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Presidential Campaign Politics


Via the Washington Post: “Trump pitches $20 billion education plan at Ohio charter school that received poor marks from state.” The plan: vouchers and “choice.”

Also via WaPo: “Trump pays IRS a penalty for his foundation violating rules with gift to aid Florida attorney general.” That “gift” to Pam Bondi coincided with her decision not to investigate allegations of fraud regarding Trump University.

More on Bill Clinton and Laureate Education in the for-profit higher ed section below.

Elsewhere in Education Politics


Via Bloomberg: “U.S. Schools Caught in Turkey’s Post-Coup Attempt Crackdown.”

Via Boston.com: “How a state senate primary became a charter school proxy war.”

Education in the Courts


Via The Guardian: “US library to enforce jail sentences for overdue books.” That’s the Athens-Limestone public library in Alabama (and that’s completely fucked up).

Via the AP: “A South Carolina solicitor says a sheriff’s deputy will face no charges for tossing a student across a classroom after she refused to put away her cellphone.”

Via The New York Times: “Judge, Citing Inequality, Orders Connecticut to Overhaul Its School System.”

Also via The NYT: “Parents Sue After New York State Denies Money to ‘Failing’ Schools.”

“Do Mylan’s EpiPen Contracts With Schools Break Antitrust Laws?” asks Gizmodo. The New York Attorney General’s office is looking into it.

More on for-profit university-related lawsuits in the for-profit higher ed section below. More on sports-related lawsuits in the sports section below. And more on how team losses affect sentencing of juveniles in the research section below.

Testing, Testing…


“Big changes ahead for how California assesses school performance,” KPCC reports. Those changes mean that schools will be evaluated on more than students’ standardized test scores.

This is a great headline. I love education research. Via Education Week’s Market Brief: “State Testing Disruptions Likely Produced Dips and Gains in Student Scores, Study Says.”

Online Education (The Once and Future “MOOC”)


Via Buzzfeed: “ Online K–12 School Fights Attempt To Check If Students Really Show Up.” The school in question: the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.

MOOCs no longer massive, still attract millions,” Class Central’s Dhawal Shah claims in a VentureBeat op-ed.

Udacity’s mobile apps now support “offline learning.”

For more data on outsourcing online education to third-party providers, see the research section below.

Coding Bootcamps (The Once and Future “For-Profit Higher Ed”)


ITT has closed its doors. The company said that the Department of Education’s decision to bar it from federal financial aid forced it to do so. Students will be able to either 1) ask for loan forgiveness or 2) transfer their credits elsewhere. That’s a raw deal right there. “A Message from the Secretary of Education to ITT Students.” More via Angus Johnston, Tressie McMillan Cottom, the Debt Collective, “Dean Dad” Matt Reed.

ITT is also facing lawsuits from its employees who say that the for-profit chain violated the federal Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act, which requires a 60 day notice before mass layoffs. Employees claim they were not notified that the company would be closing.

Edsurge promotes coding bootcamps as an alternative for former ITT students. Buyer beware, FFS.

Via Politico: “There’s no firm deadline for the Education Department to weigh in on whether a group of investors, which includes some with deep ties to the Obama administration, are effectively allowed to buy the University of Phoenix’s parent company. But the company, Apollo Education Group, has previously said in SEC filings that it expects to get the necessary regulatory approvals to complete the sale by the end of this calendar year.”

Via the Star Tribune: “The state of Minnesota took steps toward closing Woodbury-based Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business on Thursday after a judge ruled that the for-profit schools committed fraud in marketing and recruiting for their now-shuttered criminal justice program.”

Iowa‘s Department of Education last week dropped its opposition to a request by Ashford University for more time to resolve a challenge to the for-profit university’s eligibility to receive students’ Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

Coding bootcamp co-founder writes about “The Coding Bootcamp Hype Cycle” in Edsurge. Meta.

Via The Washington Post: “Inside Bill Clinton’s nearly $18 million job as ‘honorary chancellor’ of a for-profit college.” The for-profit: Laureate Education (which once began as the tutoring chain Sylvan Learning and is now an investor in Coursera, I always like to point out).

Meanwhile on Campus


“The coming era of consolidation among colleges and universities,” Jeff Selingo predicts in a Washington Post op-ed.

Meanwhile… “Goodbye, Ivory Tower. Hello, Silicon Valley Candy Store.”

Via New Republic: “The Crazy College of Qatar – What happens when a Texas community college opens a campus 8,000 miles from home?”

The University of Oregon board of trustees voted unanimously to remove the name of KKK member and UO classics professor Frederic Dunn from one of the school’s dorms.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Food Delivery by Drone at Virginia Tech.”

“Welcome to Terror High.” “What happens when a funding crunch turns a high school into a recruitment complex for arms manufacturers?” asks Malcolm Harris in Pacific Standard.

Via CNN: “A 14-year-old freshman shot and killed herself after shooting and wounding another female student at Alpine High School in west Texas, authorities said Thursday.”

Via Radical Political Economy: “UMass-Amherst preparing to abolish Labor Center.”

More on the lockout at Long Island University in the labor section below.

Go, School Sports Team!


Via Inside Higher Ed: “Three West Virginia University Institute of Technology volleyball players took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before a game on Wednesday.” The players said they were expressing solidarity with 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick.

Via the Daily Emerald: “Federal Judge Michael McShane of the district of Oregon dismissed multiple lawsuits Thursday, Sept. 8 filed by three former University of Oregon basketball players last year court documents show. All three players, Brandon Austin, Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson, were expelled and banned from campus for allegedly raping a female student in March 2014. They later filed lawsuits stating that university officials were biased towards their cases and violated their rights. They were seeking $10 million and $7.5 million in their lawsuits.”

More research on sports teams and criminal justice in the research section below.

From the HR Department


“For professors at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus, Labor Day weekend was anything but a celebration,” Inside Higher Ed reported on Tuesday. “On Saturday, all 400 members of the faculty union were told that their services were no longer required and that their positions, their health insurance and their campus email accounts were being cut off.” By the end of the first week of classes, still no resolution: “Long Island U Rejects Proposal to End Faculty Lockout,” according to the update in Inside Higher Ed. More via The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Via the Chicago Sun Times: “CTU to take new strike authorization vote – but hasn’t set date.” CTU stands for Chicago Teachers Union, in case you aren’t up on your education acronyms.

Via The Nation: “ Teachers Are Working for Uber Just to Keep a Foothold in the Middle Class.”

Melissa Click, who was fired last year for her role in a protest at the University of Missouri, has a new gig, which I’m not sure why is news unless those who wrote about it – I’m purposefully not linking – are completely unaware (or uncaring) about how this will re-kindle the furor of the Internet hate mob.

Upgrades and Downgrades


Apple held a marketing event this week, and the PR was duly repeated by the tech press.

Raspberry Pi passes 10m sales mark,” the BBC reports – “the most popular British computer ever.” The Guardian also published an op-ed on the Raspberry Pi: “Small is beautiful.”

Marriott Hotel chain announced a partnership with TED to deliver TED Talks to hotel guests, which sounds like a good reason to never ever stay at a Marriott ever again.

Telcel customers can now access Khan Academy free of data charges on mobile apps and es.zero.khanacademy.org thanks to partnership with Carlos Slim Foundation and Telcel,” says Khan Academy.

Knewton has partnered with WebAssign.

Edsurge officially announces its new, expanded focus, Edsurge Higher Ed. Will it also expand its “Concierge” services, in which the company takes a cut of contracts it facilitates between schools and ed-tech companies, into post-secondary markets? WWVCD! (What would VCs do.)

Reminder: Do not write for free – particularly for venture-backed companies like Edsurge. You’re making things worse for freelancers when you do. And for goodness sake, do not encourage your students to be exploited in this way.

Amazon-Wells Fargo Student-Loan Plan Ran Into Political Obstacles,” says The Wall Street Journal. LOL. “Political obstacles.” The student loan deal between the two companies was cancelled last week (and the latter found itself in even more trouble this week when it was fined $185 million because its employees were creating fake bank accounts for people).

Funding and Acquisitions (The Business of Ed-Tech)


BYJU’s, India’s largest ed-tech company, has raised $50 million in a Series D round of funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sofina, and Times Internet. The test prep company has raised $134 million total.

iAugmentor has raised $149,000 in seed funding from Rajasthan Angel Investor Network.

Private equity firm H.I.G. Capital will sell the International School of Europe Group to Inspired. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Frontline Education has acquired Excent Corporation. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Via The New York Times: “Venture Communism: How China Is Building a Start-Up Boom.”

Via The Wall Street Journal: “Andreessen Horowitz’s Returns Trail Venture-Capital Elite.”

Data, Privacy, and Surveillance


“Critical Educational Questions for Big Data,” Parts 1 and 2 by Ben Williamson.

Via the AP: “Disney to scan fingers of 3 year olds to prevent fraud.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Group Unveils a ‘Model Policy’ for Handling Student Data.” I can't really tell what the name of this group is from the story. I predict huge success.

Via Bloomberg: “Secret Cameras Record Baltimore’s Every Move From Above.”

Via the Washington Post: “ This employee ID badge monitors and listens to you at work – except in the bathroom.” Coming soon to an LMS near you…

Data and “Research”


Via T.H.E. Journal: “The biggest predictor of student achievement (based on their use of a learning management system) is not the amount of time they spend working with course content; nor is it how long they spend taking assessments or participating in discussion forums. It’s how frequently they check their grades online.” The claims are based on Blackboard data, published on the LMS company’s blog.

Via Mindwire Consulting’s Phil Hill: “Online Program Management: An updated view of the market landscape.”

Also via Phil Hill: “Exclusive: Worldwide LMS market size expected to triple in 5 years … or get cut in half.”

Via the Bureau of Labor Statistics (as reported by Infodocket): “The Cost of College Textbooks Has Increased 88% Since Jan. 2006, Tuition and Fees Up 63%.”

Mark Guzdial writes about a thesis from Yogendra Pal: “Learning CS while Learning English: Scaffolding ESL CS Learners.”

Via Edsurge: “What Video Games Like Doom Teach Us About Learning, According to GBL Guru James Paul Gee.”

Via NPR: “How Domestic Violence In One Home Affects Every Child In A Class.”

Via Motherboard: “The Head of CMU’s Robotics Lab Says Self-Driving Cars Are ‘Not Even Close’.”

According to the American Historical Association, undergraduate enrollments in history are down.

“Don’t Blame A ‘Skills Gap’ For Lack Of Hiring In Manufacturing,” says FiveThirtyEight.

Emotional Judges and Unlucky Juveniles” by Ozkan Eren, Naci Mocan:

Employing the universe of juvenile court decisions in a U.S. state between 1996 and 2012, we analyze the effects of emotional shocks associated with unexpected outcomes of football games played by a prominent college team in the state. We investigate the behavior of judges, the conduct of whom should, by law, be free of personal biases and emotions. We find that unexpected losses increase disposition (sentence) lengths assigned by judges during the week following the game. Unexpected wins, or losses that were expected to be close contests ex-ante, have no impact. The effects of these emotional shocks are asymmetrically borne by black defendants.

Icon credits: The Noun Project

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Audrey Watters


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