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Dear reader,  

In the pandemic’s aftermath, learning loss, frustration and loneliness have persisted, leaving students in many schools more likely to act out. That’s part of the reason we took a close-up look how so-called restorative justice works, at a time when climbing rates of student misbehavior have led to calls for stronger penalties, or even the return of police who were banned from some school districts in 2020. The story, set in Montgomery County, Maryland, also appeared in The Washington Post, and we’d love to know what you think. 

Also this week, we explain why some Native American tribes are being left out of programs meant to help reduce cost barriers for Indigenous students, who have historically faced significant challenges in attending and staying in college. And recent research reminds readers that even with public confidence in higher education plummeting, there are many who still believe deeply in the value of a college degree.  

Finally, it may also be heartening to learn how two-year community colleges are changing with the times, to be more in tune with local job markets. Please remind others to sign up for our newsletters, and become a member so we can keep bringing you these stories and much more. 

Liz Willen, Editor

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Main Idea

What does restorative justice look like?
Maryland lawmakers prioritized the alternative disciplinary practice four years ago, but the rollout has been complicated 

Reading List

College tuition breaks for Native students spread, but some tribes are left out 
Some states are instituting free or reduced tuition programs for Native American students, but those from tribes not recognized by the federal government don’t qualify 

PROOF POINTS: American confidence in higher education hits a new low, yet most still see value in a college degree 
Gallup surveys point in opposite directions 

Five community colleges tweak their offerings to match the local job market 
Lorain County Community College, singled out by Harvard study, spoke with 80 employers 

Pay at child care centers went up, then their Yelp reviews went down 
Minimum wage hikes are connected to less turnover, better trained teachers—but more parent complaints about price 

OPINION: The Supreme Court just revealed what we already know — Meritocracy is a myth 
Sadly, there has never been a meritocracy, in college admissions or in our great country as a whole 

OPINION: It’s time to put the brakes on student debt and give more students a shot at higher education 
Federal relief programs could be a financial lifeline for millions of families and prevent ‘debt without degree’ 

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