Presidential Campaign Politics

November 8 cannot come soon enough.

Via Education Week): “Hillary Clinton Campaign Releases $500 Million Anti-Bullying Plan.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “For Some Republicans, Trump’s Higher-Ed Proposals Reflect ‘Lost Opportunity’.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Trump Threatens Visas for Those From China.”

Education Politics

In other political campaigning news: “Campaign contributions from for-profit colleges continue to tilt heavily to Republicans. But the struggling sector’s political giving is down since peaking in 2012,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

“An International Business Times/MapLight investigation has found that executives at eight financial firms with contracts to manage Massachusetts state pension assets have bypassed anti-corruption rules and funneled at least $778,000 to groups backing Question 2, which would expand the number of charter schools in the state,” David Sirota writes.

Via NPR: “The Return Of Bilingual Education In California?”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “The U.S. Education Department has released its long-awaited defense-to-repayment rules, which codify how borrowers who are defrauded by predatory colleges can obtain relief from the federal government.” More via IHE.

From the department’s press release: “U.S. Department of Education Announces Requirements for New Federal Loan Servicing System.”

Via The Atlantic: “Jill Biden’s Push to Make Community College Free.”

Via Edsurge: “U.S. Dept. of Ed. Unveils Free Online Tool for Rapid Evaluation of Edtech Products.”

Via The New York Times: “Obama Brought Silicon Valley to Washington.” (Is that a good thing?)

Education in the Courts

Via Slate: “…The Supreme Court agreed to hear Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., a blockbuster case whose outcome will affect whether transgender students can use the school bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. G.G. involves the validity of guidance by the Department of Education interpreting 'sex discrimination' to encompass anti-trans discrimination. The case marks the first time the Supreme Court has directly addressed trans issues head-on. Its outcome will have ramifications in schools throughout the country.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “A divided federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s ruling that a Minnesota community college was justified when it kicked a student out of a nursing program because of Facebook comments administrators deemed to be unprofessional and threatening to fellow students.”

Via the Education Law Center: “Several New Jersey civil rights and parent advocacy organizations have filed a legal challenge to new high school graduation regulations recently adopted by the State Board of Education. The new rules make passing the controversial PARCC exams a requirement for a New Jersey high school diploma and will also prevent students who opt out from graduating.”

Via the Chicago Sun Times: “Barbara Byrd-Bennett sentencing hearing set for April 13.” The former Chicago Public Schools head pleaded guilty to fraud charges last year.

More on sports-related lawsuits in the sports section below.

Testing, Testing…

Via the Hechinger Report: “On a classroom-based test for new teachers, black teachers score lower.”

Via The Toronto Star: “Cyber attack to blame for Grade 10 literacy test chaos.”

There’s more testing news in the courts section above.

Online Education (The Once and Future “MOOC”)

Via the Udacity blog: “Introducing the Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program.”

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

Via the AP: “Trump U staff included drug trafficker, child molester.”

“A Conveyor Belt of Dropouts and Debt at For-Profit Collegesby Susan Dynarski.

The BBC profiles 42, the teacher-less coding school for people under age 30.

Via Politico: “The trustee appointed to liquidate ITT Tech’s assets and help divvy them up among creditors wants to put the brakes on just about everything as she dissects the carcass of the crumbled for-profit college.”

“When For-Profit Colleges Prey on Unsuspecting Students” by The Atlantic’s Melinda D. Anderson.

More on loan forgiveness for students from predatory colleges in the politics section above.

Meanwhile on Campus

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Brigham Young Will Grant Disciplinary Amnesty to Sexual-Assault Victims.”

Via The Chicago Tribune: “UW-Madison sex assault case snowballs as dozens come forward, ‘stalking’ list seized.”

Via Politico: “Elizabeth City State University, UNC Pembroke and Western Carolina University will each offer $500 in-state tuition starting in fall 2018.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “MIT Seeks to Expand Role Promoting Startups.”

In other MIT news: “MIT task force releases preliminary ‘Future of Libraries’ report.”

Via The Atlantic:Liberty University Students Want to Be Christians – Not Republicans.”

I wrote about this in last week’s Hack Education Weekly News – a thirteen year old boy who had his leg amputated after a school contractor allegedly body-slammed him repeatedly. I read another story about it this week and have to note that this contractor was at the school teaching “MindSet curriculum.” The longstanding distrust I had for this particular fad has now turned into white hot rage and disgust.

Accreditation and Certification

Mozilla announced it is handing the Open Badges initiative to the IMS Global Learning Consortium.

Via the MIT Media Lab: “Blockcerts  –  An Open Infrastructure for Academic Credentials on the Blockchain.”

“It’s Time to Change What We Mean by ‘Credential’,” says Sean Gallagher in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Go, School Sports Team!

Via the AP: “A jury awarded a former Penn State assistant football coach $7.3 million in damages Thursday, finding the university defamed him after it became public that his testimony helped prosecutors charge Jerry Sandusky with child molestation.”

Via Reuters: “Children’s brains undergo noticeable changes after just one season of football, even if they were never diagnosed with a concussion, according to a new imaging study.”

From the HR Department

The richest university in the world has reached a deal with its striking workers. “Harvard’s Dining-Hall Workers ‘Achieved Every Goal’ in Strike,” says The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Upgrades and Downgrades

Twitter announced big layoffs this week – 9% of its staff – and said it would shutter its video app Vine. The company said that it would keep the Vine website online, but you should probably download anything you’ve got there. And maybe in the future, think twice about using these platforms, particularly about compelling students to work there. Via the New York Magazine: “The Death of Vine Makes the Internet a Worse Place.”

Google announced it was cutting jobs in its Google Fiber division. The CEO has resigned. And Google has put plans to expand Fiber to more cities on hold.

But despite all these cuts, big companies rolled out New Products this week that were perhaps Very Exciting if you’re into New Products. Microsoft is doing a desktop PC thing. Apple, as always, helps us see how criticism-free technology journalism can be. And Google is getting into the whiteboard business.

Via eCampus News: “Barnes & Noble Education announces advanced OER courseware.”

IBM released a Watson-powered education app for iPad.

IBM partners with Pearson.

OpenEd partners with Pearson.

“The Great Unbundling of Textbook Publishersby Michael Feldstein.

Michael Horn writing for Edsurge: “Return of the Virtual Reality Hype Cycle (What's Different This Time?)”

Inside Higher Ed on EDUCAUSE: “The higher education IT organization will over the next five years focus on collaboration, personalization and professional development in order to create an experience that is more ‘inclusive, equitable and simplified,’ according to a new strategic plan.”

Creative Commons released a “Termination of Transfer Tool” to help manage authors’ copyrights.

Via TorrentFreak: “iKeepSafe Inadvertently Gives Students a Valuable Lesson in Creators’ Rights.”

Edsurge points to new guidelines for education companies participating in Y Combinator’s startup accelerator program.

I’m including this just for the buzzword lulz. Via Campus Technology: “Learning Objects Debuts Competency-Based Education Platform.”

Via The New York Times: “An Annuity for the Teacher – and the Broker.” “A look inside the high-pressure job of selling workplace annuities to public schoolteachers.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “When the Teaching Assistant Is a Robot.”

IHE’s Scott Jaschik interviews the authors of Beyond the Skills Gap: Preparing College Students for Life and Work.

Funding and Acquisitions (The Business of Ed-Tech)

3D printing startup 3Dexter has raised $150,000 in seed funding from ICA Edu Skills.

Blackboard has acquired Fronteer, a software company that helps make course materials accessible. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Not directly related to ed-tech, I suppose (except it’s entirely related to ed-tech): AT&T plans to merge with Time Warner. “Individualized Ads on TV Could Be One Result of AT&T-Time Warner Merger,” says The New York Times. Should have called them “personalized ads,” and then education reformers would be super stoked.

Data, Privacy, and Surveillance

Via The New York Times: “Broadband Providers Will Need Permission to Collect Private Data.” So says the FCC.

Via the MIT Technology Review: “AT&T Is Selling Law Enforcement Access to Its Customers’ Data.”

Via ProPublica: “Facebook Lets Advertisers Exclude Users by Race.” So great that these folks are now involved in education technology, don’t you think?

Meanwhile, over at Edsurge: “A Small Liberal Arts School Becomes a Testing Ground for the ‘Facebook of Learning Management Systems’.”

Also via Edsurge: “Pursuing Academic Freedom and Data Privacy Is a Balancing Act.”

Via the Pacific Standard: “Google’s Broken Privacy Promise.”

“What You Need to Know About Learning Analytics,” according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Via New America: “The Promise and Peril of Predictive Analytics in Higher Education.”

Data and “Research”

Via The Next Web: “Survey shows millennials fall for cyber scams more often than seniors.”

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Value of Education Industry Sector Transactions Nosedives in 2016.” The article draws on the latest report from investment bank Berkery Noyes.

Via The Wall Street Journal: “College Tuition Rises 2.4% at Public Schools, College Board Says.”

Via The Atlantic: “The Racial Disparity of the Student-Loan Crisis.”

The NMC has released a “Horizon Project Strategic Brief on Digital Literacy.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Blackboard Study on How Instructors Use the LMS.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “If Emotion Aids Learning, Does It Work Online?”

“SRI Study on ASSISTments Finds Boost in Math Achievement,” says Edsurge.

Inside Higher Ed on the results of the 2016 Campus Computing Survey."

Inside Higher Ed on its 2016 Survey of Faculty Attitudes on Technology.

“Comparing the 2016 and 2012 FLVC Student Textbook Survey Results” by David Wiley.

Online Delivery Increases Pipeline of Students Pursuing Formal Education,” says Edsurge. Expanding enrollment options is found to expand potential enrollments. My God! It's science!

Related NBER research: “A federal rule change that opened the door to more fully online degree programs has not made college tuition more affordable, according to a working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, but at some place-based institutions, enrollment has declined and instructional spending has increased as a result,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

Via EdWeek’s Market Brief: “Virtual Schools’ Record Serving Special Education Students Is Unclear, Inconsistent, Report Finds.”

“Has the Elite Foundation Agenda Spread Beyond the Gates? An Organizational Network Analysis of Nonmajor Philanthropic Giving in K12 Education” by Joseph J. Ferrare and Katherine Reynolds.

Via Education Dive: “How artificial intelligence could shape higher education.” Sweeping hand-wave gesture: this will change everything.


Education historian David Tyack passed away this week. Here’s a reflection on his work from Education Week’s Sarah Sparks.

Tom Hayden, a founding member of the Students for a Democratic Society and the chief author of the Port Huron Statement, died this week.

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

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