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Education Policy and Social Analysis
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Education Policy and Social Analysis

News from EPSA

Travis Bristol, Ph.D. 2014 in Education Policy featured in the Washington Post article

Black Male Teachers: There aren't enough of them by Valerie Strauss, was published in the Washington Post on April 28 in the Answer Sheet section. Published: 4/29/2015 4:54:00 PM

EPSA Announces the Winners of 2015-2016 Education Policy Dissertation Research Fellowships

EPSA department congratulates all the winners. Published: 4/27/2015 3:50:00 PM

Basil Smikle, Ph.D. in P&E, the new executive director of the NYS Democratic Party

On April 9, former New York State Governor David Paterson, the chairman of the NYS Democratic Party, announced that Basil Smikle Jr. would become the new executive director of the party. Published: 4/17/2015 1:24:00 PM

Aaron Pallas Quoted in Articles on the Future of Teacher Evaluations in NY State

Professor Aaron Pallas was quoted in articles in Chalkbeat and NYC Lens about the handling of teachers' evaluations in the just-passed NY State budget. Published: 4/8/2015 4:24:00 PM

Aaron Pallas on Chancellor Tisch's Empty Rhetoric on 'Opting Out'

In an article he wrote for The Hechinger Report, an independent news website based at TC, Professor Aaron Pallas challenged NYS Board of Regents Chancellor Meryl Tisch's assertion that opting out of testing is a "terrible mistake." Published: 4/8/2015 4:15:00 PM

EPSA Alumni Terrenda White and Travis Bristol Featured in Education Week

An Education Week article on "The Teachers of Color Disappearance Crisis" featured responses from 2014 alumni Travis Bristol (PhD, Education Policy) and Terrenda White (PhD, Sociology & Education). Published: 4/2/2015 4:12:00 PM

Luis Huerta on Houston Public Radio: "Vouchers Don't Always Increase Access"

Luis Huerta, Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy, is quoted in a Houston Public Media radio story about school voucher proposals in Texas. Huerta, who has researched vouchers and charter schools, says that vouchers, which would make state allocations for public school portable to private institutions, don't always lead to greater access to private schools."Private organizations, specifically private schools, have the ability to choose whomever they want to enter into those schools," he said.Huerta debunked another claim about vouchers -'" that students perform better in private schools. In fact, he said research indicates that after students transfer to a private school, they often perform about the same as their peers back in public school -'" or even worse. And it's impossible to hold private schools accountable for students' education, even if they receive public dollars.He's planning to testify at a Texas Senate senate hearing Thursday. Published: 3/27/2015 12:26:00 PM

Basil Smikle's "Solving Minority Underrepresentation in STEM Careers." The Hill, March 6, 2015

Basil Smikle, a Ph.D. candidate in the Politics & Education Program and a contributor to The Hill, a US political website, gives an overview of the recent history and also the current representation of women and minorities in STEM careers. Published: 3/6/2015 11:57:00 AM

Judith Scott-Clayton Testifies at Senate HELP Committee Hearing on College Affordability

Professor of Economics and Education Judith Scott-Clayton testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) on Wednesday, June 3. The topic of the full committee hearing is "Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Ensuring College Affordability." Elizabeth Akers, fellow at the Brookings Institution's Brown Center on Education Policy; Michael Mitchell, policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; F. King Alexander, president and chancellor of Louisiana State University; and James Kennedy, associate vice president for university student services and systems at Indiana University also spoke on the panel.

According to Scott-Clayton:

The real college affordability crisis is not that we're spending too much on college and saddling graduates with too much debt. The true crisis is that federal student aid has become more essential for more students than ever before, but the complexity of the system is undermining its effectiveness.... Unfortunately, the burdens of complexity and confusion fall most heavily on the very students who need aid the most—low-income students, minorities, and first-generation college goers, who are the least likely to have a family member, friend, or counselor who can guide them through their options and help them fill out the FAFSA. Too many of these students fall off the path to college early, not because they ever actively decide that it's not worth it, but because they simply assume that they don't have a choice.

Scott-Clayton's recommendations include simplifying the unnecessarily complex Pell eligibility formula and eliminating the FAFSA, and streamlining federal student loans into a single program with income-based repayment.

For more information and to watch a video of the proceedings, visit the Senate HELP committee website.
(6/4/2015)

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