Advocacy Groups/Think Tanks
Advocacy Groups/Think Tanks
Some Wellesley College students are concerned about a lifelike statue of a man sleepwalking in his underwear, The Boston Globe reported. The statue is part of an exhibit at the college museum, but the outdoor placement of the statue has attracted considerable attention and criticism.
The American Council on Education, the umbrella group of higher education associations in Washington, announced Wednesday that it will add a longtime Education Department official to its lobbying team.
Daniel T. Madzelan, who for several decades was a senior career staffer at the department and served a short stint as acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the beginning of the Obama administration, will become the group’s new associate vice president for government relations. He left the department in March 2012, having served for 33 years under six presidents and nine education secretaries.
Madzelan will take the position at the American Council of Education that was held by Becky Timmons, who retired last week after 40 years at the organization.
In today’s Academic Minute, Benjamin Black of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discusses the connection between volcanism and one of the largest extinctions in Earth’s history. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.
Cultural Anthropology, the flagship journal of the Society for Cultural Anthropology, became the latest scholarly journal to go open access with the publication of its February issue this week. Launched in 1986, the journal is the first published by the American Anthropological Association to go open access, the society noted in a press release.
The University of California at Los Angeles has revised its travel guidelines in the wake of an investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting. The California-based news organization uncovered top officials bending travel rules to fly in business or first class and staying in luxury hotels. The revised rules, announced in an internal email from UCLA’s provost late last month, are designed to ensure employees make “prudent” arrangements. The internal email was first reported on and posted online by the UCLA student newspaper.
Brandeis University is offering buyouts to about 150 staffers amid an estimated $6.5 million deficit, The Boston Globe reports. Last month, the university paid nearly $5 million to its former president in deferred compensation and for unused sabbatical. A spokeswoman for the university told the paper the large payout to the president did not factor into the decision to offer the voluntary buyouts, which do not affect faculty members.
High school students with interest in science and technology fields aren't planning careers in STEM, according to new ACT report.
Of the 2013 high school graduates who took the ACT, 48 percent had either expressed interest in the fields or their answers to the work task questionnaire portion of the test suggested STEM as a good job match. From that 48 percent, 23 percent plan to pursue STEM as a major or a career, even if the field isn’t the best match for them, based on their preferences. The report expresses concern about the 9 percent who show some interest in working in a STEM field, but say they won’t pursue it as a career. Another issue: about half of the 2013 ACT test takers who planned to go into STEM weren’t ready to successfully succeed in first year college math or science, based on their educational backgrounds, according to the report. “Early assessment and intervention” are needed to help students, said Jon Erickson, ACT president of education and career solutions.
A think tank's relatively crude analysis of how colleges might fare under a system that rated them on access, affordability and student success finds few institutions scoring high marks on all three, as it chooses to define them. The report by the American Enterprise Institute's Center on Higher Education Reform -- trying to anticipate how an Obama administration plan to rate colleges might play out -- examines the performance of 1,700 four-year colleges on three metrics: the proportion of their undergraduates who are eligible for Pell Grants for needy students, the six-year graduation rate of their students, and their net price -- all of which it concedes are imperfect, if not seriously flawed, measures.
It then plots the institutions on a scatter chart (see an interactive version here), and notes that just 19 colleges score at what it deems an appropriate level on all three measures: graduation rate above 50 percent, net price under $10,000, and Pell Grant percentage of at least 25 percent.
With its simple formula and and unimpressive results, the report may affirm the worst fears of some critics of the Obama plan. But they are likely to agree with the authors' points about the warnings about some of the pitfalls facing the designers of the new system and at least some elements of the report's conclusion:
The percentage of employed teenagers has declined over the last decade, but what working high school seniors spend their earnings on has not changed much, researchers have found. Most of the money earned goes toward temporary wants or needs, meaning shopping trips, lunch and dinner dates, movies, music and more -- not saving for college. The information was gathered through surveys given to high school seniors by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.
Authors Jerald Bachman, Jeremy Staff, Patrick O'Malley and Peter Freedman-Doan wanted to learn what teenagers did with their earnings and to see if any patterns affect academic achievement. What they discovered is 17 percent took half or more of their income and put it toward their educations. Those who saved for college were less likely to work more than 15 to 20 hours a week because they wanted to focus on school. They weren’t at high risk of smoking cigarettes. The high school students who juggle school and work to help fund their higher education deserve to be recognized, the researchers say.
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Copyright © 2017