The Education Corner

Check back here for education news and for information about the kinds of education reforms, initiatives and programs that might make a difference for your Corps's educational programming. 

Date: April 9, 2014
Title: College Board/National Journal "Next America" Poll


Minority children are projected to comprise a majority of the K-12 population within this decade, and minority workers projected to provide all of the net increase in the workforce through 2030. As a result, many agree that increasing the skills and educational attainment of young, non-white people looms as one of the most pressing challenges to American competitiveness.

In an era of slow economic growth and tight public budgets, there remains considerable disagreement about not only the kind of intervention, but also the timing of intervention most likely to produce success. In other words, with limited dollars to spend, what is the point in the lifecycle of students and young workers where we can invest in them for the greatest return? Click here for the full post

Date: January 9, 2014
Title: Meeting Students Where They Are: Competency-Based Education and College Success


The Corps Network's Tyler Wilson recently spoke at a Center for American Progress event on Competency based education. Read below for a description of the event. 

Boosting postsecondary education success is incredibly important for our ability to grow and maintain a strong middle class in an economy that increasingly relies on technology. A new Center for American Progress report will call for game-changing reforms to postsecondary education financing models to promote the adoption of competency-based education—which tracks student progress by measuring the acquisition of knowledge and skills—and stackable credentials—which allow students to leave and re-enter postsecondary education more easily—with the goal of enabling students to more readily complete programs and presenting clear pathways to the workforce.

Please join the Center for American Progress for this event, which will explore competency-based education as a driver of innovation with higher education. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter will speak about competency-based education as part of President Barack Obama’s plan to make postsecondary education more affordable and a better bargain for the middle class. A panel will discuss emerging approaches to reform that show promise for encouraging program completion, reducing cost, and improving quality. Click here to watch the video. 

Date: April 2, 2013
Title: The GED Test is Undergoing a Major Overhaul. Will the Changes Affect You? 


The General Education Development (GED) test has for decades been the most commonly accepted alternative to a high school diploma. Developed in the 1940s as a way to help World War II veterans complete the requirements needed to move on to college, GEDs have now been awarded to over 18 million people. The test has proven to be an excellent tool for adults who may have dropped out of high school many years earlier; the average age of test takers is 26. The market for the GED and other high school equivalency certificates has grown recently along with increased dropout rates (especially among minority populations), and as the changing job market has forced older Americans to improve their education in order to find employment.

After a major overhaul process, a new GED test with different content and a different format will be administered starting in January 2014. This change could create serious obstacles for many low-skilled and low-income adults throughout the country. The new test will be more difficult, more expensive, and will likely be offered in fewer locations. Read more

Date: March 29, 2013
Title: What is the Common Core Initative?


This week, members of The Corps Network staff attended an AEI (American Enterprise Institute) research conference on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The Common Core is an education initiative to align K-12 curricula across the country. The goal is that every student will receive a meaningful high school diploma that guarantees they have a certain level of ability that would be expected in college or desirable to an employer (see below for more information on what the Common Core State Standards entail).

So far, 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the initiative. With the new Standards, states will be required to administer new assessments to measure student achievement. Though a test has not been created, the first formal assessment is expected to happen as soon as the 2014 – 2015 school year. This compressed timeline leaves many educators questioning whether the Standards will be effectively implemented and how successful CCSS will be. Read more