Phoebe considers a new report from the Education Trust on dismal disparities in higher-education graduation rates and the connections it draws between our struggles as students: ultimately, only 7% of low-income students get a BA by age 26, compared with 60% of high-income students." according to the report, "institutional-level data show that some institutional graduation rates are much, much different from others, even when compared with institutions with very little students," suggesting that a significant portion of the responsibility for these varying graduation rates does, indeed, lie with the institutions of higher education themselves. as one solution, the report suggests "improving alignment between K-12 and higher education" as one way to increase graduation rates, emphasizing in as few words the responsibility the university has for the education at local K-12 schools: "while K-12 schools continue to lag in providing enough higher-level course opportunities for their students, higher education institutions are by no means blameless in this." a second solution is increasing "the quality of learning" as a strategy to improve graduation rate. and increasing "the quality of learning" directly calls for better mentoring and better teaching, especially of low-income students and students of color. so we see two of the things around which we're organizing as related methods of improving this same set of problems. As Phoebe argues, calling for Yale to make a greater investment in education in New Haven and a greater investment in diversifying its faculty are not a zero-sum fight but rather two pieces of a greater demand for our university to value our learning, our teachers' teaching, and our mutual stake in equal opportunity and diversity that would foster better education and better public citizenship. Phoebe also culls the vital paragraph from this article: Harvard, for example, could cover the full cost of tuition, room, board, and fees -- nearly $40,000 per year -- for all 6,600 of its undergraduates by spending less than 1.4 percent of its endowment each year. That's less thana tenth of its average annual endowment return, 14.7 percent, over the decade that ended last June 30. Harvard officials will tell you that is impossible because a large portion of the endowment is restricted, but perhaps its six highest-paid money managers could help out: They personally pocketed more than $100-million in 2003 -- a sum that would cover the cost of attendance for 38 percent of undergraduates. Harvard has the largest endowment of an American University. But Yale has the second largest.


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