How U.S. graduation rates compare with the rest of the world
November 9th, 2011
06:45 PM ET

How U.S. graduation rates compare with the rest of the world

25%

Twenty-five percent of Americans that start high school do not graduate. Entering the workforce without a high school diploma means an unemployment rate three-and-a-half times the rate of those with a college degree. And for those who do find full-time work, they on average earn less than half of what a college graduate makes each year.

30%

Thirty percent of high school graduates do not go on to college right after graduation. In the workforce, a high school graduate earns on average more than someone without a diploma, but still only 60 percent of what a college graduate makes each year.

43%

Forty-three percent of students who start college will not graduate in 6 years. Women graduate at a six-percent-higher rate than men within six years, and outnumber men in higher education by a ratio of 3-to-2.

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Filed under: Policy • Practice
November 9th, 2011
05:41 PM ET

Paterno retiring at end of season amid Penn St. child sex scandal

(CNN) - Longtime Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno will retire at the end of the 2011 season, he said in a statement Wednesday.

Paterno said he was "absolutely devastated by the developments" regarding a child sex abuse scandal involving a former assistant football coach and two university officials.

"I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief," Paterno said.

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Filed under: College • Extracurricular
November 9th, 2011
12:06 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the Schools of Thought Editors are reading today:

Sacramento Bee: Elk Grove parents camp out to get their kindergartners in year-round schools
Some California parents wait in line - and in tents - to sign their kindergarten children up for year-long school.

Miami Herald: Florida teachers get ready to get graded
Students grades on Florida’s high-stakes tests will be part of teacher evaluations, and a calculus teacher says he can’t figure out the formula that’s going to be rated by.

New York Times: Why Science Majors Change Their Minds (It’s Just So Darn Hard)
Studies find that 40% of engineering and science majors either switch majors or never finish their degrees.

Detroit Free Press: U-M graduate student research assistants may unionize
University of Michigan’s Board of Regents recently voted to classify graduate researchers as employees rather than as students. That switch could allow these researchers to form a union.

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Filed under: At Home • Policy • Practice • Today's Reading List
Are soda bans effective?
November 9th, 2011
11:31 AM ET

Are soda bans effective?

Editor's Note:  CNN Student News also covered this story on November 9, 2011.  You can watch this show online.

Banning only soda in school is not effective in reducing consumption of sugary drinks, a new study has found.  In the absence of soda, students turn to other sugar-sweetened beverages such as energy, sports or juices that are available at school.

When schools banned all sugar-sweetened beverages such as energy, sports drinks and sugary fruit juices, students bought fewer of these items.

Yet, about 85% of students, regardless of what kind of policy their schools had, drank sugary beverages weekly, according to the study published this week in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. And 26 to 33% of students reported daily consumption.

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Filed under: At Home • Kids' health • Policy
Obama gives kids a head start
November 9th, 2011
11:26 AM ET

Obama gives kids a head start

YEADON, PA (CNN) – While visiting a Head Start program in a suburb of Philadelphia today, President Obama took yet another step in his ongoing efforts to bypass what he views as a do-nothing Congress. As part of what he is calling the “We Can’t Wait” campaign, Obama announced new benchmarks for evaluating the effectiveness of Head Start programs and a new plan to force all low-performing Head Start programs to re-compete for their federal funding.

“We know that three-and four-year-olds who go to high-quality preschools – including our best Head Start programs – are less likely to repeat a grade; they're less likely to need special education; they're more likely to graduate from high school than the peers who did not get these services,” the president said. “And so this makes early education one of our best investments in America's future.”

Head Start and its subsidiary program Early Head Start are aimed at providing assistance in the areas of education, health, nutrition, parent involvement, and family support to low-income and at-risk communities. Funded almost entirely by the federal government – with just 20 percent comprised of “local match” or “in-kind” contributions from the communities served – Head Start and Early Head Start served more than 1 million children and pregnant women in the 2009 to 2010 program year.

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