Higher Education News

Baylor’s Former Leader Said Its Failure on Sexual Violence Was Not ‘Fundamental’

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 15, 2017 - 12:46pm
In a deposition, the former interim president, David E. Garland, also said the university’s Board of Regents was held accountable by God.
Categories: Higher Education News

Trump Signs Order to Ease Federal Restrictions on Apprenticeships

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 15, 2017 - 12:40pm
The president’s order called for more money and less oversight of apprenticeship programs. Some people questioned whether the quality of those programs might suffer.
Categories: Higher Education News

More Than a ‘Summer Slump’: How the Loss of Structure Affects Academics

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 15, 2017 - 11:34am
The community and structure an instructor builds during the academic year can disappear each summer, when the bulk of his or her research is conducted. Many scholars struggle with the solitude.
Categories: Higher Education News

Memo Outlines Education Dept. Plans to Scale Back Civil-Rights Efforts

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 15, 2017 - 10:54am
Catherine E. Lhamon, the department’s civil-rights chief under President Obama, told ProPublica that the changes were “stunning” and “dangerous.”
Categories: Higher Education News

What DeVos’s ‘Reset’ on 2 Major Consumer Rules Means for Colleges

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 14, 2017 - 8:38pm
The Education Department says it will renegotiate both the gainful-employment rule and the borrower "defense to repayment" rule. It’s a victory for for-profit colleges, but the rules have other critics, too.
Categories: Higher Education News

Harvard’s Departing Leader Pushed the University to Grapple With Its Past

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 14, 2017 - 7:55pm
Drew Gilpin Faust, the university’s first female president, challenged Harvard to confront its elitist traditions and a dark chapter of its history.
Categories: Higher Education News

His Colleagues Wanted to Honor Rep. Steve Scalise. His Alma Mater Was Ready to Help.

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 14, 2017 - 6:47pm
Louisiana State University is providing gear for Republicans and Democrats to wear at an annual charity baseball game, in honor of the Republican congressman shot by a gunman on Wednesday.
Categories: Higher Education News

Gender Balance at the Top of Ivy League Colleges Remains an Outlier in Academe

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 14, 2017 - 6:46pm
While half of the Ivies have female presidents, the proportion in higher education over all is just 25 percent.
Categories: Higher Education News

Drew Faust Will Step Down as Pioneering President of Harvard

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 14, 2017 - 11:10am
The historian, who guided the university through economic crisis and campus growth, will forever be remembered as its first female leader. But she deprecated that label, saying only that she was president of Harvard.
Categories: Higher Education News

DeVos Will Roll Back 2 Obama Regulations, a Blow to Consumer Advocates

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 14, 2017 - 10:02am
The Education Department will stall the carrying out of two rules — borrower defense to repayment and gainful employment — both of which had been hailed by consumer-advocacy groups.
Categories: Higher Education News

‘It Didn’t Smell Right’: The Making of a Debt-Relief Whistle-Blower

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 14, 2017 - 3:00am
Bob Greenberg fielded calls at a company in Florida that promised to eliminate customers’ student loans. What he heard eventually drove him to the state attorney general’s office.
Categories: Higher Education News

Here Are Highlights of the Faust Years at Harvard

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 13, 2017 - 10:00pm
Drew Faust, Harvard University’s first female president, announced on Wednesday that she would step down. Here’s a look at the top stories of her tenure.
Categories: Higher Education News

Colorado Case Puts Focus on Colleges’ Handling of Alleged Domestic Violence

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 13, 2017 - 9:35pm
Questions reverberate for other universities after the chancellor, athletics director, and head football coach at Boulder were punished for failing to take their reporting responsibilities far enough.
Categories: Higher Education News

“What Is Education?” Elevated Thought Students Respond Via the Arts

U.S. Department of Education Blog - June 13, 2017 - 2:28pm

For students from Lawrence, Massachusetts, the answer to “What is education?” comes best through the arts — painting, drawing, photography, narrative, poetry, music, and film – and through their own context as passionate learners in a historically immigrant, low-income community north of Boston.

Eight Lawrence students, along with their adult mentors from Elevated Thought and the Mayor’s Health Task Force, came to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in Washington, D.C. in mid-May for the opening of the students’ art exhibit, on view at ED through June. They also came to demonstrate what student voices can contribute to a community’s renewal and to learn from ED’s leaders about how best to exercise their Youth Bill of Rights.

Lawrence, with a population of 76,000, has a colorful but bleak history: governmental turbulence; high poverty, unemployment and crime; and failing schools. When Lawrence schools were placed under state receivership in 2011, average math and English test scores positioned students in the bottom 1 percent statewide, and the high school dropout rate was 52 percent. In March 2012, Lawrence was described in a Boston magazine article highlighting the city’s drug trade and controversial politics as “the most godforsaken place in Massachusetts.”

By most accounts, Lawrence is rebounding. It has a new superintendent with an ambitious school turn-around plan, test scores are up, and the dropout rate is down. In addition, Lawrence has new leadership, new initiatives, and widespread community involvement in rejuvenation efforts. Still, the students’ visual art reflects a mix of hope and frustration.

Senior Celeste Cruz used paint and markers to create a person of color with a tree sprouting from the figure’s head. “The piece represents knowledge and growth nurtured in the minds of people of all colors,” she explained, including those with skin tones considered “alien” to this country. (About 75 percent of residents and 90 percent of public school students in Lawrence are Hispanic.)

Artwork of senior Celeste Cruz conveys that all people, regardless of their origins, can gain knowledge and grow.

Amaryllis Lopez, a Lawrence High School graduate and Elevated Thought youth leader, made a mixed media piece featuring a woman of color and these words: “Dream Your Way Out of the Nightmare.” “Sometimes your dreams have to transcend your situation — in this case an unsatisfactory education system — in order [for you] to be freed, to overcome and to achieve,” she said.

A mixed media piece by Amaryllis Lopez signifies that dreams may conquer adverse circumstances.

A painting from senior Nicole Garcia contains a brightly colored, abstract head, above which is written, “I’m Brilliant. Yo soy. I am intelligencia.” She created the piece to raise questions about what it means to be “smart” and “intelligent” in modern society.

A painting by student Nicole Garcia explores what it means to be intelligent in today’s world.

Student voices, in whatever their form, can broaden adult perspectives, Elecia Miller, project officer for the City of Lawrence Mayor’s Health Task Force, noted during ED’s celebration. “As much as [adults] care about youth in our city, we are not youth, and we do not necessarily know what the issues of the day are, or how to address them.”

This belief undergirds the work of two organizations, both with representatives at the ED gathering, that provide youth empowerment activities:

  • Elevated Thought is a Lawrence-based non-profit that serves and develops communities through, among other things, youth engagement; it stresses the arts’ power to generate awareness of social and community issues. Its current youth-driven campaign is “What Is Education? Liberation Through Education.”
  • The Lawrence Youth Council, created under the Mayor’s Health Task Force, gives the community’s youths a voice and advocates for their issues.

Students at the opening identified what they want changed in Lawrence schools, including high levels of stress, an insufficiently diverse teaching pool, and not enough opportunities to make choices. These and other concerns grew from a 600-student survey.

“Education is supposed to be freedom from oppression, but in reality we come to class and we feel anxiety, we feel as if our [test score] numbers are our identity,” Junielly Vargas, the youth council’s president, said. “We need [adults] to realize that education is more than numbers, more than books, more than letters on the board — it is life, it is family, it is friends, it is experience.”

Senior Junielly Vargas addresses the recent ED gathering to celebrate student arts and voices from Lawrence, Massachusetts.

With such concerns in mind, these students presented at the art opening their four-part Youth Bill of Rights, which they are disseminating widely to trigger more school improvements:

  1. Student needs come first. This requires youth leaders to become more involved in decisions about education and to have their voices heard. Marquis Victor, president and executive director of Elevated Thought, explained, “[School officials] make drastic changes each year, and the youth have no idea what is coming. The changes often don’t work. So the youth say, ‘Why don’t [school officials] talk to the youth? They will know what’s best for them.’”
  2. Students are liberated through their creations. The arts provide students with new ways to see the world. Schools should provide more classes in the arts and incorporate them into the teaching of all subject areas.
  3. Students’ vision is developed with and through their communities. Toward this end, the bridge between schools and the community needs strengthening.
  4. Students’ healthy growth is ensured. Greater emphasis on physical, mental and spiritual health can help students learn and mature. Improvements can begin with better school lunches which, one student observed, “look radioactive.”

Lawrence students cut the ribbon to signify the official opening of their art exhibit at ED.

At the end of the students’ day showcasing the power of their work in the arts to transform thinking about education, Jason Botel, ED’s deputy assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, shared his admiration for the students’ accomplishments, the implementation of their critical thinking skills, and their courage. “You’re giving voice, color and form to your experiences in education and as community members,” he said. “In the process, you’re educating all of us.” He also shared his understanding of what he heard from them – that, while their road forward may be difficult, education and student development are processes in which they will need to exercise their clearly well-developed leadership abilities in order to … keep moving ahead.

Nancy Paulu is an editor and writer in the Office of Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education.

All photos are by U.S. Department of Education photographer Leslie Williams.

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 at jacquelyn.zimmermann@ed.gov or visit https://www.ed.gov/student-art-exhibit

The post “What Is Education?” Elevated Thought Students Respond Via the Arts appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

Star Scholar Says New Anti-Racism Center Will ‘Ask Different Questions’

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 13, 2017 - 1:28pm
The University of Florida’s Ibram X. Kendi will move in August to American University, where he hopes his research will have a bigger influence on policy debates.
Categories: Higher Education News

Court Rules Iowa State U. Officials Violated Student Activists’ Speech Rights

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 13, 2017 - 12:57pm
The decision allows the activists — members of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws — to use university trademarks for constitutionally protected speech.
Categories: Higher Education News

U. of Virginia Student Is Released by North Korea After Being Detained 17 Months

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 13, 2017 - 9:09am
North Korean officials said that Otto Warmbier, who last appeared in public at his trial, in March 2016, has been in a coma for more than a year.
Categories: Higher Education News

U. of Louisville’s Interim President: ‘Trying to Focus on the Positive’

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 13, 2017 - 2:34am
Greg Postel has been at his institution for 23 years. Although he is interim executive vice president for health affairs, he also stepped into the top role when the president resigned last summer. He talks about how he has tried to help the university move past its controversies.
Categories: Higher Education News

Scholars See Bad Omens in Pulled Sponsorship of ‘Julius Caesar’

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 12, 2017 - 8:17pm
The corporate response to a production of the play in which the assassinated ruler resembles President Trump has scholars thinking that studying the arts is more important than ever.
Categories: Higher Education News

U. of Colorado Chancellor Is Suspended After Domestic-Violence Probe of Assistant Coach

Chronicle of Higher Education - June 12, 2017 - 7:50pm
“Some will say these disciplinary actions go too far,” said the university system’s president. “Some will say they don’t go far enough. Not everyone will be happy.”
Categories: Higher Education News

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