Tag Archives: K-12

Seven Weeks In and …

Part of my responsibilities here in the Pullias Center for Higher Education is overseeing the Increasing Access via Mentoring (I AM) Program—one of the center’s two outreach programs. I AM is an action-based intensive mentoring model where USC staff and graduate students guide Los Angeles area college-ready high school seniors through the college and financial aid […]

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Personal Belief Exemptions

Over the last few weeks, social media has been abuzz with discussions related to the issue of Personal Belief Exemptions or PBEs in preschools and kindergartens across Los Angeles. A map of the percentage of PBEs for most preschools and kindergartens in the Los Angeles area can be found here. A PBE is when a […]

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Where Will I Send My High Achieving Latina Daughter to College?

First it’s important to note, this is not a humble brag blog entry, this is a post written out of serious worry about future educational opportunities, and not just for my kid of color. In California, if you are born after September 2, you have to attend “Transitional Kindergarten (TK)” and then begin regular Kindergarten […]

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Good Stuff x 2

During the 2014–2015 school year, I am very much looking forward to piloting wrap-around curriculum for the games we developed in collaboration with the USC Game Innovation Lab. The first up is FutureBound. FutureBound is a game designed to engage middle school students in learning about college. Through game play, students develop an understanding for […]

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Financial Literacy in California: What We Know and Do Not Know

In spring 2014, the College Access Foundation of California and the Pullias Center for Higher Education convened a group of thought leaders in the fields of financial literacy and college access to discuss the current state of financial literacy in California. Through a robust discussion, we identified roadblocks to and potential strategies for improving the […]

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Training Undergraduates for Disciplinary Writing and Research

Imagine, for a moment, you are a world-class athlete training at a top Division 1 university as a track specialist in the 110-meter hurdles. For several years, you have endeavored to acquire several event-specific abilities that are fundamentally important for success in your event. Speed, of course, is a necessity, so the fast-twitch fibers in […]

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Ten Ways to Improve Educational Outcomes for Low-Income Youth

Double the minimum wage Create a full employment economy Give homeless youth a home End hunger Provide universal health care Treat mental illness Reduce incarceration Reduce income inequality Reduce the dropout rate Provide maternity and infant care Is there any that doubt if we did even half of these, educational outcomes would increase? If so, […]

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Commissioners, Campaigns, and Crazy Kittens

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking during the public comment session at the California Student Aid Commission meeting. Every month, Governor-appointed Commissioners meet to tackle some of the challenges mentioned in the most recent string of 21st Century Scholar blog posts. We have been working closely with the Commission over the […]

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Stats, Stories, and Policy Design

In my last post, I mentioned Illinois’ new testing plan, which sets different testing standards based on student demographics including race and class. The policy oozes the flawed logic that has defined the accountability era: Statistics—and experimental and quasi-experimental studies, in particular—represent the gold standard of educational research. Before you either tune me in or […]

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Mid-Program Reflection … SummerTIME 2014

We’re in the middle of our annual SummerTIME Program. The students arrived last Monday and they’re with us until next Wednesday. This is my seventh year being involved in SummerTIME and my first year directing it on my own. I’m lucky to have a handful of dedicated student workers and a full-time assistant—most of which […]

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