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Education Politics


Clinton: ‘I Wouldn’t Keep Any School Open That Wasn’t Doing A Better Than Average Job.’” No schools in Lake Wobegon will be required to close.

Creationist Sylvia Allen to lead Arizona Senate education panel.” What could go wrong?

Via the Hechinger Report: “As he leaves the U.S. Department of Education, the leader of its Office of Ed Tech appeals for greater equity.”

“Hundreds of thousands of college students who were deceived about the terms of their debit cards by Higher One Holdings will receive a total of $55 million in restitution, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Federal Reserve” announced this week.

“What If Social Media Becomes 16-Plus?” asks danah boyd, scrutinizing a proposed law in the EU that would allow countries to restrict children’s access to the Internet.

Education in the Courts


“The FTC has settled COPPA violation cases with two small app developers with civil penalties totaling $360,000,” according to Gamasutra.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The New Hampshire Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the University of New Hampshire’s 2013 firing of Marco Dorfsman, an associate professor of Spanish, after he admitted to altering a colleague’s student evaluations.”

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Mattel, ToyTalk, and kidSAFE, alleging that Hello Barbie (the new surveillance Barbie) violates COPPA.

Testing, Testing…


“ESSA’s Flexibility on Assessment Elicits Qualms From Testing Experts,” says Education Week.

Statewide participation in the new PARCC exams was 97%, according to California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

MOOCs and UnMOOCs

“Less than 1 percent of the learners in the massive open online course partnership between Arizona State University and edX are eligible to earn credit for their work, according to enrollment numbers from the inaugural courses,” Inside Higher Ed reports. “Dean Dad” Matt Reed weighs in. Meanwhile: “Starbucks Partnership With ASU Benefits Education Giant Pearson.”

“In a Fake Online Class With Students Paid to Cheat, Could Professors Catch the Culprits?” asks The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Coursera has released the list of its most popular courses in 2015. Topping the list: “Learning How to Learn.”

Class Central has released its report on 2015 MOOC enrollment: “The MOOC space essentially doubled this year. More people signed up for MOOCs in 2015 than they did in the first three years of the modern MOOC space’s existence.”

Meanwhile on Campus


NYU continues to be awful. Two stories side-by-side: “N.Y.U. President’s Penthouse Gets a Face-Lift Worth $1.1 Million (or More),” The New York Times reports. “NYU Apologizes For Telling Low-Income Student They Probably Can't Afford Grad School,” Buzzfeed writes.

“This year, students at the University of Cape Town successfully pushed for the removal of a statue of Cecil Rhodes, the imperialist tycoon seen by many as an architect of apartheid. Oxford University, in the country of his birth, might be next,” The New York Times reports. Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has an opinion, and the BBC is on it. According to Inside Higher Ed, Oxford’s Oriel College has started the process of taking down a plague honoring Rhodes.

Students at Oberlin are protesting the food on campus.

Via Buzzfeed: “The Indian government has advised citizens enrolled in two small California colleges to temporarily defer travel to the U.S., after the country's state-owned airline said it has been warned by U.S. officials that the schools are under investigation.”

In Pocatello, Idaho, “Lunch lady fired for giving free lunch to hungry student.”

Via Boing Boing: “In Texas, a 12 year old Sikh boy was arrested for ‘terrorism’ over a solar charger.”

The New York Times profiles Y Roads: “Program Offers Classes and Support for Young Adults Who Didn’t Finish High School

The Pacific Standard reports that “Millions of Students Attend Schools in ‘Potential Impact Zones’ for Oil Train Disasters.”

“Most New York City Elementary Schools Are Violating Disabilities Act,” according to The New York Times.

Go, School Sports Team!


Via Inside Higher Ed: “The National Collegiate Athletic Association ruled Tuesday that the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s men’s basketball staff violated several NCAA rules in recent years, including falsifying admissions forms for an international student who did not meet the financial requirements to obtain a visa.”

From the HR Department


Why James Billington’s Retirement is a Wake-Up Call for Librarians” by Peter Brantley.

The National Labor Relations Board will consider whether grad students at Columbia University are entitled to unionize.

Adjuncts at Brandeis University have voted to unionize.

Via The New York Times: “A New Jersey school district on Tuesday rejected accusations by a Muslim teacher that she was fired because of her religion as ‘brazenly false’ and ‘frivolous.’ In a statement, the Hunterdon County district said Sireen Hashem was not fired from Hunterdon Central Regional High School, but simply did not have her contract renewed, for reasons ‘that were fully and clearly explained to her and her representation.’”

“Wheaton College, a Christian institution in Illinois, and Larycia Hawkins, a tenured faculty member in political science, are apparently at an impasse over her continued employment at the college,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

Upgrades and Downgrades


The HTTP 451 Error Code for Censorship Is Now an Internet Standard.”

“Telecommunications regulators in India have ordered the suspension of Facebook’s controversial program to bring free basic Internet services to mobile phone users in the country,” The New York Times reports.

Michael Feldstein looks at McGraw-Hill’s new “personalized learning authoring product.”

Yet another ed-tech accelerator: this one a partnership between Runway and the Michelson 20MM Foundation.

“National Education Week Wants to Be Edtech’s Art Basel,” Edsurge reports. (And I confess: I had to Google “Art Basel.”)

“Blackboard Continues Revitilization with New Office Space,” says Tech.co. Because nothing says innovation like an open office plan. (Bonus points for the misspelled headline too.)

Funding and Acquisitions


Technology Will Save Us (yes, that’s the real name of a company) has raised $1.8 million from Backed and a “substantial retail investor.” The company makes the BBC micro:bit.

Test prep company Gojimo has raised $1.8 million from Robin and Saul Klein, Deborah Quazzo, the London Co-Investment Fund, Firestar; Index Ventures, and Jamjar Investments. The company has raised $4 million total.

“Bloomsbury Publishing is set to acquire LexisNexis and Jordan family law publishing assets from RELX, subject to approval, for £1.4m.,” The Bookseller reports.

Data, Privacy, and Surveillance


According to Fusion, “Hackers breaking into baby cams are actually trying to help.”

Data and “Research”


According to the latest report from Pew Research Center, home broadband has seen a “modest decline” from 2013 to 2015.

Edsurge has published its look at the record-setting year in US ed-tech investment.

Do In-Class Exams Make Students Study Harder?” The Atlantic asks.

Via Education Week: “Music Instruction Lacks Diversity, Study Finds.”

Also via Education Week: “Toddlers Gain Touch-Screen Skills Early, Study Finds.”

“Student Loan Subsidies Cause Almost All of the Increase in Tuition,” according to the Foundation for Economic Education.

The (Short) Lives of Poor, Urban Teenagers” by Lisa Wade in The Pacific Standard.

Via Politico: "Four in 10 American children live in low-income families, according to a recent report from the University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy.

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Audrey Watters


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