Sharpening Our Focus on Student Success in Higher Education

This LatestCounsel was written by Terri Taylor, EducationCounsel Legal and Policy Advisor.
This fall, American colleges and universities are opening their doors to 20.2 million students – an increase of about 4.9 million students since fall 2000, including a larger share of adult, African-American, and Hispanic students.  But with low to middling graduation rates nationwide, too many of these students will not reap the benefits that a college credential can offer. The reasons why a student may not complete his or her degree are legion, but many low-income, first generation, and historically underrepresented minority students cite financial concerns, academic preparedness, and a lack of a sense of belonging on campus as contributing factors.
The good news is that many institutions and organizations are working to improve the college experience for these students.  Several organizations and institutions are working to help them “match” to the competitive college that best meets their needs and interests.   Others are enhancing efforts to support their transition to and through college, notably including the Posse Foundation (founded in 1989 because of one student who said, “I […]


Competency-Based Education Goes to Washington

For most of the past decade, Washington, DC’s public schools—arguably more than Congress—have been at the center of the national education reform movement. Whether it’s mayoral control, teacher evaluation and retention, charter schools, universal pre-K, the Common Core State Standards, next-generation school design, or (sigh) how best to stage a magazine photo shoot, almost every important education policy issue has been playing out in schools just around the corner from the US Department of Education and Capitol Hill.


A New Approach to Problem Solving in Education

How often are teachers charged with fixing the problems that plague our education systems? For years, change in education has occurred through top-down and centralized policymaking. Design thinking, a user-centered approach commonly used in Silicon Valley’s tech firms for the past decade, offers an alternative to these top-down methods. You can read more about design thinking from Ideo (via Harvard Business Review) and Stanford.