Discussion Posts

What Trump’s Proposed 2018 Budget Would Mean for Higher Ed

  The Trump administration on Tuesday released its budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year. All told, the budget would cut federal education programs by more than $10 billion. The Department of Education’s total operating budget would be slashed by $9 billion, and spending on secondary-education programs would be redirected to school-choice initiatives — the chief policy goal of Betsy DeVos, the education secretary. President Trump’s budget would eliminate the public-service loan-forgiveness program, subsidized Stafford Loans, and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants; begin to phase out the National Endowments for the Arts and for the Humanities; and allow the Perkins Loan …

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Closing Thoughts on California GEAR UP 2017

  Friends of California GEAR UP:  This is the final edition of our newsletter as we celebrate the end of the 2011-2017 grant cycle. Across the country, graduation ceremonies mark accomplishment and success – for students and the whole school community.  As another school year ends, we join our school leadership teams, families and friends in extending CONGRATULATIONS to the class of 2017! Since 1999, the GEAR UP network has continued to thrive.  We have expanded our reach to share experiences, resources, lessons learned and success stories with the growing GEAR UP community.  Along with many other States, we have …

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Data for the People Build Community Power

This repost is courtesy from Education Week. (Editor’s note: The announcement that Education Trust-West and a number of civil rights and community organizations were founding a data hub in San Bernardino County, struck me as an important opportunity to increase the capacity for community voice in the California Local Control Funding Formula process.  Here, Ryan Smith, the organization’s executive director, expands on the value of getting actionable information to the people.) By Ryan Smith Recently, during a policy briefing in the Central Valley, a community leader asked if she could comment by telling a story.  She spoke of a small …

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‘DREAM loan’ funds college for unauthorized immigrants

Officials at California’s four-year public universities are reaching out to an estimated 10,000 undergraduate students who might qualify for a special loan aimed at reducing their tuition — a program that further distinguishes the state as a national trendsetter in providing services to unauthorized immigrants. The California DREAM low-interest loans are designated for unauthorized immigrant students enrolled at University of California or California State University campuses. The program was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014, but funding didn’t become available until now. It’s the latest in a series of measures that the Democratic-controlled Legislature and Brown have …

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ESSA: What’s at stake for California’s students?

From our Partners at The Education Trust West. In December President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), a bipartisan bill that for the first time in 14 years provides a new framework and requirements for states as they develop their own systems to hold schools and districts responsible for student learning and growth. California is in the midst of redesigning the way we hold schools and districts accountable and policymakers have some important decisions to make: Will we measure student progress through an aspirational accountability system or will we compare schools to a state average? Will …

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More Students ‘college ready’, Campuses Crowded

Source: California Department of Education High school senior Cynthia Chavez really wanted to study psychology at Cal State Los Angeles next fall. But the student from Jefferson High in Los Angeles instead applied for admission as an English major. That’s because her chances of winning a spot on campus are much greater in English than in psychology, one of 10 programs at the campus that now have far more qualified applicants than spaces available. “The most important thing for me right now is to just get admitted to the school. I’ll worry about switching majors after that,” she said. “It’s …

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California Helps Low-Income Students Succeed In College

(repost from Huffington Post) When it comes to recruiting and retaining an economically diverse student population, many colleges and universities in the US continue to fall short. But some schools appear to be doing better than others. Many of them, as it turns out, are located in the same state: California. In a story published last week in The New York Times’ The Upshot section, David Leonhardt points out that six of the top seven schools ranked in the paper’s second annual College Access Index are University of California campuses. The rankings are based on three key factors — share of students receiving …

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Scholarshare is Celebrating National College Savings Month

ScholarShare, California’s 529 college savings plan, is celebrating National College Savings Month this September with a College Savings Pledge. Starting Tuesday, Sept. 1 through Friday, Sept. 25, Californians who take the pledge will be entered for the chance to win one of 20 ScholarShare 529 accounts, each in the amount of $500, for their child as well as a matching $500 prize for their child’s classroom. The pledge is aimed at encouraging young children to aspire to go to college. For more details about this special promotion, including the Official Rules, visitwww.CollegeSavingsPledge.com. Recently ranked second among all direct-sold 529 plans for three-year performance …

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California Braces For Lower Student Test Results

Repost from LA Times Education columnist @Howard Blume. Even before new state test scores are released this week, one thing is already clear: Results will be lower than in years past. Probably much lower. In other words, a much smaller percentage of students will be regarded as academically proficient for their grade level. California on Wednesday rejoins the national debate over standardized testing, including what students should learn and how teachers and schools should be held accountable. State by state, the results of these tests, or similar ones, have shown a clear, downward pattern. Previous standardized tests were based on …

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Site helps community college students find best online classes

(from SF Gate article originally published here) A website overhaul that makes it easier for community college students to know which online classes are best for their academic goals is the first tangible product of California’s $59 million push to make cyber college available for all. State college officials unveiled the new website Monday, two years after lawmakers authorized spending the money over five years and made online education a key part of their plan to transform community college students from aimless course-takers into scholars with an eye toward university transfer. The colleges offer thousands of online courses. But students …

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