Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New State-by-State College achievement Numbers Show development Towards 2020 target

"Every capable, hard-working, and responsible student should be able to afford to go to college. That's not a Democratic dream or a Republican one. It's the American Dream," Duncan will say.

Today, the Administration released new numbers showing college attainment state-by-state based on census bureau data from 2009 to 2010. All told, the percentage of 25-34 year olds with some kind of postsecondary degree rose half a percentage point from 38.8 percent to 39.3 percent. America used to be No. 1 in the world for the percentage of adults with college degrees but has recently slid to 16th. President Obama has called for America to increase the number of degree-holders to 60 percent by the end of the decade.

"To meet the president's goal for America to become No. 1 in the world for college graduates all of us—the federal government, states, and institutions—must work together. We've made some progress, but the combination of deep state budget cuts and rising tuition prices is pushing an affordable college education out of reach for middle class families," Duncan will say. "As the President has said, the countries that out-educate today will out-compete us tomorrow. The federal government has done a tremendous amount to increase the amount of aid available to students. But we need states and institutions to meet us halfway by doing more to keep college costs down."

While 40 states have cut funding for higher education in the past year and tuition at four-year public universities has risen 15 percent on average in the last two years, Duncan plans to highlight states that are doing a good job of controlling costs and boosting completion.

He will also discuss the Administration's record in keeping college affordable, including boosting Pell Grant funding, streamlining the student aid system, and maintaining interest rates on federal subsidized Stafford loans at 3.4 percent.

Finally, at the NGA meeting, Duncan and his predecessor Margaret Spellings will discuss the status of reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind) and the Administration's ongoing efforts to offer temporary flexibility to states from the law in exchange for a commitment to high standards, teacher effectiveness and accountability.

Monday, July 16, 2012

New Tool Helps Students Manage Loan liability

The Department of Education launched a new tool this week that helps students with financial management basics including information about current loan debt and estimates for student loan debt levels after graduation.
The US Department of Education launched a new tool this week that helps students with financial management basics.
The new tool—the Financial Awareness Counseling Tool—has five interactive tutorials that are tailored for each student after they sign in and access their individual loan history. The five tutorials are:
    1. Understand Your Loans
    2. Manage Your Spending
    3. Plan to Repay
    4. Avoid Default
    5. Make Finances a Priority
The Counseling Tool is part of a larger effort by the Obama Administration to make it easier for students and their families to understand the cost of college. In the coming weeks the Administration will also launch its model financial aid shopping sheet, and encourage colleges to adopt the sheet to ensure prospective students understand the cost of college before their first semester.

Monday, July 9, 2012

National Indian Education Study divulge unstable Progress

Average math scores for fourth-grade American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students attending Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools have improved since 2009 according to a national study released today, though the overall academic progress of these students has stalled since 2005.

The National Indian Education Study (NIES) study, which provides data on the educational achievement and experiences of AI/AN students, also reveals details about these students’ cultural exposure, academic aspirations, school conditions, and curriculum.

“For too many American Indian and Alaska Native students, progress in closing the achievement gap has been too slow,” said Joyce Silverthorne, Director of the Office of Indian Education. “This report provides a key opportunity for increasing our understanding of the challenge and fostering the collaboration necessary to erase the achievement gap.” 

About one-half to two-thirds of AI/AN fourth-and eighth-graders score at or above the Basic level in mathematics and reading, according to the study.

“American Indian and Alaska Native students need a top-flight education in order to fully participate in a 21st century economy, and the wide and persistent gap between our fourth- and eighth-grade Native students and their peers highlights that we need to do more to help these students,” said Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education.