Wednesday, January 04, 2017

What do Trump’s signals mean for education in 2017?

Most students are still on winter break and not thinking about school. But for just about everyone else in education now is the time to prepare for the New Year. 

And there could be some big changes coming in 2017. President-elect Donald Trump has signaled he'd like to shake things up in education but we don't have many details yet.

Lizzie O’Leary spoke with Marketplace senior education correspondent Amy Scott for a look at the big education stories she'll be watching in 2017.

On what’s on her radar screen for 2017:

    I think one of the big things we’ll be watching is the Every Students Succeeds Act, which Congress passed actually at the end of last year. And it replaced the federal education law No Child Left Behind that had been in place for more than a decade. So this year there’s going to be a lot of work to implement that law. And one of the things it does is gives states more power to decide how they hold school accountable. States have to come up with at least one non-academic indicator. So, things like access to advanced coursework, attendance, school climate and the idea is is supposed to be a more fair measure of whether schools are doing a good job.

On what we know about the incoming Trump administration’s education priorities:

    Well he [Donald Trump] didn’t give a lot of details on the campaign trail, you know, education barely came up. But we do have some hints... During the campaign Trump proposed a $20 billion program that would give grants to states that would then allow low income students to use the money to attend the school of their family’s choice. Including private and religious schools. So basically a voucher program.

What about higher education?

    Many are expecting some of the Obama administration regulations targeting for-profit colleges to get scaled back. But others that I’ve talked to say we’re not going to go back to the bad old days of this aggressive recruiting and enrolling students who weren’t prepared to succeed because the market has just changed. There are just fewer people enrolling in college and especially at for-profit colleges, and partly because of that crackdown.


Scottish Universities profiting from ‘unfair’ fees for graduation

Graduates at Scotland’s universities are being hit by millions of pounds in “unfair” graduation fees that may be illegal.

Every year, the country’s higher education institutions receive a total of about £2 million in the charges, which are compulsory and demanded in advance of students receiving their degree whether they attend a ceremony or not.

Figures obtained by The Times also reveal that universities are raking in cash from lucrative sidelines associated with graduation ceremonies, such as photography, gown hire and DVD sales.

Typically, about £500,000 in income is brought in annually across the country through these services, prompting student leaders to accuse institutions of exploiting excitement and a sense of achievement among students and their families to boost revenue


Scotland:  Crisis in recruitment exposed as 1,200 teaching posts still unfilled

The scale of Scotland’s teacher recruitment problem has been laid bare by a secret survey showing more than 1,200 posts lying vacant, with dozens of the top jobs unfilled for months on end.

Figures provided by councils to SNP ministers show that just after the start of the school year, more than 100 schools were without a head teacher or deputy. Experts warned that it risked a “hugely detrimental” impact on classroom standards.

In primary schools, there were 91 senior posts vacant and a further shortfall of more than 400 full-time, part-time or temporary classroom teachers. In two council areas alone — Aberdeen and East Dunbartonshire — 21 primary school head teacher or deputy posts had been unfilled for three months or more.


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