Summary of “Low College Enrollment Among Rural Teens”

Variations of this mindset, among many other reasons, have given rise to a reality that’s gotten lost in the impassioned debate over who gets to go to college, which often focuses on low-income people of color: The high-school graduates who head off to campus in the lowest proportions in America are the ones from rural places.
Overall, 59 percent of rural high-school grads-white and nonwhite, at every income level-go to college the subsequent fall, a lower proportion than the 62 percent of urban and 67 percent of suburban graduates who do, the clearinghouse says.
Rural students live in places where it once was possible to make a decent living from farming, mining, and timber-harvesting, said Charles Fluharty, the president and CEO of the Rural Policy Research Institute at the University of Iowa.
A third of rural whites, and 40 percent of rural white men, are resigned to believing that their children will grow up with a lower standard of living than they did, a far higher proportion than people who live in cities or suburbs, a survey by the Pew Research Center found.
The Tennessee-based National Rural Education Association notes that, in addition to other problems, rural areas contend with drug and mental-health issues, poverty, and a lack of high-speed access to the internet, for instance.
Nor is there widespread confidence in rural places that going to college is worth it.
Encouraging a rural student to go to college instead of doing the same work as the adults in a community, he said, is like “Suggesting that that child should not do what I have done, should not be where I have been, should not value all that I have raised them to honor, whether that’s going to the mill or turning on the tractor at 6 a.m.”.
Boosting the number of college students from its rural areas, he said, is “Critical for California.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Education is a Limited Determinant of Mobility”

A new working paper authored by the UC Berkeley economist Jesse Rothstein builds on that research, in part by zeroing in on one of those five factors: schools.
Using data from several national surveys, Rothstein sought to scrutinize Chetty’s team’s work-looking to further test their hypothesis that the quality of a child’s education has a significant impact on her ability to advance out of the social class into which she was born.
For Rothstein, there’s no reason to assume that improving schools will be necessary or sufficient for improving someone’s economic prospects.
His work, like Chetty’s, is not causal-meaning Rothstein is not able to identify exactly what explains the underlying variation in his economic model.
Rothstein is quick to say that his new findings do not mean that Americans should do away with investments in school improvement, or even that education is unrelated to improving opportunity.
According to Rothstein, education systems just don’t go very far in explaining the differences between high- and low-opportunity areas.
Marie Connolly, an economist at the University of Quebec in Montreal who collaborates with Corak, told me that after studying geographic mobility across Canada, her team has identified similar patterns as Rothstein did in the United States.
Rothstein does not identify specific schools in his paper when drawing his school-quality conclusions, meaning he’s making indirect inferences.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Can Prep Schools Fight the Class War?”

” Without a shift in ethos toward greater commitments to the common good, toward social justice and activism, he said in the letter, “I am afraid we are, for a majority of our students, just a very, very expensive finishing school.
Even outside the bubble of Manhattan private schools, it’s a fairly blunt critique of privilege.
That the statement came from Trinity, founded in 1709 and one of the most rigorous and prestigious schools in the country, made it all the more powerful.
Board members at other Manhattan schools noted how astonishing the document was, given its potential to turn off donors who might have been completely at peace with the way the school had been doing business.
” Mr. Allman came to Trinity several years ago from prep schools in Texas and Georgia – he ran St. John’s in Houston when Elizabeth Holmes, the fallen Silicon Valley billionaire was a student – environments in which the parent bodies were no less intensely focused on ambition and achievement.
Trinity is on the Upper West Side near several social service agencies and adjacent to a public housing complex, whose playground the school’s children have used over the years.
Radically rethinking a school’s culture involves not only getting parents and children to alter a deeply ingrained mind-set and executing pedagogical changes, huge projects in themselves, but also ensuring that the families admitted are in tune with these values.
This requires an ability to determine what sort of parents seek admission to your school solely so that their children can sit atop a cognitive elite and suggest to them that they might be happier elsewhere.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tech’s push to teach coding isn’t about kids’ success”

A 2016 Gallup report found that 40% of American schools now offer coding classes – up from only 25% a few years ago.
For all the talk of a tech worker shortage, many qualified graduates simply can’t find jobs.
More tellingly, wage levels in the tech industry have remained flat since the late 1990s.
Another, more sophisticated method is importing large numbers of skilled guest workers from other countries through the H1-B visa program.
If tech works tirelessly to tilt markets in its favor, it’s hardly alone.
The solution is to make bad jobs better, by raising the minimum wage and making it easier for workers to form a union, and to create more good jobs by investing for growth.
Coding can be a rewarding, even pleasurable, experience, and it’s useful for performing all sorts of tasks.
More broadly, an understanding of how code works is critical for basic digital literacy – something that is swiftly becoming a requirement for informed citizenship in an increasingly technologized world.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Research: How the Best School Leaders Create Enduring Change”

As a school leader sets off on this journey, how do they know what to do, when to do it, who to listen to, and how to manage critics along the way?
While other leaders managed to create a school that looked good while they were there, but then went backwards, these 62 leaders built a school that continued to improve long after they’d left.
As one Architect said, “No one trusts you at the beginning. They’ve been let down too many times by too many people. That’s why I moved to the local area – to show I was committed to the school, the community and to making it work. I wasn’t going to walk away halfway through, like the other Heads before me.” In our study, it took at least five years to engage a school’s community, change its culture and improve its teaching.
In our study, the most successful leaders suspended 10-15% students in the first three years after they arrived, but expelled less than 3%. As one Architect told us, “If you start kicking kids out as soon as you arrive, then your community wonders if you’re trying to help or get rid of them. Instead of expelling students and passing the problem to someone else, we created multiple pathways inside our school – so we could manage and improve behavior ourselves.”
Building block 4-Challenge the staff: change 30-50%. Now it’s time to start changing how the school works.
As another Architect told us, “The culture in the school suddenly tipped when we had 30% new staff, people who were serious about trying to transform the school and the community it serves.”
School leaders are often under huge pressure to turn the school around quickly, but sustainable transformation takes time.
Eighty percent of the best leaders stayed at the school for more than five years – but not all of them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Economic Case for Letting Teenagers Sleep a Little Later”

It’s not the activities that prevent them from getting enough sleep – it’s the school start times that require them to wake up so early.
More than 90 percent of high schools and more than 80 percent of middle schools start before 8:30 a.m.Some argue that delaying school start times would just cause teenagers to stay up later.
A systematic review published a year ago examined how school start delays affect students’ sleep and other outcomes.
Six studies, two of which were randomized controlled trials, showed that delaying the start of school from 25 to 60 minutes corresponded with increased sleep time of 25 to 77 minutes per week night.
Other costs to delaying start times come after school, when later school end times result in later after-school activities.
Marco Hafner, Martin Stepanek and Wendy Troxel conducted analyses to determine the economic implication of a universal shift of middle and high school start times to 8:30 a.m. at the earliest.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge other potential costs not included in this calculation, including parental difficulty in adapting to later school start times.
Even in a model where the per-student, per-year cost was increased to $500, which would compensate most parents for delays, and where the upfront per school cost was increased to $330,000, the economic benefits to society would still outweigh the costs in the long run.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How U.S. News college rankings promote economic inequality on campus”

Southern Methodist University in Dallas conducted a billion-dollar fundraising drive devoted to many of the areas ranked by U.S. News, including spending more on faculty and recruiting students with higher SAT scores – and jumped in the rankings.
There is no measurement for the economic diversity of the student body, despite political pressure dating back to the Obama administration and a 2016 election that revealed rampant frustration over economic inequality.
Carol Christ, chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley – perennially near the top of the rankings – said the extent to which U.S. News motivates schools to pick wealthier students is “Mind-boggling.”
The president of one school ranked in the top 20 said the college caps classes at 19 students, simply because the rankings reward schools for keeping classes under 20 students.
Many college presidents are skeptical about the tests’ effectiveness, but feel obliged to pay attention to student scores anyway to protect their rankings.
Concerns about college costs discourage more than a third of high-achieving, low-income students from applying to any college, a recent survey by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation found.
U.S. News controls for student characteristics, like how many of them are on Pell Grants, which go to lower-income students, and predicts what a school’s graduation rate should be.
According to college presidents, the editors often tell them what they need to do to move up in the rankings: Spend more on faculty, admit better students, etc.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Louis Sachar, the Children’s-Book Author Who Introduced Me to Style”

I first read Louis Sachar’s Wayside School books in second grade, and I felt as if I’d been psychologically recognized, like a neon fetishist discovering Dan Flavin, or a millennial stoner happening upon “Broad City.” The first in the trilogy, “Sideways Stories from Wayside School,” was published in 1978.
With their clipped, manic chapters, the books, which have sold roughly nine million copies, satisfied an early literary attraction toward absurdity and irregular rhythms; Sachar’s presence as the author was so conspicuous and deliciously idiosyncratic that the trilogy served as my functional introduction to style.
Sachar is kind to his characters, but in a way that involves letting them be extremely rude to one another.
Mrs. Jewls, the main teacher in the Wayside stories, is based on a teacher named Mrs. Jukes, whom Sachar worked under as a part-time teacher’s aide while he was in college at Berkeley.
Sachar started writing about Hillside Elementary, which he renamed Wayside, after finishing college.
Sachar’s most recent book, “Fuzzy Mud,” came out in 2015.
Sachar’s characters are often troublemakers-or, at least, the types of kids who don’t mind being on the outs.
Things are always falling apart in some way in Sachar’s books, and that’s why I loved them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Real Campus Scourge”

Well, most of them did, because college isn’t sold to teenagers as just any place or passage.
In a survey of nearly 28,000 students on 51 campuses by the American College Health Association last year, more than 60 percent said that they had “Felt very lonely” in the previous 12 months.
Victor Schwartz, the medical director of the Jed Foundation, which is one of the nation’s leading advocacy groups for the mental health of teenagers and young adults, said that those findings were consistent with his own observation of college students today.
Their peers in fact do something that mine couldn’t back in the 1980s, when I attended college: use Facebook and Instagram to perform pantomimes of uninterrupted fun and unalloyed fabulousness.
“Students are arriving on college campuses with all of their high school friends on their phones,” Bowen told me, referring to the technological quirks of today.
Mental health experts and college administrators recommend a more thoughtful organization of campus life and more candid conversations about the tricky transition to college.
Nguyen, the U.C.L.A. sophomore, said that in her Vietnamese-American family in Southern California, all the talk was of doing well enough in high school to get to college and not about the challenges college itself might present.
Epstein, the College of Charleston senior, said that his popularity in high school in the suburbs of New York City perhaps distracted him from any awareness that “I was going 700 miles away and being dropped in a place of 10,000 people and wasn’t going to know anybody.” What followed, he added, was “a long battle with anxiety and depression.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The War on Public Schools”

Public schools have always occupied prime space in the excitable American imagination.
Our secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, has repeatedly signaled her support for school choice and privatization, as well as her scorn for public schools, describing them as a “Dead end” and claiming that unionized teachers “Care more about a system, one that was created in the 1800s, than they care about individual students.”
These gains have come even as the student body of American public schools has expanded to include students with ever greater challenges.
U.S. public schools, at their best, have encouraged a unique mixing of diverse people, and produced an exceptionally innovative and industrious citizenry.
In the centuries since, the courts have regularly affirmed the special status of public schools as a cornerstone of the American democratic project.
In its vigorous defenses of students’ civil liberties-to protest the Vietnam War, for example, or not to salute the flag-the Supreme Court has repeatedly held public schools to an especially high standard precisely because they play a unique role in fostering citizens.
Ravitch writes that “One of the greatest glories of the public school was its success in Americanizing immigrants.” At their best, public schools did even more than that, integrating both immigrants and American-born students from a range of backgrounds into one citizenry.
So what happens when we neglect the public purpose of our publicly funded schools? The discussion of vouchers and charter schools, in its focus on individual rights, has failed to take into account American society at large.

The orginal article.