News from EPSA
Miya Warner, Ph.D., the recipient of the 2014 AERA Division L (Education Policy & Politics) Dissertation of the Year Award.
AERA Division L (Education Policy and Politics) Newsletter has announced the 2014 Dissertation Award Winners. Miya Warner,Ph.D., an alumna of the Sociology and Education program at Teacher College is the winner of this year's Dissertation of the Year Award. The award will be presented at the annual AERA conference in Philadelphia on April 4, 2014. Published: 3/6/2014 3:02:00 PM
Black Student Network at Teachers College held its 9th Annual Black Student Network Gala on Friday, February 21, 2014 to celebrate Black Excellence. The gala acknowledged and honored the accomplishments of unsung heroes within the Harlem and Columbia University communities. Joe Rogers, Jr. (in the photo with the award), an alumnus of the Education Leadership Program, with concentration in Leadership, Policy and Politics (currently Education Policy) at Teachers Collage, was one of the recipients of the award this year. Published: 2/28/2014 10:35:00 AM
In TC People section of TC News, Joe Levine introduces M.A. degree student in Education Policy, Amanda Washington, where she talks about her interests, her family, her inspirations, her work, and her road to Teachers College. Published: 2/28/2014 10:27:00 AM
"...political observers say that the common core, because of its intimate connection to the classroom, is likely to fail without strong teacher-'"and union-'"buy-in." Read the full article "Common-Core Tensions Cause Union Heartburn" in the Feb. 18 issue of Education Week. Published: 2/25/2014 2:23:00 PM
In the NYT article "Magnet Schools Find a Renewed Embrance in Cities" Prof. Jeff Henig joins a discussion on how US urban districts, such as Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Newark and Washington, are reconsidering magnet schools as traditional public schools come under increasing pressure from charter schools and vouchers for private schools. Published: 2/25/2014 2:10:00 PM
Mayor Bill de Blasio says when it comes to universal pre-kindergarten, time is of essence. Prof. Michael Rebell joins the discussion on NY1 TV news. Published: 1/31/2014 12:06:00 PM
Amy Stuart Wells, Professor of Sociology and Education, who earned her Ph.D. from TC in 1991, is a leading authority on educational policy, race and education, charter schools, school desegregation, and school choice policy. Published: 1/23/2014 10:24:00 AM
Basil Smikle is a political strategist and adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Published: 1/17/2014 12:27:00 PM
Scott-Clayton Proposes Changes to Pell Grant System
Professor Scott-Clayton and co-author Sandy Baum of the Institute for Higher Education Policy recommend three major Pell Grant reforms to strengthen student success and on-time completion. The Pell Grant was originally designed as a one-size-fits-all voucher intended to serve the needs of recent high school graduates from low-income families. Since the program’s inception in 1972, it has grown to serve a much larger and more diverse population—9.4 million students now receive $35 billion in Pell Grant funds—even as graduation rates for recipients remain stubbornly low. Only about 45 percent of Pell recipients obtain a degree or credential within six years.
Scott-Clayton and Baum propose three major structural reforms to improve outcomes for Pell recipients. First, the authors argue that financial assistance alone will not help high-need students complete college: “Handing students money and expecting them to steer their own courses through the maze of available options is an insufficient strategy for supporting their success.” Instead, they propose that the program’s financial assistance should be supplemented with guidance and support services that have been shown to improve academic outcomes.
Scott-Clayton and Baum suggest that the Pell Grant program provide services tailored to meet the needs of the different populations it serves: younger, dependent students would receive personalized, technology-assisted outreach and coaching services from initial application through the first year of college; adult, independent students—who often are returning to college to obtain specific career-related credentials—would receive third-party pre-enrollment counseling to help them choose appropriate institutions and programs, as well as one-on-one guidance provided by their institution at least once per year while enrolled.
The authors also recommend that the Pell Grant program simplify the application process by automatically calculating eligibility using information retrieved electronically from tax returns and by making eligibility fixed for several years. Furthermore they argue that eligibility should be based on a simple formula based on income and family size so that students and families can easily calculate in advance what college costs will be. Finally, Scott-Clayton and Baum suggest strengthening incentives for student effort and completion, including larger grants for students who take more credits than the current Pell maximum of 24 per year, and small monetary bonuses for on-time completion.
According to the authors, the proposal would require only a minimal increase in funding. For instance, providing each Pell recipient with technology-assisted guidance and counseling worth $500—which research evidence suggests would have meaningful impacts on student outcomes—would cost $1.3 billion, less than 4 percent of current Pell spending. If not additional funds are available, services could be financed by setting the per credit award size to maintain cost neutrality.
Read coverage of the proposals by Inside Higher Ed
Read coverage of the proposals by The Chronicle of Higher Education
A link to the full study is here: Redesigning the Pell Grant Program for the Twenty-First Century
Scott-Clayton spoke with the New York Times about a new higher education ranking system: Lists That Rank Colleges’ Value Are on the Rise