Though African Americans make up more than 7 percent of high school graduates in California, less than 3 percent graduate eligible for admission to the University of California. In fall 2014, only 500 African and African American students were admitted to a UC campus.
PhD student and education researcher BernNadette Best-Green wants to know why.
Paco Martorell, assistant professor of education, is a co-author of a study that found high school students who are identified as in need of remediation are no less likely to enroll in college than students who score just above the remediation cutoff. “Does Failing a Placement Exam Discourage Underprepared Students from Going to College?” appears in the latest issue of Education and Finance Policy. See this story about the study in EdWeek.
President Obama’s proposal to make community colleges free is a valiant effort to address the rising demand for skilled workers throughout the nation and to improve college access for low-income students. As states consider his proposal, they would be wise to look to California. Our research in the state suggests that low tuition can put higher education within reach for many low-income students, but it is no panacea. Read more.
Michal Kurlaender is an associate professor of education and Chancellor’s Fellow at UC Davis. Jacob Jackson is a researcher at the Public Policy Institute of California.
Professor Steven Athanases has been named to the Faculty Engagement Council for Education Partnerships at the University of California Office of the President.The Council is charged with engaging and connecting faculty and graduate students in the areas of educational access and diversity.
They meet twice a year to advise UC’s vice provost for education partnerships on ways to promote and support graduate student research, award seed grants to graduate students, and identify annual research foci as well as serve as a liaison between the Office of the President and campus.
University of California-eligible students with weaker high school grades and test scores typically fared about as well, after four years in college, as higher-ranking students who were admitted, according to a new University of California, Davis, study.
Michal Kurlaender, associate professor in the UC Davis School of Education and Matthew F. Larsen, a postdoctoral teaching fellow in economics at Tulane University, recently released a study on how high school achievement tests can be good predictors of how students will fare in community college. The researchers also point out a “disturbing” achievement gap, with Latino and black students being less likely than their Asian and white peers to take and pass transfer-level college courses. And that the gap occurs even among students who performed well on their high school tests. Read Paul Fain’s article at Inside Higher Ed.
Federal and state leaders need to focus more on policies that improve educational attainment and college and career success and less on test scores
In November, the U.S. Department of Education released new high school graduation rates for each state, using what the department called a “common, rigorous measure.” The picture is bleak for California, which ranks 32 among other states in high school completion. More troubling are the persistent disparities between racial/ethnic groups; white graduation rate is 85 percent, whereas Latino and African American graduation rates are 70 percent and 63 percent respectively.
School of Education Professor Michal Kurlaender explained that colleges (both state and community colleges) are eager to see the new Common Core Standards in place in hopes that they will better align instruction in K-12 with higher education and improve college readiness among incoming freshman. Kurlaender is an expert on student readiness and success in higher education. Read the whole article here.
For Michal Kurlaender, conducting “research that matters” means tackling some of the most vexing and controversial problems in education: school desegregation and integration, access to college, and race.
Michal Kurlaender investigates students’ educational pathways, in particular K-12 and postsecondary alignment, and access to and success in postsecondary schooling. She has expertise on alternative pathways to college and college readiness at both community colleges and four-year colleges and universities. In addition to working with national data, Kurlaender works closely with administrative data from all three of California’s public higher education sectors–the University of California, the California State University and the California Community College systems.
Francisco (Paco) Martorell joined the School as an assistant professor in July 2014. Martorell completed his PhD in economics at UC Berkeley. Prior to joining the School, he was an Economist at the RAND Corporation and was a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School since 2006. He has broad research interests in both higher education and K-12 policy. Current projects cover areas including developmental education in colleges, the effects of grade retention, the returns to for-profit colleges, the impacts of school facility investments, and community college tuition subsidies.