How the Common App, the College Advising Corps and an AI chatbot are saving the college dreams of low-income students during the pandemic
Last spring, college adviser Anthony Scales took on some extra duties that put him on the front lines of an effort to rescue the college dreams of tens of thousands of students — an effort best described by a cliche: They’re building it while flying it. At the high-poverty, all-minority Sumner High School in St....
By Richard Whitmire | September 16, 2020
Whitmire: The wave of higher ed shutdowns threatens American’s progress in getting low-income, first-generation students to and through college
Just weeks ago, Brandy Caldwell was finishing up her senior year at Boston’s Brandeis University when she got the notice: The coronavirus was forcing a campus shutdown in two days. For most students, that meant a hasty packing up and a quick car trip home to their parents. But for Caldwell, 22, it wasn’t that...
By Richard Whitmire | April 8, 2020
Inside the quest for better data about how many high school graduates, particularly students from low-income neighborhoods, are going on to achieve college degrees
School districts in high-income neighborhoods assume almost all their graduates will succeed in college. But often, their alumni fall short of expectations. Districts serving students in low-income neighborhoods cite their success in enrolling more students in college. But the number of their students who actually persist to earn degrees can be dismayingly low as well....
By Richard Whitmire | February 10, 2020
Expanding the community college to university pipeline: Why more elite schools like UCLA are embracing transfers and the 15,000 students graduating each year with 3.7 GPAs
This is an excerpt from the new Richard Whitmire book The B.A. Breakthrough: How Ending Diploma Disparities Can Change the Face of America. See more excerpts, profiles, commentaries, videos and additional data behind the book at The74Million.org/Breakthrough. Standing outside a lecture hall on a hot August Tuesday here at the University of California, Los Angeles,...
By Richard Whitmire | April 9, 2019
New numbers show low-income alumni of KIPP schools are graduating college at 3-4 times the national average; alumni of Alliance, Aspire & Green Dot schools also above average
A fresh look at the college success records at KIPP and other major charter networks serving low-income students shows alumni earning bachelor’s degrees at rates up to four times higher than the 11 percent rate expected for that student population. The ability of the high-performing networks to make good on the promise their founders made...
By Richard Whitmire | April 2, 2019
Exclusive: Data show charter school students graduating from college at three to five times national average
About a decade ago, 15 years into the public charter school movement, a few of the nation’s top charter networks quietly upped the ante on their own strategic goals. No longer was it sufficient to keep students “on track” to college. Nor was it enough to enroll 100 percent of your graduates in colleges. What...
By Richard Whitmire | July 27, 2017
Commentary: Money, hustle & good candidates won LA vote for ed reformers, but tougher fights lie ahead
By Richard Whitmire Without a doubt, pro-charter school forces took a beating over the past year. There was a big setback in Georgia, and the Massachusetts vote on allowing charters to expand was nothing short of a money-losing, brutish beatdown. Things only worsened with the election of Donald Trump and his appointment of the wildly...
By Richard Whitmire | June 1, 2017
The Accidental Activist: One mom’s unlikely crusade to bring better schools to Northern California
Often, big social movements start with just one worried parent. That’s the case in Redwood City, just south of San Francisco, where two new charter schools recently opened their doors. In Redwood City, that worried parent was Maritza Leal, a mother of three who, along with her husband, played a major role in bringing a...
By Richard Whitmire | April 12, 2016