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to pay in-state tuition at New Jersey’s public universities.
A Texas middle school principal who allegedly went on the school intercom system last school year to urge students not to speak Spanish and was subsequently fired, is defending her actions.
Former Hempstead Middle School principal Amy Lacey wrote a letter to the Houston Chronicle this week about the incident.
More than half of young undocumented immigrants who are eligible to apply for the federal “deferred action” program have done so, according to a new report from the Migration Policy Institute.
Education reporters are constantly negotiating access — to schools, students and data. In their session at EWA’s National Seminar, Betsy Hammond of the (Portland, Ore.) Oregonian and Daniel Connolly of the (Memphis, Tenn.) Commercial Appeal discussed two approaches for getting past gatekeepers and to stories worth telling.
Hammond, who described herself as a “data nerd” to the EWA audience at Vanderbilt University in May, focused on data available through public records law.
New research challenges the assumption that Latino students who attend Hispanic Serving Institutions are less likely to graduate than their peers at other colleges and universities. HSIs have undergraduate enrollments that are at least 25 percent Hispanic.
Researchers examined the graduation rates of Latino and black students attending HSIs and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Texas from 1997 to 2008.
In Texas, a state known for its zero-tolerance approach to school discipline, 80 percent of its prisoners are high school dropouts. And as more research finds a link between suspensions and quitting school early, the evidence is mounting that keeping kids from learning for behavioral reasons hurts their academic outcomes. Against this backdrop is White Middle School in central Texas.
For some children in Los Angeles, acting out scenes in Spanish from Don Quixote is helping them achieve bilingualism. The Los Angeles Times reports that some Latino parents who are struggling to teach their children Spanish are turning to a Hispanic summer theater camp hosted by the Los Angeles Theatre Academy
Arizona made national headlines in 2010 with its law banning ethnic studies in public schools. That move resulted in the dismantling of the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies program.
Four years later, educators in Texas and California are trying to drum up support for Latino and ethnic studies programs. The majority of public school students in both states are Latino.
Over the years, studying abroad has become a popular part of the undergraduate college experience.
But studies show that it is also an experience that many low-income and minority students do not take part in.
According to the annual Open Doors Report by the Institute of International Education, in 2011-12 a record number of American students studied abroad — 283,332. But more than three-quarters of those students were white.
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics finds that low-income Latino and black youth who attend high-performing schools tend to engage in fewer risky health behaviors.
Researchers surveyed 930 high school students in Los Angeles – 521 who by lottery gained admission to top charter schools, and 409 not offered admission. Researchers noted that both groups were similar in demographics and in performance on exams in the eighth grade.
The My Brother’s Keeper initiative aims to close an achievement gap that goes beyond race, and acknowledges the gaps that exist between boys and girls in the black and Latino community.
While discussions in years past may have addressed certain cultural pressures that held back Latina girls, Latinos boys are actually faring worse.
Three states with large Latino populations lingered in the bottom five states ranked in the annual Kids Count report on child well-being — New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona. Mississippi ranked last.
Overall, states in the Southwest with high poverty rates and large Latino populations tended to be near the bottom.
The Southeast and Appalachia also lingered near the bottom.
In 2004, a group of four undocumented immigrant Latino high school students accomplished an astonishing achievement.
Competing on a robotics team formed at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, the four young men defeated students from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology in an elite robotics competition.
Even in a largely rural state, Latinos are quickly reshaping demographics.
A new report reveals that Kansas public schools are losing white students and adding Hispanic students — fueling enrollment growth.
The new report by the Kansas Association of School Boards projects that by 2018-19, Latino students could make up about 22 percent of the state’s student enrollment, while white students will make up only 60 percent.
A College Education Saddles Young Households with Debt, but Still Pays Off
Daniel Carroll and Amy Higgins
The labor market bonus for completing a college degree is not fully realized in the early years of working. Looking at the wage income of households headed by an individual between 30 and 65 years of age reveals a much larger premium, both at the median and the 90th percentile. In many professions, a college degree combined with work experience opens the door to senior-level administrative positions and higher salaries. The average wage-income premium among these older households was 88 percent for degree-holding median earners and 93 percent for 90th percentile earners.
Oregon public schools are struggling to meet teacher diversity hiring goals set by the state Legislature. The state had set the goal of increasing the number of minority teachers by 10 percent between 2012 and 2015. But they are currently not on track to achieve that goal.
The summer slide doesn’t just pertain to flagging academic skills while kids soak in the sun and skip the books. Increasingly, even as math and literacy fall by the wayside, high school students are losing out on access to summer wages.
A Louisiana school district accused of discriminating against English language learners has reached a voluntary agreement with the federal government to address the complaint.
A tweet sent out by the official account of NPR’s Education Team has sparked quite a social media backlash and discussion about the sensitivity of education reporters toward minorities.
Last week, the following tweet appeared under the Twitter handle @npr_ed: “I reach out to diverse sources on deadline. Only the white guys get back to me :(”
The comment sparked a social media backlash and criticism, in particular from minority reporters and other journalists who challenged the assertion that minority sources are difficult to reach.
D’Leisha Dent graduated this spring from a 99-percent black high school – a story that might not be what you would have expected from an Alabama public school system that was federally ordered to desegregate in 1979.
In a new report comparing financial literacy skills among 15-year-olds in 18 countries, U.S. students scored in the middle of the pack on basic questions about savings, bank accounts and credit/debit cards, and weighing risks and rewards in deciding how to spend their dollars.
With thousands of children from Central America flocking over the border — many of them without their parents — schools are now bracing for a bump in enrollment.
Apprehended children are being held at detention centers in states along the Mexican border. But other children are making their way further into the United States.
Many of the children are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador and have emotional needs, as well as educational. That means schools are also leaning on social service agencies.
To mark this week’s 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, here’s a 2013 post I wrote about the historic milestone.
In his commencement speech at San Diego State College, the President of the United States covered unsurprising territory in describing the challenges facing the nation’s public schools – inequities for minority students, a high dropout rate, and the need for better teacher training.
What might be surprising is that the president was John F. Kennedy, and he was addressing the class of 1963.
In more than a dozen states across the South and West, students from low-income families make up the majority of public school enrollment. Those students are more likely to be black, Hispanic or Native American.
Other trends emerge from there. Those minority students, particularly males, are more likely to be suspended or expelled. They are more likely to drop out. They fall into cycles that inhibit their chances to break the cycle of poverty.
Young people in the United States continue to grow in diversity – especially when compared against older generations – according to newly released Census data.
Notably, in some states there are wide gaps between the demographics of young people and older Americans. Those gaps can sometimes cause tensions. Some of those gaps can be attributed to immigration. However, most of the growth in the Hispanic population can now be attributed to U.S. births.
Admission to New York City’s top public high schools is based on performance on a single exam. Whether intended or not, the result has been a shocking lack of diversity, especially when compared against the school district’s demographics.
The push for change is building. While former Mayor Michael Bloomberg backed the exam, newly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to end the single test admissions system.
The single test standard to gain admittance to the elite eight schools, which include the renowned Stuyvesant High School, has been in place since 1971.
Competitive colleges in the U.S. have an image problem: By many accounts, their student bodies are much whiter and richer than the general population. Over at The Hechinger Report, Jamaal Abdul-Alim reports on a program aimed at steering academically high-flying low-income and minority students to the nation’s top-ranked universities.
The nation’s public school teachers love their jobs, despite feeling underappreciated by society and facing enormous challenges in the workplace, according to a new international survey of educators.
A new online resource center called the Hispanic SERVING Institutions Center for Policy and Practice will track information on the so called “HSIs.”
A survey of Latino residents in Montgomery County, Maryland, reveals their attitudes toward education.
The Washington Post reported that the survey attributed high dropout rates to a variety of factors. The survey focused on Latinos ages 14 to 24.
The survey found:
As budget cuts impacted California public schools in recent years, immigrant students suffered in the fallout.
A new report by the Migration Policy Institute, Critical Choices in Post-Recession California: Investing in the Educational and Career Success of Immigrant Youth, depicts California at a crossroads.
Last month, Google made the shocking admission that just 3 percent of its employees are Latinos. The news was particularly disheartening given that the tech company is headquartered in California, the state with the nation’s largest Latino population.
A Latino advocacy group has sued the state of Texas, alleging that it is not adequately educating Hispanic English Language Learners.
The League of United Latin American Citizens brought the suit, with assistance from attorneys with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
The suit alleges that the state is not sufficiently training teachers who work with ELLs and that such students are not receiving the resources they need in order to improve their English proficiency.
A California judge on Tuesday issued a preliminary decision finding that the state’s teacher tenure laws disproportionately hurt disadvantaged and minority students.
Los Angeles Judge Rolf M. Treu went as far as to write that the situation “shocks the conscience” and violated students’ civil rights. The lawsuit alleged that tenure and layoff policies hurt students by making it harder to get rid of bad teachers.
A panel discussion at EWA’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University proved that fervor has not dimmed in the debates over affirmative action and the related issue of whether quotas limit Asian-American enrollment in the Ivy League.
A new study by researchers from Stanford University finds that “book sharing” is less prevalent in immigrant families, most significantly among Hispanic and Asian families.
Book sharing was defined who read or share picture books with young children. The findings were based on data from the California Health Interview Survey of parents with children under age six in 2005, 2007, and 2009.
Sit-ins were the preferred avenue of protest on college campuses during the 1960s and 1970s. Students protested in support of civil rights and opposition to war, and their actions sparked social, legal and cultural changes nationwide. As recently as last year, the Dream Defenders spent 31 days camped in the Florida capitol to protest criminal justice issues.
Sit-ins take time, though – time to organize, time for the sit-in to transpire and time to have an impact.
Below are tweets I picked that may help reporters tackle this important question of fairness on a demographic group tagged with many myths. Population projections show that by 2050 one in 10 Americans will have an Asian background. Thirteen percent of the U.S. will be African American.
A class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday accuses the state of California of failing to provide adequate classroom instructional time to minority and low-income students.
The suit, Cruz v. State of California, was brought by students who attend seven economically disadvantaged schools in the state. Schools in Los Angeles and Compton are included in the lawsuit, as are Bay Area schools.
With the recent 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, civil rights and advocacy groups issued reports highlighting the continued segregation in American schools today.
The superintendent of Hamilton Township School District in New Jersey took the unusual step of posting an online commentary on the district’s website lamenting de facto segregation in the school district he leads.
A new program aims to improve graduation rates for Latino students by making it easier to be admitted to college and to transfer between community college and four-year universities.
A year ago, civil rights groups sued the state of California, alleging that the state was failing to provide thousands of English Language Learners with proper language instruction.
Sixty years after the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, there’s still a wide gulf in educational opportunities for low-income and minority students and their more advantaged peers, including when it comes to access to rigorous coursework aimed at preparing students for college and the workforce, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told the audience at the Education Writers Association’s 67th National Seminar at Vanderbilt University in Nashville today.
Marking the 60th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v Board of Education, the UCLA’s Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles assessed the nation’s progress in addressing school segregation, and found that–contrary to many claims–the South has not gone back to the level of segregation before Brown. It has, however, lost all of the additional progress made after l967, but is still the least segregated region for black students. New statistics show a vast transformation of the nation’s school population since the civil rights era.
Appalachian colleges are looking at a shrinking white population from which to draw students in the years to come. So, the Hechinger Report writes that they are trying to attract students from the growing Latino population.
In 1951, black students in Farmville, Va., — led by 16-year-old Barbara Johns — staged a strike to protest conditions at Robert Russa Moton High School. The subsequent lawsuit later became one of five cases folded into Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark desegregation decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that made “separate but equal” unlawful. Moton was the only one of the five cases that began with a student-led challenge.
Latino students in California attend the most segregated schools in the nation, according to a new report by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. The most segregated schools are in the Los Angeles area.
Joél Muñoz is Mexican-American, learned English as a second language, and was the first in his family to graduate high school and college.
He also is the only Latino administrator in the Indianapolis Public Schools, even though about 22 percent of students are Latino. Only about 48 of the district’s teachers were Hispanic in 2011.
EWA’s 67th National Seminar starts Sunday at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, which makes this a great time to catch up on your background reading for some of the sessions. Some of the issues we’ll be talking about is how education reporters can better use student data in their stories, and the finer points of comparing achievement by U.S. students and their international counterparts. For background reading, here’s my post from December on the international PISA assessment.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided long ago that undocumented immigrant children have the right to a public education in this country with the 1982 Plyler v. Doe decision.
But after all these years, resistance to the decision is demonstrated in the challenges that some immigrant families face when they try to enroll their children in school.
New data show that the performance of twelfth-graders in math and reading on the National Assessment for Educational Progress, or NAEP, has not improved since 2009. The NAEP exam is regarded as “the nation’s report card.” Even more concerning, persistent achievement gaps remain between Latino and black students, and white students.
Since 2005, U.S. high school seniors have made slight gains in both their reading and math skills, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Education. But progress has flatlined since 2009, reading scores are lower than they were in 1992, and significant achievement gaps also remain.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — When it comes to being engaged at work and experiencing high well-being after graduation, a new Gallup-Purdue University study of college graduates shows that the type of institution they attended matters less than what they experienced there. Yet, just 3% of all the graduates studied had the types of experiences in college that Gallup finds strongly relate to great jobs and great lives afterward.
Amid the excitement over the news this week that the nation’s high school graduation rate has hit 80 percent for the first time, some important questions still need to be answered. Among them: What are the states that saw the largest gains doing right, and how can the momentum be ramped up to make sure more minority, special education, and low-income students earn their diplomas?
New data shows that the four-year high school graduation rates of Latino students are steadily increasing, but still lag the national average.
The newly released report from the National Center for Education Statistics examined four-year rates in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Between those graduation years the rate rose for all students from 79 percent to 80 percent.
The rate for Latino students rose from 71 percent in 2010-11 to 73 percent in 2011-12.
A report by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights finds that a Colorado school district created a hostile environment for Hispanic and Spanish-speaking students, parents and teachers.
The report also concluded that the Adams 14 district in Commerce City, a district of about 7,000 students just north of Denver, did not effectively communicate with parents with limited English skills.
In case you missed it, the recording is now available for our webinar on the approaching 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court decision which outlawed segregation in the nation’s public schools.
Our April 28th webinar looked at education disparities along racial lines as we approach the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.
Based on an extensive analysis of state waiver plans, this report shows that recent progress in holding schools accountable for how many students they graduate from high school—the ultimate goal of K–12 education—may be slowed in some states based on waivers recently granted under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The report includes a review of approved waiver plans submitted by thirty-four states and the District of Columbia.
Public High School Four-Year On-Time Graduation Rates and Event Dropout Rates
School Years 2010–11 and 2011–12
This report includes four-year on-time graduation rates and dropout rates for school years 2010-11 and 2011-12. A four-year on-time graduation rate provides measure of the percent of students that successfully complete high school in four years with a regular high school diploma.
For the first time in U.S. history the nation’s high school graduation rate rose above 80 percent, according to the 2014 Building a GradNation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic report released April 28 by Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, America’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education.
On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court made its landmark decision in the Brown vs. Board of Education case. Sixty years later, it seems schools are more racially isolated than ever, and the education disparities for children of color continue to increase.
Hispanic immigrant mothers are far less likely to work outside of the home than their American-born peers, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
They also have very different attitudes toward work than other groups.
Education and civil rights groups are already reacting with concern to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-2 decision Tuesday to uphold Michigan’s ban on affirmative action in state public universities’ admissions.
Many pointed toward the dissenting opinion by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who as a Latina raised in a low-income home has insights into the issue on a personal level.
For the first time, more Latino than white California students have been offered admission to attend the University of California system as freshmen.