If for-profits colleges are forced out of business, taxpayers will have to spend billions of dollars to create more seats at community colleges and state universities, analysts warn. And the colleges these students would be eligible to attend have very low graduation rates.
Graduation rates are high at Arizona’s innovative Rio Salado College, which is known for online courses.
Graduation rates vary by type of college, because different colleges recruit different types of students. Pew Research looks at how students are doing six years after enrolling in college.
The for-profit colleges enroll older, less-capable students who are much less likely to complete an academic degree, but much more likely to complete a two-year-or-less vocational credential. Community colleges, which also enroll many high-risk students, offer low-success academic programs and higher-success job training.
College students admitted without submitting SAT or ACT scores do just as well as “submitters,” concludes a new study. Applicants with good high school grades will earn good college grades and complete a degree, said William Hiss, the study’s main author. He is the former dean of admissions at Bates College in Maine, one of the first colleges to go test-optional.
Defining Promise looks at students admitted to small, private liberal arts schools with test-optional policies and large public universities that admit most students based on high school grades and class rank. (For the public universities, the study looked at admitted students with below-average test scores.) Also included were a few minority-serving institutions and two art schools.
Submitters had slightly higher high school grades and significantly lower test scores. Their college grades and graduation rates were very similar to nonsubmitters’ success rates.
While many students outperformed their SAT or ACT scores, high school grades strongly predicted college success, the study found.
. . . kids who had low or modest test scores, but good high school grades, did better in college than those with good scores but modest grades.
Hiss says it’s probably not so surprising that a pattern of hard work, discipline and curiosity in high school shows up “as highly predictive, in contrast to what they do in three or four hours on a particular Saturday morning in a testing room.”
I can’t see elite colleges and universities going test optional: They have way too many straight-A applicants.
The SAT will be redesigned to “strongly focus on the core knowledge and skills” needed in college, said David Coleman, the new board president, in a letter to College Board members. Some believe the new SAT will look more like the ACT, which is gaining market share.
Coleman, a co-author of Common Core standards, has promised to “move beyond delivering assessments to delivering opportunity for students so they will be better prepared to succeed in college.” Nobody knows what “delivering opportunity” means, writes Alexander Russo.
Pell Grants help low- and moderate-income students go to college, but graduation rates are low. Should Pell dollars be targeted at college-ready students? That would lower the college-going rate significantly.
A new private scholarship fund will help “dreamers” — undocumented immigrants brought here as children — attend low-cost colleges to pursue work-oriented degrees.
Sixteen states now link higher education funding to student outcomes, such as graduation rates, and more are planning to do so. Tennessee links 95 percent of college funding to performance measures. Illinois links 1 percent.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s education plan has raised graduation rates and created more high-quality schools, argues Paul T. Hill in The Atlantic. “Don’t ditch it,” writes Hill, who directs the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington.
Bill de Blasio, the likely next New York City mayor, has made a lot of promises about public education. No additional charter schools; no free space for many charter schools educating city kids; less reliance on student test performance to judge schools; and a moratorium on the closure of low-performing schools.
If the new mayor follows through, he’ll dismantle Bloomberg’s Children First reforms, writes Hill. That would be bad for students.
When Bloomberg became mayor, less than half the students in New York City’s high schools graduated in four years. Today, nearly two-thirds graduate on time. Every year, more than 18,000 young people graduate high school than would have been expected in 2002. The percentage of graduates who enter college without needing to take remedial courses has doubled since 2001.
Furthermore, “new small high schools started during the Bloomberg administration are more effective than the schools they replaced,” writes Hill.
On campuses where new small schools replaced large underperforming high schools, the overall graduation rate increased from 37.9 percent to 67.7 percent. . . . Students who entered the new small schools with the lowest test scores benefited from them the most.
New York City charter students are learning more than their counterparts in traditional schools, according to the most recent CREDO study. That’s especially true for low-income minority students and special education students.
Across the city, in new schools and old ones, the trends are positive, writes Hill. New York’s next mayor should commit to key parts of the Children First agenda:
Keep pupil-based funding. Continue to increase the share of total funding that goes directly to schools. The students most in need benefit most from pupil based funding.
Preserve gains in the teaching force via recruitment from many sources, rigorous tenure processes, and mutual consent hiring at the school level.
Keep opening new schools especially in neighborhoods where there are few or no high performing schools. Don’t cut off chartering as one route to creating effective new schools.
Preserve gains in the quality of principals via rigorous selection and training and by maintaining principals’ control over their school’s staffing and spending, in-service teacher training, and purchases of assistance.
Perfect, don’t scrap, reporting on student gains by school.
Keep performance based accountability and continue re-staffing and closing/replacing persistently ineffective schools.
Continue the iZone experiment with new uses of money and technology, and help all schools use ideas that are emerging.
Is there a good old days of public schooling to which New York City could return?