Mike: Ester, the SATs are back in the news cycle this week and it something I thought I would not have to think about ever again after high school.
The SAT went back to its old 1600-point system this week (thank youuuu) and along with that announcement came news of an exciting partnership. The College Board and Khan Academy, which is a non-profit with the mission of “providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere,” are teaming up to make test prep free and accessible on the web. Nona Willis-Aronowitz at NBC News reports
In 1984, it cost $10,000 a year to go to Duke University. Today, it’s $60,000 a year. “It’s staggering,” says Duke freshman Max Duncan, “especially considering that for four years.”
But according to Jim Roberts, executive vice provost at Duke, that’s actually a discount. “We’re investing on average about $90,000 in the education of each student,” he says. Roberts is not alone in making the claim. In fact, it’s one most elite research institutions point to when asked about rising tuition.
I listen to the Planet Money podcast every week, and am a big fan of the show. William Luther, an assistant professor of economics at Kenyon College, is too, and has used the show in his classes to teach principles of macroeconomics and has argued that it has increased understanding and engagement among his students.
Nona Willis Aronowitz’s latest for NBC News is an informative look at the lack of diversity in the STEM fields and what can be done about it. An analysis of last year’s College Board data shows that of 30,000 students who took AP Computer Science exam in 2013, only 8% and 3% of test takers were Hispanic and African-American, respectively.
Julie Schumacher, a professor of creative writing at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities wrote in the Chronicle of Higher of Education that she received more than 1,500 letters of recommendation to read and went through just half of them.
Up to 40 kids at Uintah Elementary in Salt Lake City picked up their lunches Tuesday, then watched as the meals were taken and thrown away because of outstanding balances on their accounts — a move that shocked and angered parents.
“It was pretty traumatic and humiliating,” said Erica Lukes, whose 11-year-old daughter had her cafeteria lunch taken from her as she stood in line Tuesday at Uintah Elementary School, 1571 E. 1300 South.
Lukes said as far as she knew, she was all paid up. “I think it’s despicable,” she said. “These are young children that shouldn’t be punished or humiliated for something the parents obviously need to clear up.”
After the children had their perfectly good lunches thrown away, they were given milk and fruit, which a Salt Lake City District spokesman says is standard practice in the district when kids don’t have money to pay for lunch. Parents say they should have been notified much earlier about the outstanding balances, and the school district has since apologized.
Let’s remember this story from last year about the school district in Texas that figured out it would save a bunch of money by offering free lunches to all students.
Inside Higher Ed breaks down a new report from the Association of American Colleges and Universities that comes bearing good news: liberal arts majors may take a bit longer to find well-paid jobs, by the time they’re (we’re!) in our 50′s we make on average more money than people who studied in professional or pre-professional fields.
Admittedly, academics are not the first people on my list of people to feel sorry for, but things are looking bleaker and bleaker for them by the year. The rise of non-tenured faculty members, many of whom are adjuncts, is up to 70% nationwide, which means a whole lot of very educated people working for no benefits, and with no job security and no path to full-time employment.
Even though I didn’t grow up in a tech-savvy household and couldn’t code my way out of a paper bag, I had one big thing going for me: I looked like I was good at programming.
Over at Slate, Philip Guo writes about his experience being Asian and studying computer science. Unlike many of his peers, he was a complete novice when he started at MIT, but since he “looked the part” no one ever discouraged him or second-guessed his decision.
For instance, whenever I attended technical meetings, people would assume that I knew what I was doing (regardless of whether I did or not) and treat me accordingly. If I stared at someone in silence and nodded as they were talking, they would assume that I understood, not that I was clueless. Nobody ever talked down to me, and I always got the benefit of the doubt in technical settings.