Economic recovery skips the classroom
North Penn School District outside of Philadelphia is facing $2.5 million in budget cuts.
March 27th, 2012
02:45 PM ET

Economic recovery skips the classroom

By Tami Luhby @CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Don't tell school districts that the economy is picking up.

Many are still too busy figuring out how they are going to teach their students with diminished resources.

More than eight in 10 districts say they are inadequately funded, and more than half anticipate a decrease in state and local revenues for the coming school year, according to a recent survey from the American Association of School Administrators.

Even in districts where state aid is stabilizing, local funding is shrinking or costs are rising faster than revenues. Many are only now feeling the effects of the housing bust as towns lower property assessments, which affects the property tax revenues that many schools depend on.

Read the full story from CNNMoney
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Filed under: Economy • Issues • Policy
March 27th, 2012
11:26 AM ET

SAT, ACT institute tough new measures to prevent cheating

Sweeping new security measures to prevent cheating on the SAT and ACT college entrance exams were announced Tuesday.

Beginning with exams taken in September, students will have to submit a photo of themselves when they apply for a test. That photo will be printed on the student's test admission ticket and the roster provided to proctors at testing sites. Testing staff will compare the submitted photo to a photo ID and to the student in person at the testing site.

Photo checks will take place when the student arrives at the testing site, during breaks and when tests are handed in.

Student photos will also remain in the testing databases and be checked again by high school counselors and college admission officials once scores are calculated and submitted.

The new rules were announced at news conference in Nassau County, New York, where 20 people were arrested last fall in a SAT/ACT cheating scandal.

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Filed under: After High School • Cheating • Policy
March 27th, 2012
06:20 AM ET

My View: A model for addressing college costs

Courtesy State University of New YorkBy Nancy L. Zimpher, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Nancy L. Zimpher is the Chancellor of the State University of New York, the nation’s largest comprehensive system of higher education.

College costs are exploding. Last fall, U.S.public four-year colleges increased tuition by more than 7%. Combined with severe cuts in state funding, university systems are scrambling to get a hold of skyrocketing costs. Worse, more than half of students earning bachelor’s degrees at public colleges – 56 percent – are graduating with $22,000 of debt, on average.

The sharpest tuition increase – 21 percent – took place last fall atCalifornia’s public colleges and universities, where one in 10 of the country’s four-year public college students are enrolled. Arizona and Washington fell in just behind the Golden State, increasing tuition by 17% and 16%, respectively.

This year, an especially bleak financial outlook in Pennsylvania has spurred talk of privatizing public universities.

This full-blown crisis in higher education is being felt by students in virtually every state inAmerica, except for ours in  New York. Here, we’ve solved our revenue problems and kept tuition in check by implementing a five-year rational tuition policy and earning a commitment from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to be held immune from state budget cuts. Not bad for world-class colleges and universities located in one of the most expensive areas of the country.

Don't get me wrong, State University of New York students will see tuition go up. But unlike other states, where students can get hit with sharp tuition increases without warning, there will be no surprises in New York. We have given our students the benefit of knowing how much tuition will increase year to year, for the duration of their time on campus. And we’ve told them this even before they apply. Importantly, our plan also maintains access for New York's neediest students by dedicating the first 25% of new revenue for those receiving the maximum state aid. And 40% of our students are graduating without carrying any loan debt.

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Filed under: College • Issues • Voices