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InformED Report 11/18/16

Sobering reality of prison inmate education

Michael Stratford | Politico | Twitter

SOBERING REALITY OF PRISON INMATE EDUCATION: The average incarcerated adult in the U.S. scores so low in the ability to understand and work with numbers — numeracy skills, in research parlance — that they lag behind the unemployed, according to a report released today by the National Center for Education Statistics. The report looks at the educational background and work history of prison inmates. It finds that greater percentages of incarcerated adults scored at the lowest levels of proficiency in literacy and numeracy skills when compared to the overall U.S. population.

“More than half of incarcerated adults lack the basic numeracy skills necessary for pursuing higher education, securing a job, or participating fully in society,” said Peggy Carr, NCES acting commissioner. The report also finds that while roughly two-thirds of prisoners said they had a paid job in the year before they entered prison, about a quarter reported that their income came from “illegal sources.”

To read more visit Politico

Chart of the day: Education in prison


A new study from the National Center for Education Statistics found more than half of adults in American prisons lack basic math skills, Inside Higher Ed notes, much higher than the general population. The portion lacking basic literacy was also quite a bit higher.

The study defines “basic” using the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies survey. The folks in this graphic scored below level two, which requires test-takers to find the phone number on a website and parse a list of trips to find what a truck driver would be paid for a specific day’s work.

To read more visit MarketPlace

 Education, Recidivism, and Prison Reform: Creating the Prison-to-School Pipeline

Katie McBeth | International Policy Digest | Twitter

If you have yet to see it, 13th by Ava DuVernay is one of the most influential documentaries of this decade. This documentary sheds light on the powerful and never-ending structures of racism that are an ongoing reality in our country.

The title refers to a major caveat in the Constitution’s Thirteenth Amendment, whereby “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” After formal slavery ended, the subjugation of African Americans was re-created through Jim Crow, the convict-lease system, and then mass imprisonment. Politicians in both dominant political parties throughout the twentieth century changed their agendas to accommodate the incarceration and stigmatization of people of color.

With the current bipartisan challenge to mass incarceration, we should be aware that reform efforts may disguise yet another face of mass social and economic inequality; from denied right to vote, to the denied access to financial student aid.

This important discussion prompted by DeVernay’s eye-opening discussion of systemic racism opens with the realization that the United States is home to 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of prisoners in the world are incarcerated in the United States. That is one in every four people in the world that are behind bars is on US soil. It’s astounding, and it’s obviously a problem. Over the past four decades — since politicians began “cracking down on crime” — our prison population has exploded.

To read more visit International Policy Digest

Dallas teachers’ strike could last a month

Michael P. Buffer | The Citizens’ Voice | Twitter

The state Department of Education has made a preliminary determination that the Dallas teachers’ strike can last until Dec. 15, according to an announcement posted on the Dallas School District website.

All district schools will remain closed until further notice as a result of the strike, and specific strike make-up days are still being finalized, the announcement said. If the strike continues until Dec. 15, it’s “very likely make-up days will begin” the week of Dec. 26, and the school year would likely continue until June 15, 2017

Schools are scheduled to be closed to week of Dec. 26-30 and also on Jan. 2. The Dallas Education Association can end the strike prior to Dec. 15, which would reduce the number of make-up days.

To read more visit The Citizens’ Voice

Dallas School Board meeting gets heated

Eileen Godin | Times Leader

More than 150 district residents turned out for what was, at times, a heated Dallas School Board meeting Monday night, the day the district’s teachers went on strike.

Back Mountain resident Carol Fronczek wanted to know if the district’s teachers could make a contribution to their health care premiums — she asked if they could pay just 1 cent toward the premiums.

“No,” Dallas Education Association President Mike Cherinka answered.

“Why do you think you are better than all the other professionals who have been paying a portion of their premiums?” Fronczek countered.

“See me after the meeting,” Cherinka said.

All 179 of the district’s teachers attended the meeting, which was held in the high school’s Performing Arts Center. As they entered en masse, some members of the audience applauded.

To read more visit the Times Leader

Interest in STEM Fuels Growth in Number of International Students in U.S.

Kelly Mae Ross | U.S. News | Twitter

For the first time ever, U.S. colleges, universities, and employers hosted more than a million international students in a single academic year, according to a report released today.

In 2015-2016, there were more than 1 million international students in the U.S. pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees, nondegree studies, such as intensive English programs, and practical training, per the 2016 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, an annual survey from the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This is an increase of 7.1 percent from the previous year.

Over the last decade, the overall number of international students in the U.S. has grown nearly 85 percent.

To read more visit U.S. News

Who’s to Blame for the Gender Gap in STEM? Start With Kindergarten Teachers

Valentina Zarya | Fortune | Twitter

Their influence lasts longer than that first year of school.

The gender gap in STEM starts earlier—much earlier—than you think.

According to new research, the disparity between boys’ and girls’ mathematical abilities actually begins in kindergarten. The study, which was published in AERA Open, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, focused on groups of children starting kindergarten and tracked them several years into their education. The researchers found that while pupils of both genders entered school with similar math abilities, girls started to fall within the first year of their schooling. This is contrary to the commonly-held notion that the gap in STEM skills starts to appear in middle school.

Joseph Robinson Cimpian, associate professor of economics and education policy at New York University, and his colleagues compared two kindergarten cohorts 12 years apart: the classes of 1998-1999 (who were tracked through third grade) and 2010-2011 (who were tracked through second). More than 5,000 students were included in the analysis of the first cohort and more than 7,500 in the second.

To read more visit Fortune

InformED Report is brought to you in cooperation with American ED TV and MindRocket Media Group

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