Thursday, September 18, 2014

News Links | September 18, 2014


Church volunteers finish Big Bend landscaping project in two days
A landscaping project at Big Bend Community College was completed in two days thanks to hundreds of volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Moses Lake. The volunteers helped transform the appearance of the college campus before students arrived for fall classes.
iFIBER ONE News, September 17, 2014

Best place in WA to live? According to this survey, Bellevue
Surveys about "best places to live" in the U.S. are released rather frequently, but it's not too common when Bellevue tops a list. In's new "Top 100 Best Places to Live" list, Bellevue ranked No. 14 in the U.S. when it comes to small and mid-size cities and No. 1 in Washington state. Bellevue is "a city graced by the Cascade Mountains and many public parks. Bellevue schools are ranked among the best in the state, while Bellevue College and City University of Seattle provide residents with top higher education choices."
Puget Sound Business Journal, September 16, 2014


Black Students Graduate With More Debt Than Whites, Study Finds
Black college graduates take on significantly more student debt than do their white counterparts, according to a new study by Gallup. The study, conducted with Purdue University and the Lumina Foundation, found that half of black students who graduated from 2000 to 2014 reported graduating with more than $25,000 in debt, compared with 34 percent of white graduates who reported that level of debt. According to the study, the gap has remained roughly the same during the past four decades.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 18, 2014

High Impact, Low Participation
Community colleges now have solid data on which strategies work best to help students get to graduation. While more colleges are using those techniques, far too few students are benefiting from them.
Inside Higher Ed, September 18, 2014

These People Can Make Student Loans Disappear
Since November 2012, Rolling Jubilee has purchased and eradicated about $15 million worth of debt arising from unpaid medical bills. Today, the group announced that it has erased $3.9 million in private student loans, including Courtney Brown's and those of almost 3,000 other students of the for-profit Everest College. Rolling Jubilee is a project of a group of economic activists called Strike Debt, which formed out of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The group timed today's announcement for the third anniversary of that protest. The word "jubilee" refers to a time decreed in the Bible, every 49th year, when all debts were ritually forgiven, and slaves and prisoners freed.
NPR, September 17, 2014

A Passion to Highlight Which Colleges Do Well by Low-Income Students
Mr. [Stephen] Burd has continued to track the issue at the New America Foundation, where he is a senior policy analyst in the education-policy program. On Wednesday the think tank will release the second installment of "Undermining Pell," Mr. Burd’s look at colleges’ shares of low-income students and the prices those students pay.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 17, 2014

What a Consumer Watchdog's Suit Against Corinthian Could Mean for Other Colleges
It’s a pretty safe bet that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau won’t see much of the half-billion-plus dollars it demanded from Corinthian Colleges Inc., in a lawsuit the bureau filed on Tuesday that accused the company of predatory lending and illegal collection tactics. Since June the for-profit college company has been selling off or closingits 100-plus campuses, after a crackdown by the U.S. Department of Education.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 17, 2014

The Power of the Personal
Under fierce pressure to do more with less, colleges today need improvement strategies that are simultaneously reliable, powerful, available, and cheap. Such methods should consistently work well, clearly repay the effort they require, be usable by almost anyone on campus, and require little time and no additional money (since there probably isn’t much lying around). These are strict criteria, but they are achievable. In particular, there is one step colleges can take right now to engage students, without spending a cent or creating a new program: They can encourage more face-to-face human contact. Such human contact, with its power to grab students’ attention and motivate them, may be the key to workable improvement strategies.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 15, 2014


Consumer Agency Sues Corinthian
Federal regulators on Tuesday sued Corinthian Colleges, accusing the embattled for-profit education company of setting up a predatory student loan scheme and then illegally harassing borrowers in an attempt to collect that debt.
Inside Higher Ed, September 17, 2014

'Undermining Pell'
Hundreds of colleges charge low-income students tuition that is half or more of their household’s entire yearly income, according to a report released today by the New America Foundation that seeks to shed light on colleges’ aid practices and to prod Congress to change the structure of Pell Grants. The purpose of Pell Grants, which help about 9 million low-income Americans attend college, is being undermined by many colleges that either are not admitting many Pell recipients or are doing little else to help needy students pay for college costs not covered by Pell, according to New America.
Inside Higher Ed, September 17, 2014

Opinion: Court, legislators in unexplored territory with McCleary
The state Supreme Court last week brought an anticlimactic end to its separation of powers showdown with the Legislature. The justices unanimously found the state in contempt for failing to meet the court’s deadline for establishing a detailed school funding plan. But, prudently, they agreed to give the Legislature one more chance.
The News Tribune, September 17, 2014

Opinion: High court’s threat to punish state Legislature goes too far
Will the state Supreme Court “jump the shark”? That seems an odd question to be asking about a court, let alone the Washington state Supreme Court. Generally, the use of “jump the shark” is reserved for trivial matters such as plot twists in TV shows or movies when they have become so ridiculously over the top that they undermine the quality of the show or film. Yet, the use of the idiom by Jason Mercier, director of the Washington Policy Institute’s Center for Government Reform (a think tank), is appropriate in the context. Mercier’s thoughts are also insightful. The state Supreme Court is out of control.
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, September 15, 2014