February 7, 2020

For Your Consideration

Almost 10% of NC State undergraduate and graduate students experienced homelessness in the past year, according to a study from NC State published this week. Researchers surveyed 1,923 students and also found that 15% of students have experienced food insecurity in the past 30 days. This research comes amid increased attention on basic needs security among college students, championed by Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab and the #RealCollege movement.

In a press release accompanying the study, author Mary Haskett said, “Our rate of homelessness is higher than most other university reports. Our rate is closer to what is reported for community colleges, whose students typically have access to fewer resources.” Haskett co-chairs a steering committee that is studying these issues and working to connect students to resources.

In the Weeds

A new study out of the Fordham Institute uses North Carolina data to look at the impact of grading practices on student learning. The report, which uses data from North Carolina eighth and ninth graders taking Algebra I from 2006-2016, finds students learn more from teachers who have higher grading standards.

fordham graphic

The researcher compares student grades to student performance on the End-of-Course test to define grading standards: teachers who assign good grades to students who perform poorly on the test have low grading standards while those who assign lower grades to those who perform well have high grading standards.

The author also finds that students of teachers with higher grading standards do better in subsequent math classes such as geometry and algebra II.

Teachers with more years of experience were more likely to have higher grading standards and were more likely to teach in suburban schools that serve more advantaged students. The author notes, “This is troubling, as it provides more evidence of the ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’ for disadvantaged students attending high-poverty schools.”

fordham 3

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