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Higher Education

May 13, 2013 | By Patt Morrison
There are three things Rick Perry would like to do to the great public universities of Texas, but he can only remember two of them. That's a joke. You may remember that during a 2012 presidential debate, he started to list three departments of government he'd eliminate, and wound up forgetting one of them. But he remembered that he wanted to shut down the federal Education Department, and there are folks in Texas who suspect that some of his ideas for higher education in the Lone Star State may wind up accomplishing much the same thing to higher education there.
April 24, 2013 | By Larry Gordon
Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to link some extra state funding to how quickly state universities move students to graduation and to other performance measures faced criticism Wednesday at a legislative hearing. Several legislators and university officials said they feared that the plan unfairly forced campuses to chase unrealistic and arbitrary goals when the real problem remained the deep budget cuts schools suffered during the recession. Some said they feared Brown's ideas could backfire by encouraging campuses to water down graduation requirements and directing students to easier majors as a way to meet Brown's targets, which also include boosting the number of transfer students from community colleges.
April 22, 2013 | By Chris Megerian and Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown wants to tie some state funding for California's public universities to a host of new requirements, including 10% increases in the number of transfer students from community colleges and the percentage of freshmen graduating within four years. Brown, who has repeatedly said the universities should be leaner and serve more students, is asking for equivalent increases in several other areas as well, according to a copy of his plan obtained by The Times.
April 20, 2013 | By Dalina Castellanos, Los Angeles Times
Maria Martinez's kitten heels clicked as she trailed behind a recent campus tour at UC Irvine. Except for those short stiletto heels, Martinez might not have stood out from thousands of other prospective parents touring campuses in California this spring. But unlike most of them, Martinez had never seen the vastness of a large college campus before, and now she struggled to keep up in shoes that are ill-suited for walking. Martinez, a garment worker, might have been even more unprepared if it weren't for a 3-year-old program called Parent College, an unusual education effort run by the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools aimed at low-income and immigrant parents who don't know enough about college to help their teenage children get admitted.
March 26, 2013 | By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times
Enrollment in California's community colleges has plunged to a 20-year low as budget-strapped campuses have had to slash classes and instructors, according to a report released Monday. Course offerings are at a 15-year low, dropping 21% from 2007-08 to 2011-12, with music and dance, education and business programs particularly hard hit. The report, published by the Public Policy Institute of California, charts a system staggering under the weight of unprecedented funding cuts: $1.5 billion from 2007-08 to 2011-12, considerably larger than those during past economic downturns.
March 5, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
The state Senate is taking a rare field trip, heading to Long Beach on Tuesday to learn how career technical education programs are working in some model schools. Most of the 40 senators are expected at the bipartisan California State Senate Policy Conference on Education, which includes tours of career academy classrooms to review how academics and technical training are being merged. "We know that one of the best ways to improve outcomes for our students and to close achievement gaps is to align rigorous academics to the world of work and careers," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento)
February 19, 2013 | By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times
The chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District announced Tuesday that he will resign his post, leaving behind a system grappling with poor graduation and transfer rates and daunting budget cuts. Daniel LaVista made his announcement in a districtwide email in which he extolled the progress made in strengthening accountability and bringing better coordination to the nine-campus district but acknowledged the challenges that lie ahead. "Even with a healthier FY14 budget proposed for the state's community colleges, there are no quick fixes," LaVista said, for increasing student success, addressing accreditation problems and completing the multibillion-dollar building program.
February 5, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg
Not long after President Obama proclaimed in his second inaugural that "an economic recovery has begun," we learned that the U.S. economy actually shrank in the last quarter. Many economists believe this is a temporary setback. This recovery may be the weakest in American history, but the economy isn't cratering either. Still, you can bet that if the economy continues to contract, Obama will propose the same remedy he always has: more "investments" in education, infrastructure and various industries of the future.
January 25, 2013 | By Lisa L. Martin and Barbara F. Walter
The United States is leading a revolution in higher education. With the advent of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, U.S. universities will be increasingly exporting hundreds of college-level classes every year to the rest of the world. The implications of this are huge. At the least, students in every country with Internet service will have access to the best scholars and cutting-edge knowledge in their discipline. Go online (often for free) and top classes in statistics, computer science, economics, physics and the humanities are at your fingertips.
January 18, 2013 | By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - University of California President Mark G. Yudof announced Friday that he is resigning in August for health reasons, ending a five-year stint in which he guided the 10-campus system through one of its worst financial crises and controversies over rising tuition. His announcement comes at a time of change throughout California's higher education system. Gov. Jerry Brown is aggressively pressing the university to cut costs and to reform its traditional methods of teaching and research.
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