My daughter was two years old when I left for college. Back then, I was oblivious to the fact that less than 20 percent of students like me (low-income and first-generation) completed college. Even dimmer was that only two percent of young moms complete a bachelor’s degree by the time they are 30.
The latest CREDO National Charter School Study hit the education reform space accompanied by a flurry of analysis. Maybe it’s unsurprising, but a lot of the blanket critiques and big picture conversation around these findings miss the most salient points.
I’ll always remember where I came from, but I know a degree will help me break the chains of poverty. For me a degree isn't about the money. It’s about having stability—somewhere to live, my own car and my own life. That’s all I want.
Why would a superintendent consider student-based funding? It facilitates the goal of districtwide improvement: Funds follow students, thus creating incentives for schools to attract students, keep full enrollment, and demonstrate excellent student performance.
Are we seeing a third wave in data-driven education? I believe we are. As it momentum, those of us helping to shape it— educators, entrepreneurs, foundations, technologists, and others — should all work to ensure commitment to a process that gives teachers’ voices equal billing.
The serial events that lead so many low-income college students to drop out of college sometimes remind me of a recent DirecTV ad. The commercial is intended to be funny, but it parallels the compounding struggles faced by low-income college students in a painful way.
All along I wanted to make my family proud. But it can be hard when you’re surrounded with all the pressure of succeeding and constantly being told, "You can be who you want to be." After a year, I found myself struggling.