Category Archives: Education

One-in-Five and Growing Fast: A Profile of Hispanic Public School Students

Source: Rick Fry and Felisa Gonzales, Pew Hispanic Center, August 26, 2008

From the summary:
The number of Hispanic students in the nation’s public schools nearly doubled from 1990 to 2006, accounting for 60% of the total growth in public school enrollments over that period. There are now approximately 10 million Hispanic students in the nation’s public kindergartens and its elementary and high schools; they make up about one-in-five public school students in the United States. In 1990, just one-in-eight public school students were Hispanic.

Nurturing The Nest Egg: School districts get new federal duties in overseeing workers’ 403(b) supplemental retirement accounts

Source: Michele McNeil, Education Week, September 29, 2008

Seemingly arcane new federal rules about supplemental retirement plans have sparked a seismic shift in responsibility for school districts, thrusting them into the retirement business with new oversight–and burdens–involving their employees’ 403(b) accounts.

Once merely paper-pushers between their employees and investment choices, district business officials must now vet and pick the investment firms that offer such plans, craft a highly technical document governing the 403(b) accounts, and assume responsibility for making sure employees seeking hardship withdrawals or loans from their accounts are following the rules.

Districts’ Borrowing May Face Hit From Continued Financial Crisis

Source: Michele McNeil, Education Week, Vol. 28, Issue 06, September 24, 2008

Even as federal officials and members of Congress struggled this week over a rescue plan for troubled portions of the nation’s financial sector, states and school districts braced for ripple effects that could further threaten their stressed budgets.

The situation could have its biggest long-term impact on districts’ capital projects, as the upheaval in the credit and stock markets threatens to drive up the cost of borrowing money.

Expanding State Education and Training By Partnering with the Unemployment Insurance System

Source: David Jason Fischer, National Employment Law Project, September 2008

NELP released a new report today which profiles several of the most innovative state education and training programs in the nation that are funded by payroll contributions. More than half the states in the U.S. now operate such programs, often in partnership with the unemployment insurance system.

By featuring a diverse range of the most successful programs (from California, Minnesota, New Jersey and Maine), the report provides helpful insights for those states looking to adopt new education and training initiatives or to improve upon existing programs. As described in the report, these programs go a long way to supplement (or in some cases exceed) state training funds provided by the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA), thus providing the states with the resources and flexibility to expand state training priorities.

Massachusetts Universal Pre-Kindergarten Pilot Program: FY08 Evaluation

Source: Education Week, September 16, 2008

A 2-year-old effort to create universal access to preschool in Massachusetts has done little to get more children in programs, a new report says.

The report released last week by the state board of early education and care says efforts have instead provided more than 100 programs with new classroom materials, computers, or teacher bonuses, but have done little to make those programs more affordable to more children. There is still a waiting list of 4,400 children seeking state financial assistance to attend preschool.

Increasing Share of Colleges Offer Partner Benefits

Source: Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, September 17, 2008

The percentage of colleges offering domestic partner benefits grew gradually in 2007-8 — a year in which the benefits received intense scrutiny from critics of gay marriage.

The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources surveyed colleges and universities and found that 42 percent offer health care benefits for same-sex domestic partners, up from 40 percent a year ago. In addition, 34 percent of institutions provide the benefits to opposite sex domestic partners, up from 31 percent a year ago.
In states where voters have approved measures to ban gay marriage, domestic partner benefits have faced legal and political challenges in the last year, but many institutions have shifted the way benefits are provided to avoid cutting off health insurance to employees’ partners.

THE EARLY YEARS: Preschool Influences on Mathematics Achievement

Source: Edward C. Melhuish, Kathy Sylva, Pam Sammons, Iram Siraj-Blatchford, Brenda Taggart, Mai B. Phan, Antero Malin, Science, Vol. 321. no. 5893, August 29, 2008
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The advantages of home learning environment and preschool are apparent years later in children’s math achievement.

Connecting Jobs To Education

Source: Lisa Hudson, Issues in Science and Technology, Vol. 24 no. 4, Summer 2008

Contrary to popular opinion, attaining at least a bachelor’s degree is not the only, nor in all cases the best, route to success. Nor is it the norm. Most jobs do not require a bachelor’s degree for entry, and most Americans – including most young adults – do not have a bachelor’s degree.