Lou Gerstner, retired chairman and CEO of IBM and founder of the Gerstner Family Foundation, recently published an Op-Ed in USA Today on the issue of reopening schools safely and effectively in the Fall. "Our national consciousness about racial inequity has been lifted to welcomed new heights in the past few months. The issue now is what exactly is going to be done to reduce inequity. Tearing down statues won’t contribute anything. Individuals committing millions of dollars to community action groups will help, as will increased commitment by business leaders to open up career ladders for people of color. However, despite all the good that might come from these welcomed changes, we are about to deliver a blow to the Black and Latino communities that will set back racial equity enormously. That blow is the failure to fully open K-12 schools, in particular those in large urban centers, in September."Read more at usatoday.com
The Diocese of Palm Beach Office of Catholic Schools is the proud recipient of a grant from the Gerstner Family Foundation that supports scholarships for high school students who exhibit high academic achievement, service and leadership. This past school year, 54 students were honored as Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Distinguished Scholars at Cardinal Newman High School, John Carroll High School and Saint John Paul II Academy. The scholarships were awarded through an application process, which required the recipients to write a letter to Mr. Gerstner sharing with him their experiences from the past year. To highlight the resilience and positive attitudes of these students, the Office of Catholic Schools will be starting a special initiative on July 1, 2020 titled, “Have Faith, Our Future is in Good Hands!” For the next three weeks, the Office of Catholic Schools will highlight profiles from various Gerstner Distinguished Scholars from Cardinal Newman High School, John Carroll High School and Saint John Paul II Academy.Read messages from Gerstner Scholars here.
In a moment when preserving and expanding affordability and access are pressing concerns for colleges and universities everywhere, former IBM CEO Louis V. Gerstner '63 has established a scholarship program at Dartmouth that will benefit high-achieving, low-income students with a demonstrated interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. "Too many hard-working, talented teenagers do not make it to the best colleges and universities," he says. The new scholarship program will help Dartmouth attract students who are the first in their families to attend college and offer them the opportunity to receive a distinctive liberal arts education. The Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Scholars program, made possible by a $4.8 million gift, will support four undergraduates in each of the next four incoming classes, building to a full cohort of 16. The first four Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Scholars will be named this spring.Read more at Dartmouth.edu
A small but growing band of elite college prep programs is garnering success by turning themselves into one-stop shopping outlets, offering their students, over the span of many years, the same high-end support as their upper-middle-class peers. The hallmark of all of these programs is a disheartening reality: Students, no matter how capable, who attend low-performing high schools are often held to lower standards that make success in college nearly out of reach.Read more at nytimes.com
A recent Wall Street Journal article explores the lack of diversity in advanced placement and honors programs in schools. Despite increases in school spending over the past half-century, the U.S. Department of Education reports that nearly two-thirds of students score below the proficient level on national reading tests, and large socioeconomic disparities persist. In spite of recent criticism, the Advanced Placement program has experienced rapid expansion since its inception. By last year, nearly 40 subjects were available to some 2.8 million students enrolled in more than 22,000 high schools. The downside of this expansion is that many low-income and minority students who complete the courses don’t score well enough on the exams to receive college credit. Chester Finn, former head of the Fordham Institute, a think tank that specializes in education policy, believes the proper response to underwhelming test scores is better preparation for disadvantaged students who enroll, and he commends the AP program for maintaining high standards. “If we care about upward mobility, these are the kids we should be trying to help,” said Mr. Finn. “Who’s going to be the scientists and inventors and entrepreneurs of tomorrow? Are they just going to come from the already privileged, or are they going to incorporate the equally smart kids who didn’t start off with so many advantages?” Mr. Finn considers much of the criticism leveled at gifted-and-talented programs misplaced; our education system should be able simultaneously to “raise the ceiling” for those who are exceptionally able and “lift the floor” for others who are struggling.Read more at wsj.com