W/A Notes | One in Four Mississippi Third Graders Can’t Pass Reading Test; ED Unveils Updated College Scorecard; New Study Reveals Positive Effects of Prison-Based Program

From @WhitebdAdvisor


@WhitebdAdvisor: Our friends @nsvf just released a new insight brief about what they’ve learned from their last 3 years of ed tech investing: bit.ly/2Wnow3j #edtech #NewSchoolsIgnite @NextGenStacey @tonikaclayton @cameronewhite


RT @stradaeducation: "44M adults are at risk of being left behind by the #futureofwork." Chief Innovation Officer at Strada Institute, @rwmichelle, speaks about building the Lifelong Learning Ecosystem of the Future. @STEMsolutions #STEMsolve @usnews


RT @jfftweets: Big problems need BIGGER solutions. To mark the anniversary of JFFLabs here's 3 stories of how we're going big with leaders like @Catalyte_io @DisruptPoverty @Cell_Ed https://t.co/mKEUefDNpj


RT @AlisonRGriffin: So much fun to moderate a dinner conversation with @BethAkers_ @ManhattanInst on the theory that price is the main barrier to #highered attainment. We talked #accountability, #ISAs, #debt & #employment #outcomes and speculate on the timing of a #HEA reauthorization.


@WhitebdAdvisor: For the first time ever, 65 years after Brown, et al. v. Board of Education, the plaintiffs and their relatives hidden behind "et al.” are detailing their previously untold stories of oppression, determination, and triumph  http://brown65.the74million.org/  via @the74


RT @ddeschryver: Legislators keep debating early learning programs. How do we know what works best?https://t.co/722JSAnfjK via @MinnPost


RT @LayshaWard: Congrats to the 2019 Humphrey School of Public Affairs Grads! Honored to be your commencement speaker. As you cross the stage, step passionately into your #purpose and into a world that needs you. #HHHSchool #HHHGrad http://bit.ly/2wd1ddO


Congress & Administration


House Judiciary Committee Approves Dream Act: On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Dream Act of 2019 and the American Promise Act of 2019. The legislation provides permanent protections for “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, as well as additional protections for groups of immigrants eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) estimates that the pair of bills would help put 2.7 million people on a pathway to citizenship, including 37,000 educators working in public schools. [POLITICO Morning Education]


ED Unveils Updated College Scorecard: On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced an update to the College Scorecard, an online consumer tool created in 2015 to share key data from  institutions of higher education, such as post-graduation earnings, debt loads, and loan repayment rates. In March 2019, President Trump signed an executive order directing ED to expand the data in the College Scorecard. The Scorecard now contains preliminary loan debt data disaggregated by field of study along with information on 2,100 non-degree granting institutions. Additionally, the Scorecard integrates data from the National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), such as   average annual cost, graduation rates for students who are not attending college for the first time and students attending college part-time. [U.S. Department of Education] 


Secretary DeVos Announces New Federal Work-Study Experiment: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced a new Federal Work-Study (FWS) experiment that will allow students to earn work-study wages for apprenticeships, internships and externships, clinical rotations, student teaching, and work-based learning programs. DeVos also announced that the Second Chance Pell experiment, which will allow  a limited number of incarcerated students to receive Pell Grants to attend college courses, will accept new applications from colleges and universities. The Second Chance Pell experiment has so far awarded 40 institutions approximately $35.6 million in Pell Grants to serve about 8,800 incarcerated students. [Inside Higher Ed]


State Policy News


Minnesota Lawmakers Debate K-12, Higher Education Finance Bills: Minnesota’s omnibus K-12 education finance bill (HF 2400) and omnibus higher education finance bill (SF 2415) are under consideration in the  state legislature. Highlights of the proposed K-12 budget include increasing funding for English learners and career and technical education, as well as making modifications to the state’s teacher licensure process. For higher education funding, key measures include establishing at Student Loan Debt Counseling Program within the Office of Higher Education, expanding the state’s workforce development program to include students returning from the workforce, prohibiting the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities from charging more tuition for an online class than a comparable on-campus class, and establishing a pilot program to address textbook affordability.


New York Considers Database and Grading System for For-Profit Institutions of Higher Education: A bill that would direct the New York Commissioner of Education to create a database and evaluation system for for-profit institutions of higher education is moving through the state legislature. The database would include various metrics, such as  graduation rates, total program cost, median student debt, and post school job placement. According to the legislation, the Commissioner would be required to use the metrics, alongside other available information, to formulate a letter grade for each institution to publicly display on its website.


W/A provides state legislative tracking services, if you're interested in learning more, drop us a line.


Early Childhood and K-12


More Test Advantages Given To Wealthy Students: Schools in wealthier areas are reporting 4.2% of their students qualify for extra time to take tests, while in impoverished areas only 1.6% of students qualify. School districts require medical evaluations for students to be given extra time, and the cost of those evaluations are more often accessible to wealthier families. Concerns have been raised that this latest finding  demonstrates one additional socio-economic advantage that wealthier students have over their lower-income peers, who are often unable to afford  supports such as test prep courses and tutors. [Axios]


1 in 4 Mississippi Third Graders Can’t Pass State Reading Assessment: The Mississippi Department of Education released the results of the state’s new reading assessment, and 1 in 4 third graders failed. While it is unclear whether those who failed the assessment will matriculate to the fourth grade, the students will have additional opportunities to retake the test before the start of the 2019-20 school year. [AP]


Higher Education


New Study Reveals Positive Effects of Prison-Based Program: Earlier this week, The RAND Corporation and RTI International released a new report examining a five-year college program conducted in North Carolina state prisons. Findings from the study revealed that out of the 201 students who enrolled across six prisons, 150 students completed the in-person prison portion of the program and transitioned to community colleges once released. Funding for this program became available through an experiment authorized during the Obama Administration, which allowed students enrolled in prison-based programs from 67 colleges to be eligible for the federal Pell Grant program. [Inside Higher Ed]


Online Directory of Alternatives to College Launches: Alternatives to College, an online directory that includes more than 200 companies and organizations that provide boot camps, apprenticeships, short-term on-line course and credentials was announced  this week. University Ventures, a higher education investment firm and WhatsBestForMe, a platform that allows applicants to connect with postsecondary education providers, launched this effort with the hopes of helping prospective students navigate their postsecondary options. The original alternative directory was featured in Ryan Craig’s book “A New U: Faster and Cheaper Alternatives to College,” which was released last year. [Education Dive]


New Skills, Talent, and Employment


Study Finds that Non-Degree Credentials Pay Off in the Labor Market - A study by Strada Education Network and the Lumina Foundation found that non-degree certificates and credentials offer significant returns on investment. 85% of adults with non-degree credentials were employed full-time compared to 78% of adults with no credential or degree, and the median income for credentialed adults was 150% of that for non-credentialed adults. The size of the income difference varied by occupation, but across all occupations, it was larger for men than for women. [Strada Education Network]


Millennials and Gen Zs Differ in Who Should Train Workers for the Future of Work - In a global survey of millennials and Gen Zs, 70% of respondents said that they are not fully prepared to succeed in the workforce of the future. A plurality of millennials said that businesses should be most responsible for reskilling workers, while Gen Z respondents were most likely to point to secondary and postsecondary institutions. Less than half of respondents from either generation thought that individuals or the government should be mostly responsible for reskilling. [Deloitte]


Gender and Racial Pay Gaps Both Exist, But Gender Gaps Are More Widely Recognized - In a recent poll, 66% of white women agreed that there is a gender pay gap, but only 34% agreed that there is a racial pay gap. Research shows that both gaps exist: women earn 80.5 cents for every dollar men earn and minority women earn 86 cents for every dollar white women earn. However, across all races and genders, people are more likely to recognize the gender pay gap than the racial pay gap. [Morning Consult]




Jack Porter will be joining the Economic Opportunity Division of  the National Governors Association next week. Jack will be working as a policy analyst on the higher education team. He was most recently an advocacy associate at the National College Access Network.


Russ Poulin was named the new vice president of technology-enhanced education for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and executive director of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET).


This week, Y Combinator (YC) named Geoff Ralston as president. He has been at Y Combinator since 2011, and most recently led Startup School, YC’s free online class for potential founders. Ralston was a co-founder of edtech accelerator Imagine K12, which was merged into YC in 2016. [TechCrunch]


Industry News


School by Design Acquired By Abl: School scheduling software company Abl has acquired School by Design, a consulting firm helping districts analyze and manage time and resources to meet strategic goals. The acquisition will allow Abl to work at both the school and district level to address issues of equity and access through master scheduling and resource planning. Collectively, Abl will now serve 230 schools across 55 districts in 23 states. [THE Journal]


Australian University Launches Coding Bootcamp with Trilogy Education: The University of Western Australia has announced its first coding bootcamp, created in partnership with the workforce accelerator Trilogy Education. The 24-week, part-time bootcamp will train adult learners and workforce professionals to become full-stack developers. [The University of Western Australia]


Renaissance Learning Acquires Freckle Education: Rapidly growing software and assessment provider, Renaissance Learning has acquired Freckle Education in an effort to address negative feedback regarding the company’s math offerings. Freckle Education provides online assessments, lessons, and exercises in math, English language arts, social studies, and science. Rather than integrating Freckle into Renaissance’s corporate structure, it will operate as a stand-alone company. [EdSurge]


CodePath.org and AnitaB.org Partner for Equity in STEM: In an effort to advance underrepresented groups in engineering, CodePath.org and AnitaB.org have partnered to provide free training and career support to women and students of color in computer science. The organizations’ missions closely align: CodePath.org focuses on the diversity gap in tech and AnitaB.org promotes women in STEM. [PR NewsWire]


Mark Your Calendars


NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study Webinar: Average tuition discount rates at private nonprofit institutions continue to reach record levels, according to NACUBO’s annual Tuition Discounting Study (TDS). On May 29, NACUBO will host a webinar providing an overview of the 2018 NACUBO TDS and share more about the tuition discounting strategies implemented by private nonprofit colleges and universities to increase net tuition revenue. Click here for more details.


The Line K12’s Civil Discourse on Teacher Strikes: One year after strikes across Oklahoma, Madeline Will of Education Week will moderate conversation with Deb Gist, Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, and Patti Ferguson-Palmer, President of the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association. Register here for this live webinar on Tuesday, June 4 at 1:30 pm EST to hear their experiences and observations from the strikes, negotiations, and path forward.


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.


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.