|8-11-16 Education in the News|
NY Times--Earlier Date for College Financial Aid Filing
As college-bound students prepare for a new school year, they should be aware of a new date that’s important for future financial aid: Oct. 1.
That’s the new, earlier date after which students can file the Fafsa, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The infamous form is used to calculate how much students and their families must contribute to the cost of college, and how much help they will get in the form of grants, scholarships and loans. Students seeking financial aid must file the form, used by most states and colleges as the gateway to financial aid, each year.
In the past, students had to wait until Jan. 1 to file the form. But in an effort to align the financial aid process with the typical college admissions cycle, the federal Education Department moved the initial filing date three months earlier.
The department also changed the rules to allow students to complete the form using older financial information.
ANN CARRNS AUG. 10, 2016
Washington Post--Bipartisan group of state lawmakers calls for big changes to improve U.S. public schools
What will it take for U.S. schools to improve — not incrementally, but dramatically?
That’s the question that a bipartisan group of state lawmakers from around the country set out to answer two years ago, when they embarked on a study of the world’s highest-performing school systems. They compiled their answers in a report released Tuesday at the annual summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“The bad news is most state education systems are falling dangerously behind the world in a number of international comparisons,” says the report. “The good news is, by studying these other high-performing systems, we are discovering what seems to work.”
The group examined 10 nations that fare well on international comparisons, including China, Canada, Singapore, Estonia, Japan, Poland and Korea, and discovered common elements: strong early childhood education, especially for disadvantaged children; more selective teacher preparation programs; better pay and professional working conditions for teachers; and time to help build curriculum linked to high standards.
It also says that high-performing countries tend not to administer standardized tests annually, as the United States does, but instead at key transition points in a student’s career. The assessments emphasize essays over multiple-choice in an effort to gauge students’ complex thinking skills, according to the report.
By Emma Brown August 9
Garden State Coalition of Schools