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Education Politics


“Will the Senate Block Betsy DeVos?” asks The Atlantic.

Betsy DeVos, Pick for Secretary of Education, Is the Most Jeered” by The New York Times’ Dana Goldstein. “How Betsy DeVos Became Trump’s Least Popular Cabinet Pickby Anya Kamenetz.

Via The Washington Post: “DeVos questionnaire appears to include passages from uncited sources.” Oops. How many plagiarists does this make in the Trump administration now?

Via Mother Jones: “Betsy DeVos Wants to Use America’s Schools to Build ‘God’s Kingdom’.”

From the Center for American Progress: “Inside the Financial Holdings of Billionaire Betsy DeVos.”

Via The New York Times: “Betsy DeVos Invests in a Therapy Under Scrutiny.” That is, Neurocore brain performance centers.

Via The LA Times: “Betsy DeVos ‘is unprepared and unqualified’ to be Education secretary, charter school booster Eli Broad says.” And via WaPo: “Eli Broad, billionaire philanthropist and charter school backer, urges senators to oppose DeVos.”

Via Teen Vogue: “10 Public High School Teachers Explain Why They’re Worried About Trump’s Pick for Education Secretary.”

The Trump War on Public Schools” – an op-ed by Gail Collins in The NYT.

Via Education Week: “Allan B. Hubbard, who served as an economic adviser during both Bush administrations, is a top contender for deputy secretary, the No. 2 job at the U.S. Department of Education, sources say.”

Via Politico: “ Several Trump appointees shared unflattering views of minorities, women on social media.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “In Tweet, Trump Threatens Berkeley With Loss of Federal Funds Over Protests.” More on those protests on the “meanwhile on campus” section below.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “An executive order signed by President Trump late Friday afternoon immediately barring immigrants and nonimmigrant visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. has had immediate effects on scholars and students. More than 17,000 students in the U.S. come from the seven countries affected by the immediate 90-day entry ban: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.” Via The New York Times: “Full Executive Order Text: Trump’s Action Limiting Refugees Into the U.S.”

Via Vice: “Collateral damage. How Trump’s travel ban is depleting America of Canadian money and talent.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “What You Need to Know About Colleges and the Immigration Ban.”

Via Buzzfeed: “Colleges Are Warning Thousands Of Muslim International Students Not To Travel.”

More on Trump’s immigration ban in the “on campus” and courts sections below.

Via The NY Daily News: “N.Y. Senate bill compels data collection on foreign-born college students.”

Jerry Falwell Jr. Says He Will Lead Federal Task Force on Higher-Ed Policy,” The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. More on the new role via Inside Higher Ed. And via CHE’s Goldie Blumenstyk: “Jerry Falwell’s New Higher-Ed Task Force Could Take Cues From a Private-College Association’s Playbook.” “With Falwell as Education Adviser, His Own University Could Benefit,” says Kevin Carey.


Via The New York Times: “Uber C.E.O. to Leave Trump Advisory Council After Criticism.” Some 200,000 people have deleted their Uber accounts in response to Uber’s strikebreaking and CEO Travis Bickle’s working with Trump.

Also via The New York Times: “Google, in Post-Obama Era, Aggressively Woos Republicans.”

Via Boing Boing: “FBI releases declassified #GamerGate dossier.”

The Wyoming House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow people with concealed carry permits to bring guns onto college campuses.

Education in the Courts


Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “What Trump’s Supreme Court Choice Might Mean for Higher Ed.”

Via Education Week: “A Look at Trump’s Supreme Court ‘Finalists’ and Education Cases.”

Via ProPublica: “A Cleveland Clinic doctor barred from entering the United States over the weekend by President Donald Trump’s travel ban is suing the president and his administration, seeking a writ of habeas corpus and an order that would allow her to come back.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “The University of California system has agreed to pay $1.15 million to a former student on the Santa Cruz campus who said that she had been raped by a professor, in one of the largest individual settlements of a campus sexual-assault case.”

Via The Verge: “Oculus ordered to pay $500 million in ZeniMax lawsuit.” These VR people seem nice and ethical. Should be great for education.

More on legal settlements with for-profits in the for-profit higher ed section below.

Online Education and the Once and Future “MOOC”


Via George Veletsianos: “A large-scale study of Twitter Use in MOOCs.”

Research finds there’s a "global achievement gap in MOOCs." No shit.

Via Campus Technology: “Harvard Tailoring the MOOC Experience With Adaptive Learning.”

Via AIR: “Getting Back on Track: What Math Content Is Taught and Learned in Online and Face-to-Face Algebra Credit Recovery Courses?”

“Free College”


Via NPR: “Tenn. Governor Seeks Free Community College For All Adults.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The University of Wisconsin at Madison is proposing, pending state funding approval, that transfer students from the state’s community college system who meet various academic criteria receive one year of free tuition if they are from the first generation in their families to go to college.”

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed


The sale of the Apollo Education Group, parent company of the University of Phoenix, has been finalized.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced a $2.25 million settlement with DeVry University over false marketing claims.

Via The Charlotte Observer: “Charlotte School of Law starts food drive so students get something to eat.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “More than 200 colleges have given the U.S. Department of Education notice that they will appeal gainful employment ratings that found their programs to be failing or close to failing.”

Meanwhile on Campus…


Via The Houston Chronicle: “Feds detain Katy High School student from Jordan following President Trump’s immigration ban.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Trump administration’s entry ban triggered wide condemnation from colleges, associations, faculty groups and others in higher education.”

Via The New York Times: “After Visa Ban, Hints of Hidden Tension on Mississippi Campus.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Campus Fallout From the Trump Order.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Academics Mull Boycott of U.S. Conferences as a Way of Fighting Travel Ban.” Related: “Digital Pedagogy Lab Registration Delayed in Response to Executive Order.”

White nationalist provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos had his talk at UC Berkeley canceled. A smattering of headlines (and concern trolling about free speech): “Amid Violence, Yiannopoulos Speech at Berkeley Canceled.” “Berkeley Students Debate Cancellation Of Milo Yiannopoulos Speech.” “Breitbart Editor’s Event Canceled As Protests Turn Violent At UC Berkeley.”

“Milo and the Violent, Well-Funded Right-Wing Attacks on Academic Freedomby David Perry.

Via The Washington Post: “Many KIPP charter school alumni face financial hurdles in college, survey shows.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “College and university endowments’ net returns declined for the second straight year in 2016, dropping into negative territory and posting their worst results since the depths of the financial crisis.”

Accreditation and Certification


Via The New York Times: “Wanted: Factory Workers, Degree Required.”

Go, School Sports Team!


Via Inside Higher Ed: “Football players at private institutions in college sports’ most competitive level are employees, the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel stated this week, and will be treated as such if they seek protection against unfair labor practices.” Also via IHE: “Virginia Foxx, a North Carolina Republican and chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, said Thursday that the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel should ‘abandon his partisan agenda or step down immediately.’”

Via The New York Times: “Not Safe for Children? Football’s Leaders Make Drastic Changes to Youth Game.”

From the HR Department


Ben Werdmuller, co-founder of Known, has joined Matter Ventures as Director of Investments.

Worst job application ever. (Arguably one of the worst schools ever too.)

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Former U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. will be the next leader of the Education Trust, a nonprofit organization that advocates for minority and low-income students.”

Education writer Dana Goldstein has joined The New York Times. (See her article on Betsy DeVos in the politics section above.)

More on college athletes as employees in the sports section above.

Upgrades and Downgrades


The ACLU has joined the startup accelerator Y Combinator. Bet you’re regretting your donation now, eh? Of course, known enemy of the free press, Peter Thiel, works with Y Combinator. And Y Combinator Paul Graham has criticized entrepreneurs that have “foreign accents.”

Via The New York Times: “Boy Scouts, Reversing Century-Old Stance, Will Allow Transgender Boys.”

“Why Are We Still Using LMSs?” asks edutechnica.

Data dashboards. Whee.

inBloom’s collapse undermined personalized learning and data standards efforts,” says danah boyd. (I’m working on a response to the Data & Society report on inBloom, but I’ve had the flu and I’ve been busy talking about how surveillance-driven “personalized learning” undermines democracy. So there you go.)

“The textbook publishing industry is considering a transformation that could significantly alter how faculty members assign readings, publishers make money and students obtain course materials,” Inside Higher Ed reports. Oh sure, it’ll still screw over students, this time by forcing them to buy content by bundling it with tuition.

Via Education Week: “Personalized Learning and the ‘Internet of Things:’ Q&A.”

Via MIT Technology Review: “Second Life Is Back for a Third Life, This Time in Virtual Reality.”

Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF


Via The Wall Street Journal: “What’s Better in the Classroom – Teacher or Machine?”

Via Campus Technology: “Apple, UC Berkeley, Arizona State U, Others Join Board for Partnership on AI.”

Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech


An education IPO! Laureate Education will go public. (Maybe this time it’s for real. It planned to do so back in 2015.) More via Inside Higher Ed.

OOHLALA has raised $4 million from University Ventures, Joe Montana, Y Combinator, GoAhead Ventures, Osman Rashid, and Real Ventures. The “student engagement” platform has raised $4.12 million total. (Disclosure alert.)

Girl Geek Academy has raised $1.3 million from undisclosed investors.

Elsevier has acquired Plum Analytics.

Student loan company SoFi will acquire Zenbanx.

The Education Testing Services (ETS) has acquired Questar.

Hobsons has acquired RepVisits.

Match Group is selling its subsidiary Princeton Review to ST Unitas. That is how you’re supposed to translate this wretched Edsurge headline: “Match Group Swipes Left on Princeton Review As Concerns Over Privacy Grow.”

Via The Scholarly Kitchen: “ What the Acquisition of Meta Means for Scholarly Publishers.” The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative announced last week that it had acquired Meta.

For those who keep touting the future of wearables in education: “Fitbit Deemed Unfit By Several Wall Street Firms” says the Investors’ Business Daily, reporting on the company’s plunging stock price.

Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security


Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Why Colleges’ Pledges to Shield Data on International Students Don’t Mean Much.”

Via WLTX: “About 1,300 current and former employees were affected by the data breach at Lexington School District Two according to the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs.”

Via Bill Fitzgerald: “Accessible tips for people to protect their privacy.”

Via Ars Technica: “DC police surveillance cameras were infected with ransomware before inauguration.”

This piece in The New York Times on “big data” and college graduation is pure ideology.

Data and “Research”


SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) America and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new guidelines for recess, because we seem to have forgotten what that looks like.

Via The Pacific Standard: “Teenagers Report a Surge in Bullying During a Divisive Election Season.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Non-tenure-track faculty members at private colleges are unionizing at an unprecedented rate, according to a new study published in The Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy.”

Via The Pacific Standard: “Trump Claims Sanctuary Cities Are Havens for Violent Criminals  –  Research Suggests He’s Dangerously Wrong.”

Via Education Week: “Students with disabilities are as likely as typically developing students to enter science and engineering fields in college, according to new data from the National Science Foundation.”

Via The New York Times: “Generation X More Addicted to Social Media Than Millennials, Report Finds.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Data dashboards and performance feedback can motivate middle-range students to work a little harder to earn a desired grade, a new study found.” The study was conducted by Blackboard and researchers by the University of Michigan.

According to a survey by Front Row Education, “More Than 50 Percent of Teachers Report 1:1 Computing.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Some education researchers have begun downloading federal data amid questions about the new administration’s commitment to continuing transparency efforts.”

Icon credits: The Noun Project

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