CT Ranks 48th Out of 50 States in Racial Equality in Ed
Yesterday, WTNH reported on a new study by WalletHub, which has ranked Connecticut in the bottom three states for racial equality in education. The study looked at six key metrics for white and black students in all states: the share of adults with at least a high school degree; the share of adults with at least a bachelor's degree; standardized test scores; mean SAT scores; average SAT scores; and public high school graduation rate. In particular, Connecticut is listed on the report as having the highest gap in the share of adults with at least a bachelor's degree. It’s an important reminder that there’s still a lot of work to do in pursuit of educational equality and equity in Connecticut.
Register today for Education Reform Now’s June 14th event on how we protect LGBTQ+ students—featuring Connecticut’s own Representative Jeff Currey!
US Dept. of Ed Takes on For-Profit Colleges and Student Loan Debt
Last Wednesday, the New York Times highlighted a move by the US Department of Education to automatically cancel the student loan debts of 560,000 borrowers who had enrolled in Corinthian Colleges. One of the biggest for-profit college chains in the country, Corinthian collapsed in 2015—following allegations of poor programming and making false promises to students about their future earnings. The move will erase $5.8 billion in debt nationwide. In a Tweet on Thursday, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong specifically noted that the action brings $14.5 million in relief for 1,210 student borrowers in Connecticut. The Associated Press also explains that, while tens of thousands of former Corinthian students across the country had already been eligible for debt cancellation through a confusing application process, this new announcement makes the relief automatic. According to NBC News, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has promised to actively ramp up oversight of for-profit institutions like this one so that they cannot get away with abuse of students. Indeed, the Education Department has already launched an investigation into George Burnett, the president of the University of Phoenix, and his former role as head of Westwood College, a for-profit institution that shuttered amidst investigations in 2016. Burnett resigned from the University of Phoenix last week. The heat is clearly on.
As a candidate, Joe Biden had also said he supported forgiving $10,000 in student loans for all borrowers. But since becoming President, it has been unclear whether he believes that action should come through Congress or through Executive Order. We’ll be watching as this story unfolds.
Everybody on the Dance Floor! Prom Returns for Students
And now, for something a little lighter: after two years of being put off by the pandemic, prom season has returned for many students across the country. Over the weekend, the Washington Post published a feel-good story about the end-of-year celebration, and how communities in Washington and Maryland have come together to make the right of passage possible again. In many schools, the tradition has been updated with new COVID precautions, such as testing requirements. It’s also a time of celebration, fun, and increasing inclusiveness. NPR's coverage at the end of last month looked at new prom fashion trends in Mississippi, where “the guys stole the spotlight.” And here in Connecticut, the annual Queer Prom at West Hartford Town Hall has been scheduled for June 18th. We-Ha.com calls the event a safe and affirming prom that's accessible to all—one that is open to any high school student in Connecticut. We find it powerful to see such happy, in-person celebrations before these graduates head off for their futures!