W/A Notes | Colorado Considers Expanding Free Lunch Program; Data Shows Decline in International Students; ED Hosts Convening on Incarcerated Students

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From @WhiteBdAdvisor

RT @emilybouckwest: Check out @jrpeller's new op-ed on the actionable ways Congress can update #HEA to better serve today's students - from FAFSA verification to microgrants to solutions for parent learners. Lots of good nuggets in here for everyone → https://t.co/s4TL0AJJog

@WhitebdAdvisor: In @educationweek,  @drvince65 and Gov. Beverly Perdue outline the importance of professional development, coaching, and aligned assessment tools to the effective implementation of #wholechild curriculum and instruction for our youngest learners https://t.co/0AwGOavGK8

RT @EdSurge: A growing body of research shows that outcomes for students diverge not just within districts, but within individual classrooms and schools. http://bit.ly/2INDcS1  #edequity #edchat

@WhitebdAdvisor: The latest from @DesaiAshu on the “myth of meritocracy” in #highered https://t.co/dXPhPdFiJw

Congress & Administration

ED Hosts Convening on Incarcerated Students: On Monday, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) held a convening entitled “Rethinking Correctional and Reentry Education: A Second Chance at Learning.” Over 100 representatives from the education, labor and criminal justice policy sectors discussed employer-responsive approaches to educate and train incarcerated individuals. The White House has proposed more than $500 million to assist inmates in their transition from incarceration to employment and help reduce recidivism. A number of local initiatives were highlighted including a program in Michigan which trains inmates with an on-premise skilled-trades training center and California’s Five Keys Schools, a network of charter high schools that operates in 20 prisons across the state. Deputy Secretary of Education, Dr. Mitchell Zais, noted that the Administration’s support for education initiatives for citizens returning from incarceration coupled with their support for the recently approved FIRST STEP Act “make sense from a social, economic and moral perspective.” [Diverse Issues in Higher Education]

DoD Proposes Student Loan Benefit for Active Service Members: Last week, the Department of Defense (DoD) published in the Federal Register a proposed a data-sharing arrangement with the Department of Education (ED) that is designed to reduce the amount of interest that certain active duty service members pay on federal student loans. In 2008, Congress amended the Higher Education Act (HEA) to provide for the removal of interest on federal student loans for military borrowers during service in war zones. To date, no formal mechanism has existed for transmitting this data from DoD to ED, and the Consumer Protection Finance Bureau (CFPB) estimated in 2015 that eligible service members have paid over $100 million in unnecessary interest expenses since 2008. DoD is now proposing to modify its Defense Manpower Data Center Data Center to aid ED in identifying whether certain borrowers are eligible for 0% interest while serving. The comment period is open through May 16. [JD Supra]

State Policy News

Colorado Considers Expanding Free Lunch Program to Serve More Students: A bill moving through the Colorado General Assembly would expand eligibility for the state’s child nutrition lunch protection program. The program, which currently serves students in grades K-8, provides lunches at no charge to children who would otherwise have to pay for a reduced-price lunch. HB 1171 would expand the program to serve students up to grade 12, and calls for a corresponding appropriation needed for implementation. The bill passed the House and the Senate Education Committee earlier this month, and is now pending in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

New York Grants Undocumented Students Access to Postsecondary Financial Aid: Governor Cuomo (D) has signed into law a measure that will offer undocumented students in New York access to state financial aid and scholarships for higher education. According to a study from NYU Law School’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, the bill will affect an estimated 146,000 New York students who were previously ineligible to receive state aid. The law, which will take effect on May 2, also creates a New York DREAM Fund Commission committed to advancing the educational opportunities of the children of immigrants. [The New York Times]

Texas Accountability System Could Include Career and Technology Courses: Texas legislators are considering a bill that would include the number of students who complete a coherent list of career and technology courses to the list of achievement indicators under the state’s school accountability system. The bill, HB 1388, would take effect for the 2019-2020 school year, and is currently pending in the Senate Education Committee.

Early Childhood and K-12

Federal Education Provision Allows Students to Transfer Out of Schools for the Last 20 Years: The provision that allows for students to transfer out of a dangerous school was first part of No Child Left Behind and continued under the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The policy was first implemented to give students the choice of transferring, but the states controlled the definition of what qualified as a dangerous school. However, over the last 20 years, this policy was rarely used, mostly due to stakeholders being unaware of its existence. Only eight states and Puerto Rico identified persistently dangerous schools, and from those states, only a handful of schools are still classified as dangerous. [The 74]

Middle School and High School Students to Learn Coding as a Second Language: The Panasonic Foundation and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation collaborated to launch four Code as a Second Language academies for middle and high school students in NJ, NV, GA and CA. Students will be able to take part in this six to eight week course either during the school day or after school. By the end of 2019, it is estimated that the program will be available in 75 regions, reaching more than 100,00 students. [T.H.E. Journal]

Higher Education

New Data Shows Decline in International Students: The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency recently published data revealing a 2.7 percent decline in the total number of international students studying in the U.S. The ICE data includes students across a range of educational stages, including K-12, higher education, and graduates residing in the U.S. to work one to three years after graduation. The ICE data also exposed a 2% year-to-year decline in the total number of international students from the leading sending country, China, and a 1.2% decline from the second-leading sending country, India. [Inside Higher Ed]

New Report Recommends More Funding for Community Colleges: The Century Foundation, a nonpartisan progressive think tank, released a report calling for increased funding for community colleges and better research to estimate the financial needs of two-year institutions. The report expressed how community colleges are deeply underfunded – and notes that from 2004-2014, the per-student spending on education increased by 4 percent at community colleges, whereas four-year public colleges saw a 16 percent increase. Through increased funding, community colleges will have the resources to invest in full-time faculty, extra tutoring, smaller class sizes, intensive advising, and generous financial aid to spur student success. [Education Dive]

New Skills, Talent, and Employment

Nearly All Hiring Managers Likely to Hire New College Grads, But Not Because of Their Hard Skills: A recent Robert Half study is optimistic about the job market for the college class of 2019. Eighty-three percent of senior managers said that their companies were likely to hire new college graduates. Interestingly, less than half said that the top benefit of hiring new graduates lie in  their technical skills (16%) or ability to learn new skills quickly (18%); instead, managers most appreciated new graduates’ enthusiasm (35%) and fresh perspective (28%).

Future Women Leaders Will Need to Be Adaptable and Confident, Current Leaders Say: Cigna’s 2019 Women in Leadership study finds that 86% of female leaders agree that the next generation should be open to jobs outside of their skill set or consider roles in different industries as potential pathways to leadership positions. Eighty-nine percent agreed that technological innovation will necessitate continuous learning, and the leaders surveyed identified adaptability, determination, and confidence as the three most important traits for future leaders.

Research Shows Remote Work Does Not Decrease Earning Potential: Remote work does not affect the gender wage gap or employees’ earning potential, according to research by Owl Labs. Employees who always or sometimes work remotely are more likely to earn six-figure salaries than those who never work remotely. However, among men, the highest earners are full-time remote, while women who only sometimes work remotely outearn their fully remote peers. The authors suggest that this could reflect different face time expectations for men and women.

Health and Wellness

California Considers Legislation to Support Organic Food in  Schools: A California lawmaker has proposed a bill that would start the California Organic-to-School Pilot Program. Under the program, districts could apply for an additional 15 cents per meal to purchase organic eggs, produce, dairy and meat from California farmers. Nationally, school districts have a food budget of roughly $1.25 to spend on each free and reduced lunch, according to an estimate by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which sponsored the bill. [California Public Radio]

Industry News

MIT Announces Digital Credentialing Partnership:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has started a Digital Credentials Initiative with eight other institutions worldwide that will digitize credentials, conduct research and establish pilot programs. [EdSurge]

$32M Partnership Between Blackboard and the US Army: Blackboard and the U.S. Army have expanded their longtime partnership to support the Army’s Lifelong Learning Program (LLP). Blackboard will provide cloud-based technologies for 45 of the LLP’s programs, help instructors develop training courses, and help the Army develop assessments for the LLP. [PR Newswire]

$11.1M in Series A Funding to Digital Credentialing Leader: Credly, a digital credentialing company, has raised $11.1 million in Series A funding. Investors included ZOMA Capital, Strada Education Network, Pearson, and the Lumina Foundation. [VentureBeat]

Salesforce.com Buys Salesforce.org for $300M: CRM giant, Salesforce has announced the purchase of its own independent charitable arm, Salesforce.org. The non-profit provides discounted Salesforce licenses to more than 40,000 organizations, including 4,000 higher education institutions. This acquisition could signal a decision to make education a priority in Salesforce’s strategy with abilities ranging from monitoring students to connecting recent graduates with employers. [EdSurge]

$149M in Series D Funding to Tutoring platform: Gaosi Education, a Chinese company that offers in-person tutoring and live streams courses in a variety of subjects, has raised $140 million in Series D funding. Warburg Pincus led the round, banking on the large and growing market for K-12 tutoring in China. [Deal Street Asia]

Mark Your Calendars

NCHEMS’ Quality Never Goes Out of Style Webinar: Join NCHEMS on May 10 for the Quality Never Goes Out of Style webinar. In this webinar, Peter Ewell addresses the evolution of quality assurance since the emergence of the “assessment movement” in the early 1980s, with an emphasis on the role of institutional accreditation and the constantly improving array of approaches to gathering evidence about what and how much students have learned. Click here for more information and to register.

ATD 2019 International Conference & Exposition: The largest talent development conference of the year will be hosted in Washington, DC from May 19-22. The conference will feature speakers including Seth Godin, Eric Whitacre, and Oprah Winfrey, and will highlight the conference will discuss evolving industries and promising tools for talent development in the future of work. Click here for agenda details and to register.

Learning Impact Leadership Institute 2019: IMS Global Learning Consortium's 13th annual Learning Impact Leadership Institute will be held in San Diego, California, May 20-23. This event brings together education and technology leaders from K-12, higher education, workforce training, government, and the edtech solutions industry to work collaboratively to enable digital transformation and innovation in teaching and learning. Click here for agenda details and to register.

Education Commission of the States’ annual National Forum on Education Policy: ECS’s yearly policy forum will take place on July 10-12 in Denver, Colorado. The National Forum will bring together education leaders from across the country to discuss policy issues that range from early childhood education through higher education and workforce development. Click here for agenda details and to register.

ISTE 2019 Conference & Expo: The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) will host ISTE19 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 23-26. The conference’s theme is “Bold Educators Motivate Change” and attendees will include industry representatives, teachers, technology coordinators, library media specialists, teacher educators and policymakers. Click here for agenda details and to register.

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