Policy Issues


State of Union Less Fiery, More Forward-Looking

President Barack Obama used his eighth and final State of the Union address to remind Congress and the viewing American public that he would continue his "fight" this year to implement free community college "for every responsible student." He also gave a plug for a major success of his administration: a record-setting number of high school graduations.

Income Disparity Lowers Diversity at Elite Institutions

Schools may want to examine whether race- and ethnicity-based admissions preference policies should give way to "poverty preference." If they did, the outcome could be as much or more diversity than is currently being achieved. That's the message from a new report by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation that examines high-achieving, low-income student representation within "selective" institutions.''

U California Builds $250 Million System-Centered Venture Fund

The University of California has launched a new venture fund specifically to capitalize on innovation coming out of the university system.

Report Lays out Role of Community Colleges in Building 'Green' Workforce

Community colleges are positioning themselves to become the launch pad for a new wave of graduates pursuing "green" careers in fields as diverse as efficient transport, smart buildings, energy storage and climate-change habitat restoration projects. A new report from Jobs for the Future and the National Wildlife Federation offers recommendations for how those programs can be scaled to reach 20 million students with "sustainability knowledge" and skills by 2025.

Pearson Playbook Lays out CBE Workstreams

Pearson Education has published a freely available online "playbook" that provides an overview of the "many moving parts and dependencies" that make up CBE program development.

Online Report Cards Grade Teacher Prep Programs

In the state of Texas the University of Houston got an A for its elementary and secondary education programs, while Texas A&M received a C+ for secondary education, and Wayland Baptist University earned Fs across the board. These grades, along with 2,300 others, were issued on a new online resource that ranks the teacher education programs run by American colleges and universities. The site was developed by the National Council on Teacher Quality, a research and policy organization focused on improving the teaching profession.

ED Runs 'Second Chance' Pell Pilot for Prisoners

The United States Department of Education is pushing a new pilot off the ground to test the effectiveness of allowing colleges and universities to receive Pell grants for educating students incarcerated in state or federal prisons — some of it possibly delivered online.

Association of American Colleges and Universities Selects New President

The Board of Directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has selected Lynn Pasquerella as the organization's newest president. AAC&U's 4th president, Pasquerella will take office July 1.

ED's Top Tech Director Steps Down

Where do you go after you leave a high-profile position in the Obama administration? Back home. That's where United States Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan headed at the end of the year when he returned to Chicago. And now, so is Richard Culatta, who is stepping down as director of the Office of Educational Technology within the same federal agency.

California Funds Pilot Allowing CCs To Issue Bachelor's Degrees

A move in California to allow community colleges to issue bachelor's degrees in fields not currently served by the California State University or University of California systems has received a new boost.

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