A Prime education investment
Jeff Bezos is joining the trend of tech and retail moguls investing in education. The Amazon founder announced last week he would spend $2 billion on free preschools in low-income neighborhoods. The new Bezos Day One Fund will set aside some of that money for nonprofit groups that help homeless families.
Bezos hasn’t offered many details about the initiative, including where in the country it will launch. But the schools will be based on the Montessori model, and Bezos told his Twitter followers “the child will be the customer.”
This is the first foray into a major philanthropy effort for Bezos, who has lagged behind other wealthy corporate leaders in charitable giving. Bezos joins Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda; the Walton family of Walmart fame; and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, in the education innovation space. —L.J.
Poll finds little support for affirmative action
If you listen to mainstream media reports about the discrimination case filed by Asian-American students against Harvard University, you get the impression that it’s part of a fringe campaign to destroy diversity in higher education. Stories describe the group bringing the lawsuit, Students for Fair Admissions, as having a radical agenda. Turns out, it’s not that radical. A new poll by WGBH, Boston’s public radio affiliate, found 72 percent of respondents oppose using race as a factor in college admissions, even though 86 percent value a diverse campus. And those results hold across racial and ideological lines. Most Americans want to see an end to affirmative action, at least the way it’s practiced now. The case goes to trial next month.
WORLD Radio’s Mary Reichard, on Monday’s edition of “Legal Docket” on The World and Everything in It, has a good explainer about the positions on each side of what could be a significant case for affirmative action’s future. —L.J.
Getting that diploma faster
Texas high school students who take courses that also earn them college credit ultimately graduate faster than classmates who don’t take dual-credit courses, according to a new study. That’s good news for students anxious to get out of college as quickly as possible. On average, Texas college students take 5.1 years to earn their degrees. Those who took dual-credit courses in high school graduated in 4.3 years, on average. —L.J.
President Donald Trump is inspiring a new generation of student journalists. Is inspiring the right word? Well, whatever the reason, The Washington Post reported increased enrollment at several of the country’s prominent journalism schools. —L.J.