Monday, September 08, 2014

NRU more education, college edition

This is at once an ode to late bloomers and an eloquent example of how it takes more than a dream and dollars to get folks over the finish line.  In fact, the woman profiled here is still making her way through the course.  It is a beautiful read.  May Ms. Warren continue to shine in Technicolor.  Can't wait to hear about her continued success.

This article tackles a complex issue and hits almost every point on why there are still not more low-income students at elite colleges.  I would add to this careful appraisal two other cans of worms:  1) the kind of education that the students receive in their schools (this is different from the issue of how poverty affects the ways in which poor students/families approach the educational system) - we have still not gotten on board giving poor schools the best teachers or expecting all students to perform in ways that will prepare them for college; and 2) beyond the issue of exposure to elite schools, many poor students who are prepared and have been given scholarships still choose to stay close to home and go to the community college.  This last one is huge and continues to be an enigma.  It is not, in these cases, that they do not know that there are other schools out there.  It is not that they cannot afford them.  It is that these students are choosing not to go.  It happens every day ... and it is heartbreaking.  I wish someone would do some qualitative research on that issue.

I cannot let the passing of John Sperling go without notice here -- I have a complicated relationship to this man, his university and the legacy.  I only met John once, but as a friend says, he was akin to her Medici.  It is thanks to him that my friend's son was able to put himself through college.  But I feel that many of the tactics his university has used to get federal funding is unconscionable.  His life, his legacy, is marred by the corporate tactics, and it is a shame that is true because his rags to riches life story is remarkable.  It gets lost in the capitalist dream/nightmare that his success created.  I know John, through my friend, as a strong, caring and imaginative person.  I hope that his story will always include how he climbed out of poverty -- and provided a way for others to do so as well -- and not just the unbridled capitalism that it has come to embody.  Regardless, I wish John peace and his family solace. 

This NRU got pretty heavy and occasionally dark (after that lovely inspirational but still heavy story at the beginning), so this last one is much lighter, almost fun.  It is a photo retrospective of the first year of college for some students in New York.  Two pictures, one from September '13 and one from April '14 and a tiny blurb. Enjoy

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