July 23, 2013
The News Journal
Grants, loans, scholarships paying more of college bills
Parents are contributing less to their children’s education, and students are relying more on grants, scholarships and loans to pay college tuition and fees, a new study by Sallie Mae found. The nation’s largest student lender conducts an annual survey – called “How America Pays for College” – and each year since 2008-09 parents have spent less in savings and income to cover the cost of college. In the 2012-13 school year, students on average got about 27 percent, or $5,727, of their higher education expenses paid from parents’ savings or income, down from $6,997, or 36 percent, in 2008-09, according to the results of the survey released Monday. In the same period, students increased their average annual borrowing from $2,721 to $3,916, but the biggest increase came in the amount of grant and scholarship money students receive.
The Dover Post
State’s students show gains in reading comprehension; math proficiency declines
The results of comprehension assessment tests released by the state Department of Education show Delaware’s students have held on to gains in reading proficiency made since 2011, although they slipped slightly in mathematics aptitude from scores received in 2012. The testing information from the 2012-2013 Delaware Comprehensive Student Assessment System, or DCAS, was made public July 18. Access to the data also was provided via the education department’s website. “We’ve seen that the overall results for reading that the proficiency was sustained from the previous year, and that actually, compared to … 2011 … we’ve seen great gains and we were able to sustain those from 2012 to 2013,” said Brian M. Touchette, director of accountability resources for the Department of Education.
PARCC test cost: Higher for nearly half the states
PARCC summative tests in mathematics and English/language arts will cost member states $29.50 per student, more than what half its member states currently pay for their tests, according to figures released today. The new tests being designed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, are priced just below the $29.95 median level of spending on summative tests in those two subjects in the consortium’s 20 member states. The cost estimates for the PARCC tests were posted today on its website.
Burlington Free Press
Vermont raising standards for primary school teachers
Vermont education officials are embarking on a process to rewrite and raise standards for elementary school teachers. A significant part of the focus in the new standards would be on making sure educators are prepared to teach children strong math and science skills. The new teacher standards also would call for an emphasis on integrating various subjects.
The New York Times
U.S. Online course provider tries to enter China market
Coursera, one of the major U.S. education companies providing massive open online courses, known as MOOCs, seems to have run into some red tape in China. Representatives of Fudan University and Shanghai Jiaotong University confirmed by telephone that they had signed an agreement this month to hold classes in Mandarin Chinese and English for Coursera. The announcement was also made July 9 on a Shanghai government Web site.
The Washington Post
Poll: Parents don’t support many education policy changes
Most parents with children in public schools do not support recent changes in education policy, from closing low-performing schools to shifting public dollars to charter schools to private school vouchers, according to a new poll to be released Monday by the American Federation of Teachers. The poll, conducted by Democratic polling firm Hart Research Associates, surveyed 1,000 parents this month and found that most would rather see their neighborhood schools strengthened and given more resources than have options to enroll their children elsewhere.
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