California's 15 million Latinos have made strides in their educational attainment in recent decades, but deep achievement gaps persist, according to a new report from the Campaign for College Opportunity, an advocacy group. For example, only 12 percent of working-age Latinos in the state hold a bachelor's degree, the report found, compared to 42 percent of non-Hispanic white Californians. Latinos are underrepresented across all three of the state's higher education systems. And the report found that roughly two-thirds of those students attend community colleges, where only 39 percent earn a degree or certificate or transfer within six years.
Another recently released report found that, nationwide, more Latinos are earning credentials in health professions. The study, from Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit advocacy group, found that Latinos who graduated with credentials in health professions in 2013 were highly concentrated in certificate and associate-degree programs for some of the fastest-growing occupations in the nation. But those jobs are typically in support roles, such as personal care aides and home health aides. And those jobs tend to pay less than ones in practitioner roles, such as dentists, physicians and surgeons.
“Health care support jobs pay about a quarter as much as health care practitioners, so this is a very real disparity," Deborah Santiago, Excelencia in Education’s chief operating officer and vice president for policy, who co-authored the report, said in a written statement.
The Service Women's Action Network sent a proposed executive order to the White House Monday, urging President Obama to create protections against gender discrimination at the Air Force Academy, the Naval Academy and the Military Academy at West Point. Unlike other higher education institutions, military service academics are exempt from Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which -- among other protections -- mandates that colleges quickly and competently investigate and adjudicate claims of sexual assault. The proposed executive action would explicitly bar gender and sex discrimination and empower the U.S. Department of Defense to enforce the order in a way similar to how the Department of Education enforces Title IX.
The prevalent argument now is that military academies are different enough from colleges that it doesn't make sense to apply a law meant for civilian institutions. Cadets, like all members of the armed services, are already subject to the uniform code of military justice. As the code is the foundation of military law, academy cadets can face much harsher punishments than typical college students. Colleges can suspend or expel a student they believe committed a sexual assault. Academy cadets can be court-martialed. But victims' advocates say there are few sanctions for academies that mishandle cases of sexual assault.
"Currently, victims of sex discrimination at service academies can complain only to their commanding officers and service academies’ administrations by appealing up the chain of command, and cannot seek relief outside of the military system," SWAN said in a statement. "This process provides no option to challenge discriminatory academy policies or a school’s inadequate procedures to address sexual assault and harassment reports. The lack of protections for cadets and midshipmen contrasts sharply with the array of sex discrimination prohibitions that protect civilian students, including Title IX, which does not apply to the service academies."
Geoff Chatas, who had announced he was leaving the top financial position at Ohio State University, won't be leaving after all, Northeast Ohio Media Group reported. Chatas had announced that he had accepted a position with QIC, an investment company. After he changed his mind and decided to stay at Ohio State, Northeast Ohio Media Group posed questions about what would appear to some to be the potential for conflict of interest -- Chatas is the Ohio State official who negotiated a 50-year agreement with QIC over management of the university's parking facilities. University officials denied that there was any conflict of interest and said that Chatas hadn't been expected to manage the parking deal. He now won't be going to QIC and instead signed a three-year contract to stay at Ohio State, with a base annual salary of $683,153.
A report being released today by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology examines the lost opportunities for science and for U.S. competitiveness vs. other nations due to inadequate federal support for basic research. "The Future Postponed: Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a U.S. Innovation Deficit" explores a range of scientific issues and illustrates how funding has become more difficult to find.
"Basic research is often misunderstood, because it often seems to have no immediate payoff. Yet it was just such federally funded research into the fundamental working of cells, intensified beginning with the 'War on Cancer' in 1971, that led over time to a growing arsenal of sophisticated new anticancer therapies -- 19 new drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the past two years. Do we want similar progress on Alzheimer’s, which already affects five million Americans, more than any single form of cancer? Then we should expand research in neurobiology, brain chemistry and the science of aging," the report says. "The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is a reminder of how vulnerable we are to a wider pandemic of emergent viral diseases, because of a lack of research on their biology; an even greater public health threat looms from the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria right here at home, which, because commercial incentives are lacking, only expanded university-based research into new types of antibiotics can address."