February 28, 2020

For Your Consideration

Students transferring from community colleges to four-year colleges is on the rise in North Carolina. In fall 2018, more than 11,000 students transferred from a North Carolina community college to a UNC System school.

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How does the transfer process work? Can students really spend two years at community college, transfer to a university for two years, and earn a bachelor’s degree in four years? This week, EdNC.org took a look at the transfer process in North Carolina, and the short answer to those questions is it’s complicated. Read the series here:

Contextual Healing

North Carolina’s efforts to expand broadband access were featured this week in a new report from Pew Charitable Trusts. The report identifies five promising practices (see graphic below) and highlights how nine states are incorporating those practices.

Screen Shot 2020 02 27 at 5.25.29 PMThe report highlighted North Carolina in the planning and capacity building section, focusing on the “Connecting North Carolina” state broadband plan created by the Broadband Infrastructure Office. One of the recommendations in the plan was to focus on understanding and eliminating the homework gap, or the gap between students with home internet access and those without.

The Other 49

A new study of Florida’s tax-credit voucher system, the largest in the nation, found that after the expansion of the voucher program, students in public schools in areas with greater private school competition had better math and reading test scores, were absent less often, and were suspended less often than before the introduction of the program. The study, published in the National Bureau of Economic Research, finds that the benefits are largest for low-socioeconomic status students.

The researchers used student-level data from 1.2 million students in grades 3-8 from 2002-03 to 2016-17. During that time, the voucher program grew significantly. In 2018, the program served about 4% of the state’s K-12 students.

Opponents argue voucher programs change the characteristics of students in public schools and drain resources from them. However, the authors say they can rule these out as possible mechanisms and that they believe the positive outcomes are a result of increased competition.

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