Joanne Jacobs

Joanne Jacobs

Joanne was born in Chicago and named after her grandfather, Joe Jacobs, who’d been a police reporter for the Omaha Bee-News. At the age of eight, she and her best friend became the creators and co-editors-in-chief of "The Wednesday Report" for four years. After years as a San Jose Mercury News columnist, Joanne started an education blog in 2001 and wrote "Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea and the Charter School That Beat the Odds." She freelances for online sites, newspapers, magazines, foundations and think tanks. In addition to blogging at joannejacobs.com, Joanne writes Community College Spotlight at ccspotlight.org.

Dual credit classes in high school: A leg up or a college cheat?

Schools are cheating their students by offering “dual-credit lite,” charges Kevin Teasley, founder of the Greater Educational Opportunities Foundation in Indianapolis, on Flypaper. Offering dual-credit (aka dual-enrollment) classes on the high school campus gives students no experience of learning on a college campus with college-age students, he writes. Often, “dual” instructors are high school teachers, not college instructors. Students who take… Read more →

What do struggling college students need? Predictability–not flexibility

Young people go to college to search for themselves, explore, experiment, discover a passion . . . Or perhaps to retake algebra, stumble through classes that won’t fulfill a major, go into debt and drop out without a credential. Flexibility leads to failure for most students at unselective two- and four-year colleges, writes Tina Rosenberg in the New York Times.… Read more →

Foreign exchange students say U.S. high schools value sports over academics

Two-thirds of foreign-exchange students say U.S. high schools are “much easier” than schools in their home countries, writes Tom Loveless in the new Brown Center report on education. Nearly two-thirds of foreign exchange students surveyed (64.1%) view American teens as valuing success at sports “much more” than teens in their home countries. Homework and studying dominate foreign exchange students’ free… Read more →

Think school choice isn’t an issue in your community? Think again

The school choice war has gone hot, writes Neal McCluskey on the Cato @ Liberty blog. New America’s Kevin Carey lamented “dismal voucher results” in the New York Times, which followed with an editorial calling choice an academic “failure.” However, “the vast majority of random-assignment studies of private school voucher programs — the “gold-standard” research method that even controls for… Read more →

How high schools hide dropouts-and cheat students out of a real diploma

Orlando’s Olympia High boasts a 90 percent graduation rate — not counting students who go to an alternative school where few graduate. High schools are inflating graduation rates and test scores by steering low achievers to alternative schools, reports ProPublica and USA Today. When they drop out, nobody’s accountable. Heather Vogell and Hannah Fresques focus on Orlando, Florida, where district… Read more →

Our kids can’t write–and they can’t get jobs because of it

Nearly 500 people — all college graduates — applied for a communications job at Marc Tucker’s organization. Candidates were asked to write a one-page summary of a report published last year. “Only one could produce a satisfactory summary,” writes Tucker. The kids can’t write, he concludes. . . . we do not build our curriculum around the assumption that we… Read more →

NY Gov. wants to cover state university tuition for families earning up to $125K

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to offer free tuition at state universities to students from families earning up to $125,00 a year, reports the New York Times. Community colleges also would be tuition free. The “Excelsior Scholarship” would cover any tuition payments not already covered by existing state and federal grants. The estimated cost is $163 million, though that’s… Read more →

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