Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Uncensored

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Uncensored

Article excerpt

LS RANKING COLLEGES BY GRAD RATES UNFAIR TO MSIs? WHITE HOUSE SAYS "DUNNO" - A new7 White House higher education priority would rank U.S. colleges based on their outcome success - how many of their students actually graduate - not just their 'access', which measures howr many students, especially minorities, are accepted. That ranking would determine their federal support It seems common sense to shift to this assessment measure. After all, what good is it to judge a university or college as tops just because it accepts thousands of students who might struggle for several years, go into massive debt but then don't graduate? This could be especially true for Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) which until now were rewarded lor the diversity of the student body with little attention paid to if and when those individuals graduate. But die new emphasis Is also a concern. If die new measurements of success are high retention and completion rates of students, then colleges tíiat recruit only top students who are highly likely to graduate, will be advantaged. Those that recruit a large number of diverse students who are low-income and first-generation college-goers, and usually experience lower graduation rates, will be disadvantaged. "How can outcome-based evaluations be lair for public highly diverse population colleges?" asked education advocates at a recent panel discussion on higher education's "New Caste System" at the New America Foundation in early September. In perhaps an unusual and stunning example of White House transparency, White House Domestic Policy7 Council Deputy Director James Kvaal said: 'That is one of many good questions for which we do not yet have an answ er."

POLS SPEAKING SPANISH - Increasingly in Washington, you can hear pois "speaking Spanish" especially' if talking about immigration. It used to be that only Democratic Latinos on the immigration subcommittees made points in fluent Spanish, Now they're matched word-for-word by Republican Híspanles: Marco Rubio counters Bob Menendez in die Senate; Rat'd Labrador does Luis Gutiérrez in the House. Will a president who can speak Spanish be an essential requirement in the future? And if so, how fluently? Depends on the personality. President Obama, who experienced a multilingual childhood, has been known to say a few words in Spanish - to the NALEO conference in Los Angeles for instance, where he said "gracias" and sometibng about being happy to be there with "tantos amigos." He spoke die Spanish words confidently, smiling and slurh h his words making it sound fluent. …

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