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Education Politics


Via The New York Times: “Obama to Dismantle Visitor Registry Before Trump Can Revive It.” “The registry, created after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has not been in use since 2011, so the move is largely symbolic and appeared to be aimed at distancing the departing administration from any effort by the new president to revive the program, known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, or Nseers.”

More on the technology industry’s role in building a Muslim registry in the surveillance section below.

A repeal of North Carolina’s “bathroom billfailed this week, as that state’s Republicans continue to play dirty. Supposedly a deal had been reached that, if Charlotte repealed its own anti-discrimination law, the state would do the same for HB2. The former went through; the latter did not.

Elsewhere in NC politics: “North Carolina Legislators Cut Governor’s Power to Appoint Campus Trustees.” All this because the Republican governor lost his re-election bid.

The state of Missouri has passed a law that would “grease” the school-to-prison pipeline. The law will treat fights in school as felonies.

Via Bloomberg: “The U.S. Government Is Collecting Student Loans It Promised to Forgive.”

“Two Wisconsin Republican legislators have threatened to withhold state funds from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in relation to a planned course on racism called The Problem of Whiteness,” Inside Higher Ed reports, hence demonstrating the problem of whiteness.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican, on Wednesday signed into law legislation – opposed by faculty groups – to lift the state’s ban on guns at colleges and universities. The legislation also lifts a ban on guns in other locations, such as day care centers, leading critics to call the legislation the ‘guns everywhere’ bill.”

Via Buzzfeed: “Senators Push For Mass Student Loan Forgiveness Before Trump Takes Office.”

Via KJZZ: “Arizona Board Of Education Replaces Common Core State Standards.”

The Trump Administration


Via Eclectablog: “Billionaire Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for Sec of Education, has even found a way to profit from the #FlintWaterCrisis.”

“Could after-school programs take a hit under the Trump administration?” asks Education Dive.

Via Education Week: “Will Trump Try to Dismantle ‘Net Neutrality?’”

Via Vox: “Trump’s budget director pick: ‘Do we really need government-funded research at all’” – bad news for research universities and bad news for research period.

Education in the Courts


Via Inside Higher Ed: “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled Thursday, 9–2, that the State Technical College of Missouri may not require all students to submit to drug testing prior to enrollment.”

Via The Traverse City Record Eagle: “The founder of Grand Traverse Academy will serve 41 months in federal prison for his convictions on tax evasion charges.”

Via The Wall Street Journal: “A California judicial disciplinary panel found no grounds to sanction the Santa Clara County judge who earlier this year sentenced Brock Turner, a former Stanford University student convicted of felony sexual assault, to months behind bars.”

From the press release: “ABA sues Department of Education over retroactive denials to lawyers under Public Service Loan Forgiveness.” More via The New York Times.

Via Pacific Standard: “Another Victory for the Youth Suing the Government on Climate Change.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The U.S. Justice Department on Monday announced an agreement with Princeton University under which the institution agreed to revise or explain in new ways some policies with regard to students with disabilities.”

Testing, Testing…


Via Education Week: “An Inside Look at Plans to Overhaul the PARCC Testing Consortium.”

Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”


Via Buzzfeed: “Online Charter Schools Prepare For A Trump-Era Boom.”

The Most Popular Courses of 2016” on Coursera. Edsurge rewrites Coursera’s infographic – because journalism – about which classes are popular in “red states” and which ones are popular in “blue states.”

Victoria University of Wellington has joined edX.

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed


The Dallas Business Journal reports that the Texas Workforce Commission is cracking down on coding bootcamps. DevMountain and Coding Dojo are two which have received warning letters for being out of compliance with state regulations governing career schools.

Via The Wall Street Journal: “Education Department Amends Terms of Approval for Apollo Education Privatization.” That is, it’s lowering the amount it requires the buyers to post in a letter of credit.

Via WaPo: “Education Department denies federal student aid to for-profit N.C. law school.” That is, the Charlotte School of Law.

Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business will close, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

From the Department of Education’s press release: “New analysis released today by the U.S. Department of Education reveals many for-profit schools would likely exceed the 90/10 federal funding limits if revenue from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) programs were included in the 90/10 calculation the same way Title IV funds are included. The annual 90/10 report also released today finds 17 for-profit colleges out of compliance with existing federal funding limits.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Last week the U.S. Department of Education announced a delay in the release of an updated template colleges are required to use next year to make gainful employment disclosures. The gainful employment regulations, which went into effect last year, set performance standards for the ability of graduates of vocational programs to repay their federal student loans. The rule applies to for-profits and non-degree programs at community colleges and other nonprofit institutions.”

“How to Stop For-Profit Colleges” – an interview in The New Republic with sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom.

Meanwhile on Campus


Via Philly.com: “Cancellation of Lancaster Co. Christmas play goes viral.” Why the play was cancelled is disputed: the school district says it needed more time for standardized test prep; Breitbart and Fox News blamed a Jewish family.

Via the BBC: “Anti-gay campaign drives out Russian teacher in Krasnoyarsk.”

Via The Guardian: “ Ex-Stanford professor: I was pushed out after reporting sexual harassment.”

Via Mindwire Consulting’s Phil Hill: “Digging Deeper Into CCSF Story: $39 million for non-usage of LMS not really about DE.” Acronym assistance: CCSF is the City College of San Francisco. LMS is learning management system. DE is distance education. tl;dr initial headlines and pronouncements might have been wrong.

Inside Higher Ed covers Billy Willson’s viral “I’m quitting school” rant on Facebook, in which he claimed he was leaving Kansas State University with a 4.0 because he was being made to take too many general ed classes.

Via the NPR: “England’s Cap On College Tuition Rises To Nearly $11,400, Riling Critics.”

Via Chalkbeat: “Success Academy audit turns up ‘irregularities,’ New York City comptroller says.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “University of Kentucky professor says he was found guilty of sexual harassment for singing ‘California Girls’ at a Chinese educational event, but the institution says the charges against him are more serious.”

Alaska Pacific University has announced plans to become a tribal college.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Anger Over Accused Rapist on Campus for 3 Years.” The school in question: Loyola University Chicago.

UC Irvine is launching a coding bootcamp.

“These Universities Are Training the World’s Top Coders,” according to Fast Company, which claims the best “coders” (whatever the hell that means) come from the Russian Federation College, ITMO University (Russia), Sun Yat-sen Memorial Middle School (China), and Ho Chi Minh City University of Science (Vietnam).

Accreditation and Certification


Via The Hechinger Report: “Veterans continue to battle for their military training to count as college credit.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Under pressure from its accreditor, the Alamo Colleges community college district in San Antonio has dropped a controversial initiative to replace one of two required humanities courses in its core curriculum with a primer on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.”

“Figures Simmons provided U.S. News about a nursing program were so wrong it was declared ‘unranked,’ but the college kept badge of honor on its website,” says Inside Higher Ed. Yay! Badges!

Go, School Sports Team!


The University of Minnesota football team briefly planned a boycott of their bowl game over a suspension of 10 players related to a sexual assault investigation. (A “boycott”? Isn’t it a “strike,” fellows, when you refuse to work?)

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “NCAA Makes Third Round of Allegations Against Chapel Hill in Fraud Case.”

Via The Wall Street Journal: “Kenneth Starr’s Baylor Exit Followed Years of Hidden Turmoil.” “Hidden turmoil” here is code for reinstating a football player accused of sexual assault.

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Washington U. in St. Louis Suspends Men’s Soccer Team Over ‘Degrading’ Comments.”

Via The New York Times: “Rutgers Football Is Facing N.C.A.A. Inquiry.” More via The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Via The New York Times: “Louisville Suspends Coordinator Who Received Wake Forest Game Plan.”

From the HR Department


Jose Ferreira is stepping down as the CEO of Knewton. My bet is he joins the Trump administration; Edsurge thinks he’ll start a new company.

Via The New York Times: “Columbia Challenges Vote by Graduate Students to Unionize.”

Harvard Vote on TA Union is Inconclusive,” says Inside Higher Ed.

Tenured faculty at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville have voted to unionize.

Via NPR: “Why Aren’t There More Women In Tech? A Tour Of Silicon Valley’s Leaky Pipeline.”

Contests and Conferences


Gary Stager has penned “An Open Letter to the ISTE Interim CEO and Board re: Seymour Papert.”

Upgrades and Downgrades


“Why are students still using calculators?” asks William Pang in The Atlantic. I think we all know the answer to that question: so that people always have fodder to write these sorts of op-eds, debating the advantages and disadvantages of calculators in the classroom.

“Could robots be marking your homework?” asks the BBC.

Via NPR: “Carol Dweck Explains The ‘False’ Growth Mindset That Worries Her.” Meanwhile, via Education Dive: “Connecticut school uses ‘Mindset Man’ to develop growth mindset among students.”

Hate read: “Why paying $6,000 for a college adviser is a bargain.”

I really hate the racist stereotype in this headline, by the way, but via Bloomberg: “China’s Tiger Moms Are Spending Big on Tech Classes for Their Kids.” – “China’s STEM learning industry may reach $15 billion by 2020.”

The Business of Ed-Tech


The IMF has invested $15 million in test prep company BYJU’s. It’s raised $149 million total.

Explain Everything has raised $3.7 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Credo Ventures, New Europe Ventures, and RTAventures. The whiteboard app has raised $5.7 million total.

EnglishCentral has raised $1.3 million from Japanese publisher Kirihara Shoten K.K. The English-language learning company has raised $15.25 million.

Selected, a hiring platform, has raised $20,000 from the coding bootcamp Fullstack Academy.

Reclaim Hosting has acquired co-working space The Foundry.

Final Site has acquired School Website.

Data, Privacy, and Surveillance


Via Venture Beat: “LinkedIn resets some Lynda.com users’ passwords following data leak.”

NPR was really touting the benefits of surveillance in schools this week: Story 1: “When A School’s Online Eavesdropping Can Prevent A Suicide.” Story 2: “Students: Colleges Are Tracking You Online. It Can Help You Graduate.”

Via the Harrison Daily News: “Superintendent says hack was an inconvenience and no ransom paid.” (This news is from the Alpena Schools in Michigan.)

Piazza Makes Three Significant Changes To Deal With Privacy Issues,” says Mindwire Consulting’s Phil Hill.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “MIT management professors push data-based model they say is more predictive of an academic’s future research success than traditional methods of peer review in tenure.” Predictive analytics and tenure – gee, what could go wrong.

Via Buzzfeed: “Google, Apple, Uber, IBM Say They Would Not Help Build A Muslim Registry.”

Via Ars Technica: “Facebook already has a Muslim registry – and it should be deleted.”

More on the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System in the politics section above.

Data and “Research”


Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Older Americans who defaulted on their federal student loans are increasingly having to repay them with portions of their Social Security benefits, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.” More via Inside Higher Ed.

“Nearly 95% of all new jobs during Obama era were part-time, or contract,” according to research by economists Harvard’s Lawrence Katz and Princeton’s Alan Krueger.

Via The Wall Street Journal: “Many Americans Live in ‘Education Deserts,’ New Research Shows.”

Bryan Alexander looks at income inequality and changes to charitable giving.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The wage gap between college degree holders and workers without a degree has not grown in recent years, and a new study says the culprit is information technology’s displacement of ‘routine’ jobs.”

Via NPR: “Alabama Admits Its High School Graduation Rate Was Inflated.”

Via The Wall Street Journal: “College Enrollment Drops 1.4% as Adults Head Back to Work.”

Research from NEPC: “Review of Segregation, Race, and Charter Schools: What Do We Know?”

Via Education Week: “Majority of English-Learner Students Are Born in the United States, Analysis Finds.”

Via NPR: “Harvard Survey Highlights Attitudes About Campus Sexual Assault.”

Via Duolingo: “How we learn how you learn.” – “At the core of Duolingo is a student model that tracks statistics about every word we’ve ever taught you: for example, how often you’ve seen a word, remembered it correctly, and so on. (This is a huge database with billions of entries that get updated 3,000 times per second!) We use these stats to predict how likely you are to remember any given word at any time.”

Ed-Tech Research That Mattered in 2016,” according to Education Week.

Royal Roads University’s George Veletsianos on Pearson’s release of its learning design principles.

Via The Awl: “Letting Kids Use Social Media Is One More Way We Show Them We Don’t Care About Them.”

Icon credits: The Noun Project

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Audrey Watters


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