Notes in the Margins: Rich kids, Arabic and boring lectures

No Rich Child Left Behind In the United States over the last few decades these differences in educational success between high- and lower-income students have grown substantially. For example, economists at the University of Michigan found that the proportion of students from upper-income families who earn a bachelor’s degree has increased by 18 percentage points over a 20-year period, while the completion rate of poor students has grown by only 4 points. (The New York Times)

Students see increasing value in learning Arabic The number of American students studying Arabic has increased significantly over the years and so has the number of students studying in Arabic-speaking countries. In 2007, the number of Americans studying in Arabic-speaking countries jumped to 3,399 from 562 in 2002, according to a February 2010 report from the Institute of International Education. (USA Today)

Free digital-textbook project drives down cost of college A state-funded project to create low-cost digital textbooks for community-college courses has saved students about $5 million in just a few years, advocates say. The figure represents the cost difference between commercial textbooks, which can cost hundreds of dollars apiece, and free digital books written by Washington faculty members that cover the same subjects. (The Seattle Times)

‘Dear Colleague’ Letter On Retaliation Against Sexual Assault Victim-Advocates Puts Schools On Notice The U.S. Department of Education warns schools not to attempt retaliation against anyone who alleges the institution is committing a civil rights violation. Violations for retaliation, the letter states, include withholding federal money from the institution or referring the case to the U.S. Department of Justice. In recent months, students and faculty at several U.S. colleges have filed federal complaints with the OCR, alleging unlawful handling of sexual assault reports on campus. (The Huffington Post)

Wikipedia founder: Boring university lectures ‘are doomed’ The traditional university lecture should have been condemned decades ago and replaced with an online video recording that can be stopped and started. (BBC)