Enrollment at America's community colleges is down by nearly 10 percent compared with before the pandemic, leaving community colleges in a perilous financial position. Without intervention, these institutions may not weather the storm.
The theory that children are unlikely to contract or spread COVID-19 may feel reassuring, but it's based on flawed science. Until more is known, adopting aggressive strategies to limit viral spread in schools is the best way to keep students and teachers safe.
Safely reopening K–12 schools for in-person instruction requires complicated protocols ranging from symptom monitoring to physical distancing, as well as containment of transmission in the community. State policymakers and school leaders could begin planning now to draft, pilot, and evaluate protocols for reopening schools that incorporate rapid testing.
Reopening schools would provide much-needed child care for parents who need to work, help feed 30 million U.S. children, and prevent further inequitable learning losses. But it also means exposing more kids to the virus. How can families and employers prepare for the disruptions that lie ahead?
COVID-19 is threatening to upend the models that both public and private higher education depend on in the United States. As universities consider whether to postpone in-person classes until next year, many parents and students may be questioning the value of a traditional higher education.
Cases of the coronavirus have now spread to several dozens of countries, infecting thousands and thousands of people across the globe. With concerns about the disease rising, we asked a group of RAND researchers to answer a wide range of questions about the crisis.
More than half of students who enter college end up dropping out without ever completing a degree or certificate. Time and money are wasted without the benefits of a degree. While colleges are experimenting with novel techniques to boost completion rates, strategic support from the federal government could further these efforts.
A bill introduced in May would create a searchable database of students' college majors and earnings after graduation. The data could help U.S. students make informed decisions and could also be used to better allocate resources that benefit students.
To make an informed choice about schools, parents need to know about the quality of instruction, services, and the overall school climate. Schools need a better system of measuring and collecting data on performance, and a way to make it accessible to families.
Many of the occupations with the most opportunities require two-year degrees or certificates. Community colleges play a key role in training students for these jobs and offer a supportive environment for displaced and dissatisfied workers.
The lack of an evidence base on teaching quality and its impact in higher education points to a need for more research, made more pressing by the imminent roll-out of the Teaching Excellence Framework, which intends to assess and monitor teaching quality at UK higher education institutions.
Tuition subsidies may encourage institutions to raise tuition, since the government would foot the bill. One possible solution: develop and implement policies that encourage greater productivity from higher education institutions.
Framing the future of college as a debate about whether it should be free is a lost opportunity to discuss what's really wrong with higher education in America—and a missed chance to help young Americans regain lost competitiveness in the workforce.
Although countries differ greatly in how their education systems are structured, financed, and the extent to which they are centralized, they share common obstacles that undermine reform success. Beyond the obvious steps of providing adequate resources and professional development, there are ways to improve the implementation of school-wide reforms.
The challenge facing policymakers is how to lessen the college cost pressure felt by families while incentivizing institutions to innovate to reduce cost and improve quality. What if cost savings from increased productivity were quantified and a portion returned to institutions?
Restorative practices are an alternative to zero-tolerance school discipline policies. Rather than mandating prescribed punishments for specific misbehaviors, this more tailored approach aims to empower students.
President Obama's proposal to cover the costs of two years of community college offers hope to many American students, but two key challenges should be addressed: meeting the needs of underprepared students and devising a system to smooth the transfer of credits from one institution to another.
There are reasons to believe American students from the middle- and lower-income tiers aren't making affordable college choices. Can a new ratings system help them make better, more affordable decisions?