About 650 people from across the country are expected to gather in Washington for the first Building a Grad Nation Summit starting today through Wednesday. Headliners will include Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former Republican Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D-MD) and Robert McDonnell (R-VA), and Mayors Gregory Ballard (R-Indianapolis), Cory Booker (D-Newark) and Mick Cornett (R-Oklahoma City), along with other education and community leaders. New data will be released tomorrow showing that the number of dropout factories (schools graduating 60 percent or less of students on time) continued to decline between 2008 and ...


The most promising approach: Financial incentives tied to academic performance.


Thousands of high school students across the country racked their brains on Saturday striving for the perfect SAT score. Many will take it again with hopes of boosting their score. To up their chances, some will sign up for classes, buy prep books, or go online to practice. Now, there's an app for your mobile phones and or iPad to run through practice questions and get test-taking tips. Watermelon Express has created a new app that students can use on the go for $24.99. Guess it was just a matter of time before test prep moved to the mobile-device ...


Undersecretary of Education Margaret Kanter defended the 2012 education budget request to continue the maximum Pell Grant award of $5,500 in testimony yesterday before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Service and Education. The Pell Grant program, established in 1972, provides grants to low-income students to pursue postsecondary education. Demand for Pell Grants has skyrocketed in the past few years as more workers return to college for retraining; more families are eligible for aid because of drops in income and higher cost of tuition. (See my story last week here.) The 2012 budget request for Pell ...


In searching for colleges, the parent looks to the U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges rankings. The son looks at where he can play ultimate Frisbee. Who's right? Marty O'Connell, executive director of the nonprofit organization Colleges That Change Lives, maintains that unless the parent plans to go to school with the son, it's his choice. And finding a campus where he can do something he loves might not be such crazy criteria. I heard O'Connell speak last night to a roomful of parents, and a few high school juniors, eager for advice about how to survive this ...


Contrary to the hype about the college-application process, the College Board finds most parents and students don't think the process is overly complex.


A study released today from Stanford University on student coaching holds promise for a cost-effective way to keeping students progressing in college. Having a coach check in weekly with a college student to ask how classes are going and offer advice on managing his or her workload appears to significantly increase retention and graduation rates, according to a working paper, "The Effects of Student Coaching: An Evaluation of a Randomized Experiment in Student Advising" by Eric Bettinger, associate professor of education at Stanford, and doctoral student Rachel Baker. Trained coaches working from phone banks would review the students' course schedule ...


A survey released today shows broad agreement among students, teachers, and business executive about the importance of college and career readiness for high school graduates. But opinions about what exactly that means, how high a priority it should be, and what reforms are needed vary.


Most of the buzz about the common-core sate standards has focused on K-12, but there is plenty that higher education can do to support the reform effort, according to educators gathered at the American Council on Education annual meeting in Washington this week. The standards have been adopted so far by 44 states and the District of Columbia and implementation begins for many in 2011-12. The hope is that these standards, which were created with the input of businesses among others, will prepare students with relevant knowledge to compete in the global economy. For this to become a reality, K-12 ...


To help more students be successful in college and be prepared for the work world, experts gathered at the 93rd annual meeting of the American Council on Education, said that colleges need to be innovative and rethink the way they serve an increasingly diverse student body. Here are some ideas floated at a panel to improve college readiness and completion Monday morning in Washington: Leverage technology to keep students on track Colleges can use information and new technology to pinpoint when students are having problems in courses and relay that directly to students to help them get the resources they ...


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