Expert: Achievement Gap a National Crisis

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By Kim Wilcox

(originally published May 9 2017 by DiverseEducation.com)

There is a national crisis in American higher education, and it threatens to exacerbate the most pressing challenges facing our nation. Consider this sobering fact: For every 10 African-American students who enter college, only four will graduate. Just four in 10. That is a shameful record, and we cannot hope to address the underlying causes of social and economic inequality in our country if this trend continues.

College enrollment in the U.S. continues to stand at record highs.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. colleges and universities enrolled 20.5 million students last fall, an increase of 5.2 million students compared to 2000. This upward trend is likewise true across ethnic categories. Between 2000 and 2014 (the latest year for which we have national data on ethnicity), undergraduate enrollment among African-American students increased a phenomenal 57 percent, and enrollment among Latino students more than doubled.

But, as a college degree has become a prerequisite for getting into the middle class and beyond, enrollment is not enough. In the marketplace, job applicants with some or no college will lose out to a college graduate almost every time. Additionally, students who do not complete their degrees often face thousands of dollars in debt without the means to repay it.

USA Today reported last year that students who drop out of college are four times more likely to default on their student loans compared to those who graduated. If six in 10 African-American students aren’t completing their degrees, it doesn’t take much to see the ramifications for individuals, communities and the entire nation.

Read full article here

Dr. Kim Wilcox is the chancellor of UC Riverside.

Brave Enough to Fail is augmenting other efforts to close the education achievement gap by working at the student level to spark and sustain the burning desire to achieve in as many students as possible.

Learn how you can help today Click Here

White Students 57 Hispanic Students 26

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Another year, another big achievement gap in our state.

The Connecticut Mirror reports that for Connecticut – where one of every 10 public school students speaks Spanish as his or her primary language – academic achievement gaps between Hispanic students and their white classmates are among the largest in the nation.

26 percent of Hispanic students and 57 percent of white students were at or above proficiency in 4th-grade reading. That’s a 31-point gap. (Link to source article is below)

While the report is focused on the struggle of English learners, it serves as yet another reminder of the adversities and hurdles facing so many of our children in the schools systems today.

It also underscores the vital need for our students to use every tool available to help them achieve in an environment of scant resources and shrinking budgets.

One very important tool is the motivation and persistence needed to overcome adversity and achieve even in an environment and circumstance that is far from perfect.

And let’s be honest, for many students, helping themselves is all the help they are going to get for the foreseeable future.

Increased student motivation, and engagement are required ingredients for any recipe for success in narrowing the student achievement gaps.

There is one organization whose main goal is helping students to help themselves.

Brave Enough to Fail Inc. is a Connecticut based nonprofit formed in late 2015, that provides motivational programs and scholarships to high schools with a special focus on those schools that are most in-need.

The mission is to raise student achievement by inspiring kids with the courage to achieve their dreams and to help students see their education as a way to get what they want from life.

About the author

Wayne Winsley is founder and Executive Director of Brave Enough to Fail Inc. which provides motivational programs and scholarships to schools. The mission is raising student achievement by inspiring kids to achieve their dreams. www.BraveEnoughToFail.org

Source article for this post is here 

 

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Brave Enough to Fail Receives $15K Donation to Inspire Kids

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Brave Enough to Fail Inc. is a Connecticut based nonprofit formed in late 2015, that provides motivational programs and scholarships to high schools with a special focus on those schools that are most in-need. The mission is to raise student achievement by inspiring kids with the courage to achieve their dreams and to help students see their education as a way to get what they want from life.

Recently an anonymous private donor stepped forward to give fifteen thousand dollars to further that mission.

Peter Lumaj

Peter Lumaj, one of the founding board members of Brave Enough to Fail is very enthusiastic about both the donation and the organization.

“I was extremely pleased to learn about this generous donation. This is literally going to impact several thousand young people in a positive way.  As someone who grew up in a communist country with no opportunity, came to America with nothing and was able to overcome those circumstances,  I know first hand, that poverty and adversity can be overcome through education, determination and hard work. But it takes courage to do that. This organization is planting seeds of success in the minds of students throughout Connecticut. That is why I am so proud to support it.”

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Brave Enough to Fail is founded and run by Wayne Winsley, a teacher, motivational speaker and former radio broadcaster for over twenty years. Winsley says,

“This donation is such a blessing and I am both humbled and honored to accept it on behalf of the students who are going to be inspired as a result of it. I’m living proof that a message can change the direction of a life. At age 14 I was wandering the streets of Cleveland  Ohio with no direction and hadn’t been to school regularly in a year. I heard someone speaking a positive message that said even I was capable of accomplishing great things. That message changed my life and that’s how I know that even in our poorest schools and under the most dire and poverty stricken circumstances, there are children who are capable of accomplishing great things if they have the courage to try. Those children are worth the effort it takes to deliver that message to them.”

You can be a part of inspiring the next generation. Please join us and give today.

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For interviews or more information contact Wayne Winsley wayne@BraveEnoughToFail.org     Twitter @WayneWinsley

Increase Student Engagement & Decrease Student Suspensions

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“WHEN TEACHERS DON’T know what to do with unruly students, they sometimes look to the easiest solution they have at hand,” Jason Berkenfeld LAW ’17 said in an interview with The Politic. “Our schools have a problem with how quickly [teachers] turn to severe punishment.”

What is we can help reduce the number of unruly students needing punishment by increasing the number of students who are more likely to be engaged contributors to the class?

Joe Cirasuolo, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents and former superintendent in both the Clinton and Wallingford school districts, recently told The Politic that Engaged students learn better.

 

“Students who are successfully engaged in learning tend to require less discipline. When [students] engage in learning, they don’t misbehave,” he said. “They start to own their own learning, and they thrive on it.”

We agree, and the impact on the overall learning environment is huge.

One disengaged and unmotivated student can become a disruption that negatively impacts the learning experience of the entire class. Leading of course, to possible suspension of the disengaged student who only becomes further removed from the education process.

On the other hand, if that student is is engaged and truly sees his or her education as key to getting what THEY want, the positive impact on the learning experience of the entire class is no less substantial. That positive impact extends into lower suspension rates and higher student achievement scores.

Motivating students with the courage to see their dreams as valuable and worth while, and their education as a way to make those dreams come true can be a very  valuable tool in effort to decrease the number of student suspensions.

 

About the author

Wayne Winsley is founder and Executive Director of Brave Enough to Fail Inc. which provides motivational programs and scholarships to schools. The mission is raising student achievement by inspiring kids to achieve their dreams. www.BraveEnoughToFail.org

Source article for this post is here 

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