October 2023


Texas judge temporarily blocks release of “unlawful” school accountability ratings, Texas Tribune (also featured in 19 other outlets), 10/27/23 

“This decision leaves local school system leaders, community members, and families without one of their only tools for understanding school performance and advocating for essential programs and resources specifically designed to lift up their most underserved students,” Feinstein said. 

 Tennessee GOP looking to reject millions of dollars in aid, Scripps News (also featured in 48 outlets), 10/27/23 

“I just think it’s such a complicated thing to undertake and not to be taken lightly,” said Gini Pupo-Walker, the executive director at the Education Trust in Tennessee. If the state rejects federal education dollars, the funding would be replaced with state dollars. However, questions remain about whether the state can foot the bill. 

Jack and Jill teens lift Houston literacy with book drive, Defender Network, 10/19/23 

The insidious national movement to ban books, especially those by Black authors featuring Black protagonists and spotlighting Black history, offers even more roadblocks for Black students as research shows. Making matters worse, a new report from the Education Trust reveals that white authors and illustrators are represented in school curricula nearly seven times more than Black authors.  

ACT Scores for Black Kids Drop to New Lows, Word in Black (also featured in 2 other outlets), 10/17/23 

However, that hinges on ensuring Black students actually have access to advanced courses, like AP classes. Research from Education Trust shows 225,000 Black and Latino students don’t have access to advanced classes, even though data shows enrollment in these courses is linked to increased scores on exit exams.  

Why teaching honest history is paramount, The Grio, 10/13/23 

“President Biden has spoken about the “continued battle for the soul of the nation.” Indeed, we find ourselves in that conflict. We must urgently stand up and speak out against these conservative-led efforts to silence underserved communities and undo the hard-fought racial and civil rights progress our nation has achieved. How will you show up?” Blair Wriston 

Schools Still Aren’t Teaching Culturally Responsive Books, Word in Black (also featured in 2 other outlets), 10/09/23 

“What’s most important to understand is that being culturally relevant requires responsibility,” Marshall says. There’s a need, Marshall says, to make the country’s history as simple as possible, but the oversimplification gives young people an incomplete understanding. 

Latino, Black enrollment in advanced math shot up after states made this change. Should it be a model?, NBC News (also featured in 4 other outlets), 10/07/23 

But in North Carolina, one of the first to have an “opt-out” law for advanced coursework, and in some of the fewer than six other states with such laws, “we’ve seen enrollment increases particularly for Black and Latino students,” said Eric Duncan, director of P-12 policy at The Education Trust, which focuses on eliminating racial barriers in education. The group has been tracking gaps in enrollment in advanced courses for several years. 

Barriers blocking Black students from advanced classes, Defender News Service, 10/06/23 

“The lack of representation of Black and Latino students is not about a lack of preparedness or a lack of desire,” says Dr. Allison Socol, the assistant director of P-12 policy at Education Trust. “That this is about systems that are shutting out Black and Latino students from the courses that would further their interests and aspirations and put them on the path to college and have a meaningful career and their choice.”  

How K12 leaders can lobby states to support students beyond ESSER deadline, District Administration, 10/05/23 

Recent historic increases in public education funding in states such as Michigan and Tennessee prove that policymakers can make a considerable impact on districts’ funding allocations. State legislatures should identify funds within existing revenue streams that they can reallocate to better support districts through the fiscal uncertainty ahead. Raising new revenue to increase state funding can also enable leaders to allocate investments equitably across districts in their state. 

Which students get into advanced math? Texas is using test scores to limit bias, AP News (also featured in Dallas Morning News as well as 93 other outlets), 10/03/23 

“Especially in today’s rapidly changing and technology-driven economy, math matters more than ever — for individual students and for the larger Texas workforce to remain competitive,” said Jonathan Feinstein, a state director at The Education Trust, a national nonprofit promoting equity. 

Higher Education

DEI Efforts Imperative for Improving Campus Climate at PWIs, Study Finds, Insight Into Diversity, 10/26/23 

“This report underscores the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in higher education and challenges PWIs to take concrete actions to improve their campus racial climate and foster a sense of belonging to all students,” said Ivory Toldson, NAACP director of education innovation and research and professor at Howard University, in a statement. “I urge all higher education leaders to read this report and take action to make their campuses more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.” 

 Poor Campus Climate at White Institutions, Report Says, Inside Higher Ed, 10/25/23 

“University leadership must act to address poor campus racial culture, as research consistently shows that students of color’s experiences on college campuses significantly affect their sense of belonging, perseverance and graduation rates,” Jessie Hernandez-Reyes, an author of the report and senior policy analyst at EdTrust, said in a press release. 

 SCOTUS affirmative action ruling was ‘blow’ to Black students, but it put ‘spotlight’ on HBCUs: Advocates, ABC News (also featured in 30 other outlets), 10/24/23 

Higher education research analyst Gabriel Montague agreed, saying in a statement that ending affirmative action as it has historically been used could prompt Black students to instead seek schools where they will be “comfortable in their diversity” while still “weighing options of affordability and career goals.” Montague is the author of “Segregation Forever,” an analysis from the advocacy group Education Trust of the underrepresentation of Black students at elite schools 

 EdTrust Report Says Anti-DEI Policies On College Campuses Are Making Students Of Color Feel Unwelcome, Black Enterprise (also featured in 2 other outlets), 10/21/23 

“Despite numerous pledges to address campus diversity from university leadership, many students of color continue to report feelings of isolation, have limited support, and don’t trust campus leadership to appropriately resolve or address racial incidents,” Hernandez-Reyes said in a statement. “University leadership must act to address poor campus racial culture, as research consistently shows that students of color’s experiences on college campuses significantly affect their sense of belonging, perseverance, and graduation rates.” 

Report: More DEI Efforts Needed at Predominantly White Institutions, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 10/19/23 

“It’s not enough to just have more students and faculty of color on campus,” said Hernández-Reyes. “There has to be really intentional education and incorporation of that education into the curriculum to foster those conversations on understanding students and people of different racial/ethnic backgrounds.” 

Parents who took on debt for their children’s college education restart payments this month, WBEZ Chicago (also featured in 1 other outlet), 10/19/23 

“PLUS borrowing by Black parents is especially concerning because Black parents are borrowing outsized amounts relative to their incomes and assets and struggling with repayment, especially in retirement,” The Education Trust, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group, wrote in a recent report. 

Ed Trust Reports Highlights The Impact Of Affirmative Action Reversal On Higher Education And Calls For Change, Seattle Medium (also featured in 2 other outlets), 10/09/23 

“The goal is not to increase representation at private institutions with this research and policy recommendations. With private schools specifically, when you think about Ivy League institutions, even more specifically, 8 of those 9 institutions were colonial colleges, meaning they were created before the declaration of independence, and they relied on the wealth generated from owning Black enslaved people and Native American enslaved people; many of these people are the ancestors of students who institutions are not admitting,” says Montague.  

Student Loan Payments Are Resuming. Employers May Finally Do More To Help., Forbes, 10/03/23 

Yet some advocates are concerned the Secure Act’s provisions—while helpful to employees’ ultimate retirement cushion—doesn’t help pay the bills when workers are short on cash. Even if employers are making matching contributions to 401(k)s, many young workers still struggle with budgeting for student loan repayments, and would benefit from direct help from employers—or a broad-based government cancellation, says Victoria Jackson, assistant director of higher education policy at the Education Trust, a research and advocacy group.