Education Politics

Via The New York Times: “The Buffalo Board of Education on Thursday demanded that Carl Paladino resign from his post on the board after making racist comments about President and Michelle Obama last week. If he refuses to step down, the board will ask the state education commissioner to remove him, it said in a resolution.” Paladino was the co-chair of Donald Trump’s New York campaign.

Via The Post and Courier: “All South Carolina public school students in kindergarten through eighth grade would be required to learn computer science beginning in 2018 under new standards proposed by the state Department of Education.”

Via the Charlotte News Observer: “The Republican-dominated State Board of Education will sue over a new law transferring many of its powers to newly-elected Republican state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson.” (This is a result of the North Carolina legislature’s move to change how executive power in the state works following the election of a Democratic governor.)

Education in the Courts

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has charged an executive with the Pakistani company, Axact, in connection to an alleged diploma mill scheme. Umair Hamid has been charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft in connection with what the U.S. Attorney’s Office press release describes as a ‘a worldwide “diploma mill” scheme that collected at least approximately $140 million from tens of thousands of consumers.’”

Via The Wall Street Journal: “Bankruptcy Becomes an Option for Some Borrowers Burdened by Student Loans.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Montclair State University is an arm of the State of New Jersey and is therefore immune from a former employee’s employment discrimination lawsuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled Tuesday.”

Via Techcrunch: “Oculus engineer Dov Katz arrested in sting after allegedly soliciting sex from a 15-year-old girl.” Enjoy your VR in education, folks. I’m sure it’ll be incredible.

Testing, Testing…

Reuters continues its investigative reporting on standardized testing: “Chinese education giant helps its students game the SAT.” The company in question: New Oriental Education & Technology Group.

Online Education and the Once and Future MOOC

Class Central’s Dhawal Shah has a post on Edsurge with “MOOCs by the Numbers in 2016.”

Meanwhile on Campus

Come for the investigation into the business of Ohio charter school chains. Stay for the Ayn Rand references.

Drexel University issued a statement on Christmas Day to condemn a tweet by one of its professors on Christmas Eve that said that ‘all I want for Christmas is white genocide.’” Inside Higher Ed reports. Now, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Drexel Calls Professor’s Controversial Tweets Protected Speech.”

“At the University of Oregon, no more free speech for professors on subjects such as race, religion, sexual orientation,” says WaPo’s Eugene Volokh.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Duke warns professors about emails from someone claiming to be a student, seeking information about their courses – many in fields criticized by some on the right.”

Kevin Carey’s NYT op-edFake Academe, Looking Much Like the Real Thing” does not mention The University of Everywhere, funnily enough. Do watch for who’s deciding what’s “fake” and “what counts” when “disrupting higher ed.”

Accreditation and Certification

Via The Cointelegraph: “Kenyan Government Uses IBM Blockchain to Prevent Academic Certificate Fraud.”

Go, School Sports Team!

Via The New York Times: “A Majority Agreed She Was Raped by a Stanford Football Player. That Wasn’t Enough.”

From the HR Department

Via NPR: “Outsourced: In A Twist, Some San Francisco IT Jobs Are Moving To India.” Those jobs: in the University of California system.

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Via The Guardian: “Could online tutors and artificial intelligence be the future of teaching?”

(Reminder: according to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”)

Upgrades and Downgrades

Duolingo gets social,” says Techcrunch – that means you can add friends on the app.

Via Education Week: “Pokemon Go Helps Teachers Develop a Growth Mindset.” ORLY.

Via Engadget: “Second Life’s creator is building a ‘WordPress for social VR’.”

Via Business Insider: “How IoT in education is changing the way we learn.” My favorite part: this puff piece is actually about interactive whiteboards.

Via Techcrunch: “The broken edtech ecosystem investors once avoided is changing.” No. It’s not. But keep churning out these op-eds, entrepreneurs. You manage to keep yourselves convinced of your revolution: “What we are effectively seeing is the radical democratization of the edtech market.” LOL. No. Stop.

Funding the Business of Ed-Tech

Fundraising and messaging app School Notices has raised $775,190 in equity crowdfunding.

Campus Student Communities has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from undisclosed investors. The Indian startup helps students find hostel housing.

Frontline Education has acquired (This is Frontline Education’s fifth acquisition this year.)

Data, Privacy, and Surveillance

Via ProPublica: “Facebook Doesn’t Tell Users Everything It Really Knows About Them.” But I’m sure its development of a learning management system for schools will be stellar.

Via Engadget: “Police seek Amazon Echo data in murder case.”

Via The Intercept: “The Dark Side of VR” – “Virtual Reality Allows the Most Detailed, Intimate Digital Surveillance Yet.” No wonder ed-tech folks love it, right?

Via the EFF: “Defending Student Data from Classrooms to the Cloud: 2016 in Review.”

Data and “Research”

Via “Who Were 2016’s Most Active Ed-Tech Investors?”

Via Education Week: “K–12 Dealmaking: Stand-Out Deals and Dealmakers of 2016.”

Via Edsurge: “Ka'Ching! 2016 US Edtech Funding Totals $1 Billion.” (My calculations of the year in ed-tech investing, which I’ll publish today, are far less sunny.)

Via Social Times: “Facebook, 17 Universities Announce Sponsored Academic Research Agreement.”

According to a report from the Center for American Progress, “School Districts’ Hiring Practices Need an Upgrade.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Jobs for economics Ph.D.s – whether they wish to work in or outside of academe – are plentiful, according to new data from the American Economic Association.”

Via Education Week: “Districts whose 3rd graders had low test scores in reading spent 50 percent more per student for K–3 English/language arts instructional resources than districts with average and higher scores did in recent years, according to a new report from Noodle Markets.”

Via The Guardian: “More than one-third of schoolchildren are homeless in shadow of Silicon Valley.” So next time you hear one of tech startups insist they’re going to “fix” education…


MIT professor developmental psychologist Edith Ackermann passed away this week.

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

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