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New NGA chair prioritizes computer science education

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he intends to use the state as an example for computer science education expansion in his new role as National Governors Association chair, according to an announcement made by the organization on Thursday. The association, made up of the governors of 55 states, commonwealths and territories, elected Hutchinson on Thursday. Hutchinson displays computer science education as one of the main points on his administration’s website and used the topic as one of the platforms for his 2014 campaign. Emily Bamforth has the details.

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The pandemic caused more first-time college freshmen to drop out, research shows

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center published new data on Thursday that reveals an unprecedented drop in the persistence rate for first-time college freshmen, adding a new layer of concern for educators who previously saw that statistic hold steady as overall enrollment figures plummeted during the health crisis. The center’s report shows that of the 2.6 million students who entered a higher education institution as first-time freshmen in fall 2019, just 74% returned for a second year. Researchers said that figure represents a one-year drop of two percentage points — a decline they’re attributing to the pandemic. Colin Wood has the story.

$10 million research center to explore online learning

The U.S. Department of Education is investing $10 million in a research center to explore what strategies teachers can use or digital tools to offer to help college students better manage online learning. Organizers of the research center, led by Columbia University’s Community College Research Center and SRI Education, said they’ll eventually create a set of best tools and practices for prepare students to effectively learn online and support a nationwide professional development program. Emily has more.

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