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Links 1 through 10 of 1113 by Michael & Susan Dell Foundation tagged web

Colleges and universities trying to improve retention and graduation rates may be directing academic support services to the wrong students, emerging research suggests.

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The providers of massive open online courses mostly cater to adults who already went to college. Now one provider, edX, is setting its sights on high-school students who are trying to get in.

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At Genesee Community Charter School in Rochester, New York, third-grade teacher Jean Hurst leans in and listens intently as her student, Jacelyn, reads aloud. Hurst is listening for greater fluency in Jacelyn’s oral reading, a skill they have been working on for several weeks.

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We like to think that education is an equalizer — that through it, children may receive the tools to become entrepreneurs when their parents were unemployed, lawyers when their single moms had 10th-grade educations. But Alexander and Entwisle kept coming back to one data point: the 4 percent of disadvantaged children who earned college degrees by age 28.

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On the whole, high poverty schools tend to be no better and no worse than the average school in the affluent suburbs. Their teachers work just as hard, the curriculum and methods they use are much the same. Like most of our schools they are OK. Mediocre. But here’s the difference: For kids growing up in poverty, mediocrity is not enough.

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As American students return to classes in a public education system projected to be majority minority for the first time this fall, new test scores provide alarming evidence that students of color remain far behind their white counterparts. While only 39 percent of all students who took the ACT college admissions test in 2013 scored well enough to be deemed college-ready by the testing company, the number was dramatically lower for minority students, with only 11 percent of African-American and 18 percent of Hispanic students meeting the bar. Forty-nine percent of white students and 57 percent of Asian students made the mark.

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When adults were asked to list their biggest health-related concerns for children, childhood obesity came out on top both locally and nationally, according to a nationwide survey released by the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital last week.

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At most recent measure, nearly half of African-American children (49 percent) had parents lacking secure employment, and 67 percent lived in a single-parent home. And 63 percent of Latino children did not attend preschool, compared with a national average of 54 percent. (Preschool attendance has improved, but it’s still low across the board.) Attendance rates are higher for African-American children, but recent research has questioned the quality of the programs available to them.

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We teach our children not to cheat. The tiny minority of teachers who cheat cross an ethical bright line that harms the entire enterprise of education. But the Atlanta trial should be an opportunity to consider what might be happening in the gray areas as well.

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If you're serious about personalized learning and want to avoid derailing the program before it begins, it all starts by defining success as maximizing each student's learning. It takes work to measure, but if done correctly, measuring student growth in this way not only captures student progress more accurately, it allows for deep insights into the ways that you can most effectively target support.

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