Teacher Diversity Gap May be Difficult to Close

Are we really going to make progress in narrowing the diversity gap among African-Americans and other ethnic minority teachers? No, concludes researchers from the Brown Center on Education Policy and the National Council on Teacher Quality. Researchers concluded that no “significant progress” will be made in achieving the goal of teacher diversity over the next 50 years because graduation rates for teachers of color are lower, and because there is “poor recruitment in minority communities.”

Many High School Graduates Not Ready for College

A surprising number of high school graduates are unprepared to take college courses in math or English, according to a recent report by Education Reform Now, a think tank and advocacy group. Commenting on the report, Alexandra Logue, executive vice chancellor and university provost for the City University of New York, says, “You have to have everyone agreeing on what the standards are.” The State University of New York System is experimenting with a test of college readiness for 10th- and 11th-graders, with the intention of catching those who aren’t on track for college and intervening to make sure they are ready. 

Grant Awarded for Minecraft Coding Software

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research program has awarded San Diego-based Thought STEM (an after-school computer science education program) a $750,000 grant to develop “software to help students learn computer coding principles through Minecraft,” which is an online game that “allows users to create, build, and explore virtual worlds using 3-D building blocks.” Thought STEM’s software would allow “students to create new creatures, tools, and mini-games within Minecraft using a drag-and-drop programming interface and coding language,” says co-founder Lindsey Handley.

More Black Parents Are Home-Schooling

There’s a growing movement among African-American parents to home-school their children. In the last decade, the number of black school-aged children being home-schooled has more than doubled, to about 220,000, according to the National Home Education Research Institute. Black parents cite many reasons for home schooling, including religious beliefs, desire to shelter children from a materialistic society, and a conviction that they are best equipped to teach desired values to their children.