Duly noted: Oct 19 – 25, 2009

  • Public colleges tuition rose 6.5% last year, and private college tuition rose 4.4%, although consumer price index had a negative growth.  Private student loans declined by 52% in 2008 to 2009 as lenders, hard-hit by the recession, tightened credit standards.
  • Ted Sizer, the former headmaster of Phillips Academy and dean of the education schools at Brown and Harvard Universities, died at 77.  “One of the giants of American education,” Sizer inspired a national movement to restructure the nation’s schools to be smaller, more nurturing, and more learning-centered.
  • The DC school voucher’s program, which was de-funded by Congress in March, has renewed support in the Senate. The Opportunity Scholarship Program provides 1,700 students from low-income families with annual scholarships to attend private schools.
  • Maryland Higher Education Commission barred the University of Maryland from offering an online doctoral program to state residents, ruling that there would be “unnecessary duplication” of existing programs at historically black colleges, though still permitting the university to offer its program to out-of-state students.  This results in an unusual situation where “a state agency has forbidden a public university from serving its own residents.”
  • A colorado lawsuit that challenges the state’s public school funding as “inadequate” could go forward in district court, according to a 4-3 ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court.  The lawsuit claims that the current school funding structure in Colorado violates the state constitution’s requirement for a “thorough and uniform” system of public schools.
  • Prosecutors in the Illinois state attorney’s office subpoenaed the “grades, grading criteria, class syllabus, expense reports and email messages” of the Medill Innocence Project, a journalism class at Northwestern University that has helped the release of 11 inmates.  Officials say that they need the information about the students’ 3-year investigation into the case of Anthony McKinney, in prison for killing a security guard in 1978.  The university is fighting the subpoenas.

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