Students who take the most rigorous courses available—in many cases Advanced Placement courses—are better prepped to successfully complete college-level course work, even when they come from low-performing schools.
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.