Educational Equity News Roundup: 2/13/18

Welcome to our weekly news roundup, where we share the latest in educational equity and issues impacting our Dreamers. To receive this in your inbox each week, sign up here.

Millions of Americans are living in higher-education deserts, report says

Nearly 40% of American college students attend a school less than 50 miles from home—and this proximity to campus is especially important for students juggling school with jobs or family. Yet, according to this piece from the Washington Post, “researchers at the think tank Urban Institute say 3.1 million Americans live more than 25 miles from an open-access public college and lack a suitable Internet connection needed for online education.” How can we help ensure equitable access to higher education when such disparities are built into our geography? This article has a few ideas.

Poverty Is Largely Invisible Among College Students

In this piece from Talk Poverty, one college professor discusses the prevalence of hunger and homelessness on college campuses. Food insecurity affects as many as 1 in 2 college students—that’s higher than the general population—and just as many students face housing instability. Yet this issue has long been masked by stereotypes about eating ramen and couch surfing. With a financial aid system that often overlooks or deepens the challenges these students face, it’s time to start having a more public conversation so we can take action both on campus and off. 

How to have an equitable class discussion

Classroom discussions are often dominated by the same students, with those who confidently contribute coming from more privileged backgrounds. In this article from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Leah Shafer explores how educators can be intentional about equity in the classroom. By establishing classroom norms that prioritize calling on students from a range of backgrounds, educators can be more intentional about elevating historically marginalized voices. 

The Economy Goes to College: The Hidden Promise of Higher Education in the Post-Industrial Service Economy

This week we’re taking a look back at this 2015 report from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, which analyzes how a long-term shift in how goods and services are produced in the U.S. economy has created millions of high-skill professional jobs and increased the economic value of obtaining a college degree. With college-educated workers now producing more than half of the nation’s annual economic value, this report undermines the fear that the good manufacturing jobs of the past are being replaced with low-paying service jobs.

Economic Diversity and Student Outcomes at America’s Colleges and Universities: Find Your College

This new search tool from The New York Times’ The Upshot allows you to search for and sort colleges and universities by their economic diversity. Data comes from a recent study, based on anonymous tax records, that shows that some colleges are more economically segregated than previously thought—with more students from the top 1% than the bottom 60%—while others show high rates of economic mobility. Overall, access to top colleges has changed little over the past 15 years. 

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