Higher Education News
Thomas W. Gilligan will leave the University of Texas at Austin to lead the think tank at Stanford; he will succeed the longtime director John Raisian.
Sweet Briar College's unexpected decision to close has touched every member of the small community: students plotting a new course, professors losing their homes, and a president who swears there was no alternative.
It’s the best time of the year for college basketball fans. But this morning, while most of us have been buzzing about Thursday’s Butler and Iowa State upsets, a surprise from UCLA and a near-win by Harvard, we also need a conversation to make sure these players aren’t losing out on a complete college experience. While we are cheering on our favorite teams, we should remember what it’s really all about for these student-athletes: getting a great education while chasing their dreams.
A few years ago, the NCAA raised academic benchmarks for teams to meet postseason play. While more should be done to make sure that all student-athletes – especially African-Americans – are learning both on and off the court, this was a good start toward restoring a healthier balance between academics and athletics in Division I college sports. But it was just a start.
As we were filling out our brackets, we decided to take a different approach. We thought it would be interesting to look at how teams would fare if the outcome of each match was determined by how well an institution is equipping its student-athletes to be successful in the classroom – and ultimately, to be successful after the final game.
Earlier this week, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) released its annual study, “Keeping Score When It Counts: Academic Progress/Graduation Success Rate Study of 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament Teams.” It is a comprehensive analysis of the academic performance of student-athletes on teams playing in the tournament. We built our brackets based on how teams fared in the report – first, based on the team’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) as reported by the NCAA, and in cases of a tie, by first the Graduation Success Rate of their basketball team and then the overall Graduation Success Rates of their student-athletes.
For many fans, these results may be a bit of a stretch. But it shows which teams may be doing a better job about making sure their athletes are students, first.
That’s a Cinderella story we can all get behind.
Sara Gast is Director of Strategic Communications at the U.S. Department of Education.
March is National Disability Awareness Month, a month dedicated to promoting awareness of the strengths and achievements of Americans with disabilities. Today, many people with disabilities are living and working in the community and pursuing higher education. Yet, even now folks with significant disabilities often face additional barriers when trying to find jobs.
Robert Williams understands exactly what it takes to pursue and advance in one’s career as an individual with a significant disability.. He’s currently Senior Advisor to the Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy at the Social Security Administration. He’s been working for over 20 years to raise awareness about the significantly disabled community in the workplace. He also worked tirelessly to ensure the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Learn more about his incredible journey by watching the video below:
Williams’ story, combined with those of others, is one of the many reasons the Department of Education has joined with leaders from 10 other agencies to develop the Curb Cuts to the Middle Class Initiative.
Announced at a Champions of Change last October, this Initiative brings ingenuity and common sense solutions to ensure that workers with disabilities, like all Americans, have opportunities to obtain and succeed at work. This month, officials from both the Initiative and the White House hosted a Summit on Disability and Employment, bringing together federal agencies, disability groups, philanthropic organizations, and employers. Participants heard from Department of Education Senior Advisor to the Secretary Michael Yudin; RSA Commissioner Janet LaBreck; Labor Secretary Tom Perez; and Senior Advisor to the President, Valerie Jarrett, about federal programs supporting employment of people with disabilities. Attendees also worked together to generate creative solutions and develop partnership projects to increase employment of people with disabilities.
This year, as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ADA, partners will work together to build and strengthen cooperation and collaboration between education, public benefits, health care, and employment. Already the value of these partnerships has been realized in the posting of the Initiative’s Resource Guide for Employers, the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) expanded Ticket-to-Work Call Center, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) revised ABC’s of Schedule A for Applicants with Disabilities, and a partnership between the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and SSA to recruit SSDI beneficiaries into federal careers.
Over the coming year, these agencies will continue to work together in a Year of Action to Expand Equal Employment Opportunities and Economic Mobility for Individuals with Disabilities.
Together, we will:
- Develop a user-friendly portal to connect job seekers with disabilities to employers
- Expand and share OPM’s screened list of job seekers with disabilities with federal contractors
- The EEOC will issue proposed rules updating its regulations for federal employment under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act
- The Department of Labor will train federal contracting officers on Section 503 requirements
- Through the Pathways to Careers: Community Colleges for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities Demonstration Project, the Department of Labor is helping community colleges to equip students with disabilities with skills and credentials for high-skill careers
- The Department of Education will ensure that VR counselors have the knowledge and skills to meet the demands of employers and to promote employment of individuals with disabilities
Chai Feldblum is Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Robert Williams is Senior Advisor to the Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy at the Social Security Administration.
Eve Hill is Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.
All are co-chairs of the Curb Cuts to the Middle Class Initiative.
An unusual meeting at Berkeley offers job advice and consultation to those looking for work beyond the campus.
Amid the turmoil over a classmate’s arrest, the Student Council's president-elect has set up a meeting between students and state public-safety officials.
The director of the National Science Foundation, France A. Córdova, is devising strategies to improve the standing of female scientists, who are paid less and promoted less often than men are.
A black University of Virginia student was injured while being arrested. Experts say the institution should respond carefully.
The dismissal of a prominent historian from Thammasat University fuels concerns about a deteriorating environment for academic freedom in Thailand.
Student artists from 14 District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) gathered at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) headquarters on March 4, 2015, to exhibit their creative work in the visual arts, film, dance and music. More than 200 educators, family members, arts leaders, DCPS community partners and ED employees also joined in the festivities to honor these students.
ED’s Principal Ambassador Fellow and 2012 Magnet Schools of America National Principal of the Year, Jill Levine, kicked off the presentation and recounted the moving story of one of her students whose education experience was transformed by the arts, “When kids feel important … when they feel part of something bigger, when they feel inspired about going to school, we don’t need [candy, home visits, court hearings, and other such measures] to make them go to school because they are drawn to the school through the arts.”
Demonstrating such inspiration through the arts were three vibrant student groups. The Capital String Ensemble, from John Eaton Elementary School in partnership with Washington Performing Arts, performed a call-and-response piece and the Baroque piece, Pachelbel’s Canon. Four students from School Without Walls Senior High School presented their powerful composition of guitars and silent film, Scripts and Scores, to explore the difference between reality and perception. Stoddert Elementary School partnered with Fillmore Arts Center to help students create Swinging at Fillmore, a performance using dance, music and history to explore the work of legendary swing dancer Norma Miller.
Kaya Henderson, chancellor of DCPS, deservedly proud of her school system’s students and teachers, stressed the significance of arts education, “A world-class education includes the arts. … [T]o compete against children all over the world, then our young people have to have a well-rounded education, and that includes the arts.”
The director of the arts at DCPS, Nathan Diamond, emphasized the value not only of arts education but also of the collaborative nature of the exhibit, “This is a particularly special show in that it really highlights what happens when the public school system and the arts community come together to work for students.”
In fact, 13 community arts organizations that partnered with DCPS are featured in the exhibit. Dancer and choreographer Mickey Davidson from the Fillmore Arts Center’s collaboration with Stoddert Elementary reiterated Diamond’s perspective, “One of the biggest challenges was the continuity … but by [working with the students] once a week [and] being consistent … what we did, we did it solid.”
The students shared her sentiment, using “amazing,” “excellent” and “gold” to describe their performance. And the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ Executive Director Lionell Thomas stated the high goals of such collaborations with DCPS, “To have arts education at the forefront of what we do,” in order to contribute to the cognitive, socialization and creative skills of every student.
Following the performances, a ribbon cutting formally opened the exhibit. Some students from King Elementary discussed their portraits of famous people. These works, they explained, encapsulate the intersection between art and inspiration as a means of self-expression — one of the greatest forms of learning.
Perhaps the highest accolade of the day came from Andy Finch of the Association of Art Museum Directors, “Wow – I am proud to be a citizen of the District!”
Jessica Dillow is an intern in the Editorial Policy, Print and Art Services Office at the U.S. Department of Education and a senior at the Ohio State University.
All photos in this blog are by Joshua Hoover. More photos from the event may be viewed on the Department of Education’s Flickr.
Blog articles on Homeroom provide insights on the activities of schools, programs, grantees and other education stakeholders to promote continuing discussion of educational innovation and reform. The articles do not endorse any educational product, service, curriculum or pedagogy.
The Department’s Student Art Exhibit Program provides students and teachers an opportunity to display creative work from the classroom in a highly public space that honors their work as an effective path to learning and knowledge for all. To visit the exhibits or for information about exhibiting, contact Jackye Zimmermann.
Cross-posted from The White House Blog.
As you might have seen, House Republicans released their Fiscal Year 2016 budget this week — and to put it very simply, its priorities are pretty different from those in the President’s budget. The House GOP would cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires, all while slashing investments in the middle class that we know would grow the economy — particularly in job training, manufacturing, and education.
Their budget would cut funding for pre-k through 12 education (also known as “Title I Funding”) by $3.1 billion. That money could fund 4,500 schools, 17,000 teachers and aides, and 1.9 million students.
Earlier this week, the President met with superintendents and other school officials from all across the country. Each of them brought at least one object — from photos to books to charts — that represented what this vital funding means to their school districts.
Every American should know exactly what disinvestment in Pre-K through 12 education would mean for school districts around the country. Listen to each of these school leaders describe the vital programs in their districts that Title I helps fund.1. “Acceleration Academies” that provide a month’s worth of learning in one week’s time.
Michael O’Neill, Chairperson of the Boston School Committee (Boston, MA)2. A “Parent Academy” that has helped more than 3,000 parents prepare their kids to apply for college.
Barbara Jenkins, Superintendent, Orange County Public Schools (Orange County, FL)3. “Parent University” college bus tours that make college a reality for more underserved kids.
Eric Gordon, Superintendent, Cleveland Metropolitan School District (Cleveland, OH)4. A “Focus on Freshman” mentorship program that has increased graduation rates by more than 10 percent.
Valeria Silva, Superintendent, ISD 625 – St. Paul Public Schools (St. Paul, MN)5. Extended school days that result in double-digit gains in math and reading scores.
Kaya Henderson, D.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction (Washington, D.C.)6. Professional mentorship programs that connect students with professionals in cutting-edge fields.
Juan Cabrera, Superintendent, El Paso Independent School District (El Paso, TX)7. Smaller classes that provide more direct attention to students in need of support.
Richard Carranza, Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District (San Francisco, CA)8. College and career-preparation programs that make sure students are ready to succeed.
Darienne Driver, Superintendent, Milwaukee Public Schools (Milwaukee, WI)9. Development classes that have reduced truancy issues among young black students.
Jumoke Hinton, Board Member, Oakland Unified School District (Oakland, CA)10. An after-school robotics team that competes regionally.
Airick West, Board Member, Kansas City Public Schools (Kansas City, MO)
At a time when it’s more important than ever to make sure young people have the skills they need to compete in a modern economy, the House Republican budget would bring per-pupil education funding to its lowest levels since 2000.If you don’t want to see that happen, then make sure as many people as possible know what’s at stake.
Roberto J. Rodríguez is Deputy Assistant to the President for Education.
Amid calls for a more open discussion, the campus finds that comfort levels in every direction are hard to maintain.
More than 300 of the officials met in Washington this week, and racially charged campus incidents were very much on their minds. Here are three themes that kept coming up.
Republican leaders say their plan assumes such changes as ending the in-school interest subsidy on Stafford loans and the public-service loan-forgiveness program.
Florida’s Santa Fe College, with a graduation and transfer rate well above the national average, took the excellence award.
The university’s president sits on the board of a prominent oil company, a worrisome fact when scientists fault injection wells for a steep rise in earthquakes.
His rhetoric is controversial and his coffers are nearly empty. But Alan Collinge has a legion of supporters, and he’s taking his campaign to Capitol Hill.
The maximum grant would be frozen for 10 years, and some recent expansions of the program would be rolled back, under a blueprint released on Tuesday.